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.

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.

Introducing the New Cost-Per-Hire Calculator

Introducing the New Cost-Per-Hire Calculator

One of the hardest things about investing in a new technology is understanding how, exactly, it will impact your company. In short, is this purchase going to be worth it? Is it going to make things easier for you, or will it be costly and difficult to implement? What kind of a return on investment will you get from this purchase?

At ApplicantStack, we completely understand this mindset. After all, there are dozens of products out there promising to save you time, hassle, and money. We’re not interested in empty promises. We’re interested in the facts. We developed this cost-per-hire calculator so you can actually see the projected return on investment for your company.

Like most data systems, the most accurate input yields the most accurate output. So before you start filling out the cost-per-hire calculator, collect some data. Consider the one-time and recurring costs you put in when recruiting new employees. Then, let the Cost-per-Hire Calculator do its magic.

What Does the Cost-Per-Hire Calculator Show Me?

The cost-per-hire calculator computes several figures based on your information. Here’s what you’ll learn.

Current Cost Per Hire (CPH)

Cost per hire is the total amount you spend to find, recruit, and sign each new employee. There are two primary factors involved in this number: internal expenses and external expenses. Internal expenses include organizational costs paid for within your company, like HR salaries. External expenses are paid to outside vendors like job marketing boards or hiring agencies.

How Much You Could Save

This is your projected cost per hire after you implement ApplicantStack. The cost-per-hire calculator examines your overall data to compute exactly how much money your company could save annually. Many of our clients see savings of 10% or more, and these savings compound over time as employees become fluent with the easy-to-use software.

Labor Cost Per Hire

This is the amount you’re spending on employees, recruiters, or other agencies for each new hire. It includes the wages paid for the many hours spent reviewing resumes, scheduling interviews, and corresponding with candidates. An applicant tracking system reduces this number by automating many of these tasks.

Advertising Cost Per Hire

The amount you spend on advertising also contributes to your total CPH. The Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) Talent Acquisition Benchmarking Report found that 68% of companies use paid job boards to find new hires. Some use print, radio, and even television advertisements to make their job openings known. These all add to your advertising costs. Many applicant tracking systems cut down on these costs by offering access to paid job boards and social media sites, including LinkedIn and Facebook.

Hiring Rate

Also called the submission-to-hire ratio, your hiring rate is the percentage of applicants who are offered and accept a position. If you received thousands of applicants and only hired three new people, you’d have a very low hiring rate. A lower hiring rate can indicate that your prescreening methods aren’t effective; too many unqualified people are applying. In contrast, a high hiring rate could mean you’re receiving fewer applications, but they come from more qualified candidates.  ApplicantStack helps you find the candidates you want by screening out the less qualified and posting your job where it can be seen by the right people.

Recruiting Time Per Hire

How much time does it actually take for you to hire a new employee? If you’re receiving a lot of applications, it’s going to take your team a long time to go through them. ApplicantStack uses online scheduling, pre-application questionnaires, resume ranking, and automatic email responses to reduce your recruiting time per hire, which ultimately saves you money.

Ready to try it? Our new cost-per-hire calculator uses a unique formula to help you determine your current hiring costs – and how much you could be saving with ApplicantStack. Check it out here.

Use Recruiting Solutions to Overcome Hiring Roadblocks

Use Recruiting Solutions to Overcome Hiring Roadblocks

Despite your best efforts, you’re going to run into roadblocks when you’re recruiting. Analyze your hiring funnel to locate and assess these roadblocks. Then, find the recruiting solutions you need to optimize the process.

In many cases, the delays may appear to be the fault of your personnel. Do these scenarios sound familiar?

  • The manager isn’t responding to the resumes I send.
  • It takes us almost 4 weeks to schedule interviews with the interview team.
  • The approval manager sat on the new personnel requisition for several weeks before we could post the position.
  • It takes forever to manually post our positions to targeted job boards.
  • It takes us several weeks to screen all of the candidates we receive.

While these hurdles could be cleared with a better, bigger, or more responsive team, you don’t have to fire your staff to find recruiting solutions that can streamline your process. To understand the need for a solution, you need to examine the scope of the problem.

How Much Is It Costing?

Here’s an example. You’ve had a Project Manager position open for a little over 90 days. Your delay in filling the position has stopped the progress and completion of an important project, forcing you to go past the promised date of delivery. If your rate is $175 an hour, those 90 lost days of revenue would total $126,000 for just one unfilled position. Even more importantly, you run the risk of losing additional business to a competitor.

Find Your Roadblocks

Do you know which steps in your process are slowing or halting your hiring decisions? Some of the most common blockages include:

  • Creating and approving a well-written job description.
  • Posting new jobs to a variety of job boards.
  • Getting resumes in front of the hiring manager.
  • Reviewing candidate resumes.
  • Communication between interviewer and interviewee.
  • Lengthy response time between applicants and hiring managers.

Take a few weeks or months to track and analyze key recruiting metrics, so you can see where the process stalls.

Recruiting Solutions Can Help

A cost-effective web-based applicant tracking system (ATS) gives your team the flexibility and time to focus on the most important issues. An ATS automates many of the steps currently slowing down the hiring process. These recruiting solutions shorten the hiring cycle significantly by opening, approving, and posting job openings in less than a day. Your candidate pool is improved via pre-screening questions. Your hiring managers can manage and communicate with applicants via the system. Want proof that these recruiting solutions actually work? An applicant tracking system gives you instant access to those same key recruiting metrics you’ve been measuring, so you can watch as retention rate and revenue increase while time-to-hire and turnover rate decrease.

Automation tools are the recruiting solutions every business needs – even small businesses. Leverage the unique abilities of an applicant tracking system to optimize your hiring funnel and overcome the pesky roadblocks wasting your time and money.

3 Statements Your Recruiting Team Should Avoid

3 Statements Your Recruiting Team Should Avoid

The current hiring landscape is vastly different than it was just ten years ago. Gone is the 9-5 workday. Gone is the standardized application process. Gone is the time when employees worked for years in the same position at the same company.

Today’s employees find new jobs through social media and word of mouth – not by handing out resumes printed on expensive paper. One survey found that 85% of all jobs are filled through networking. In this modern era of job recruiting, which rules no longer apply? If you hear these statements, your recruiting team is on the wrong track.

“The Recruiting Team Will Be In Touch.”

If what you really mean to say is, “If you haven’t heard from us, you haven’t gotten the job,” then your recruitment mindset is stuck in the ’80s. Social media recruiting expert Andy Headworth bemoans the lack of respect given to today’s applicants. Consider this: one bad experience can cost you hundreds of potential candidates. If your company fails to communicate promptly and courteously with a candidate (despite the many tools out there that make automatic, personalized responses easy and convenient), you’ve left someone angry and frustrated.

Now, let’s say that person takes to social media to vent about his poor experience. According to Harvard Business Review, those negative reviews seriously injure your reputation and even increase your cost per hire by 10% or more. There’s no excuse for a lack of communication with – and consideration for – your applicants.

“If You Don’t Meet the Criteria, Don’t Apply.”

Sharlyn Lauby of the HR Bartender blog notes that during the Great Recession, companies added criteria to the knowledge, skills, and ability (KSAs) needed to apply to jobs. Now that jobs are widely available again, do recruiting teams need to lower expectations a bit? Lauby argues that the better option is to “make investments in employee training and development.”

Others, including Headworth, believe that recruiters should push back on unnecessary requirements. He works “on the premise of always recruiting for 70/75% of the skills needed.” For Headworth, cultural fit is more important. New hires can learn on the fly, but you can’t teach culture.

Whichever viewpoint you subscribe to, a recruiting team should be able to look beyond certain skills to find the potential in a new hire. Of course, there are some ‘must haves.’  Candidates shouldn’t apply to be a nurse if they don’t have a nursing degree. But many of those ‘nice to haves’ are currently used as exclusionary criteria – to the detriment of the employer.

“Follow the Interview Script.”

We get the appeal of this. After all, you can’t compare and contrast candidates’ answers if they aren’t asked the same questions. But there’s a trick to a masterful interview. HR Blog Fistful of Talent calls it the “secret weapon of candidate interviewing.” You need to listen more than you speak.

The most revealing interviews don’t come from drilling a candidate on employment history, education, and past projects. You’ll learn the most about a candidate if you have a conversation. This could take several forms, from chatbots to social media to video interviews.

Learn to use silence effectively. If you’re not saying much, your applicant will jump in. And what he or she has to say could show you much more about how that person’s brain works than a traditional interview.

So What Should You Hear?

The power dynamic in hiring is becoming more balanced. Recruiting teams can no longer simply demand that applicants “show their stuff.” In return, applicants know what they’re going to get if they choose to join up. Companies need to sell themselves.

In the past, hiring managers and candidates have had a teacher/student type of relationship. One person clearly had the upper hand (and the power to pass or fail the other person!). Today’s relationship is more like a blind date. You’re just two parties hoping there might be a spark between you. Any good relationship starts with mutual respect. The language your recruitment team uses should reflect that.