Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: A mom, desperately trying to get ahold of her kid, calls and calls and calls to no avail. Moments later her phone lights up as it begins to vibrate—it’s her child! But it’s not the sound of their voice but a text message. A TEXT MESSAGE! Someone she spent hours in agonizing labor for can’t even take a second to answer her call?!? Oh the agony… the outrage!
Text messaging is still the most effective way for businesses to communicate with their employees
Ok, maybe that situation is a little too dramatic, but people—including your recruits and employees—are more willing to text than call is the reality in today’s world. It may seem ridiculous, but US smartphone users have 5x more text conversations than phone calls. It seems counterintuitive at times because it generally takes us longer to have a conversation via text than to make a simple phone call.
But the truth is in the numbers – TEXTING RUNS THE WORLD.
How do you use texting to benefit your business?
The wisest Human Resources professionals in the business know the importance of quickly building strong connections with their most prized recruits. Enhanced and timely communication strengthens a candidate’s interest in a company. Communicating in a manner most comfortable for them encourages those applicants to remain happy and engaged—especially when their system has the texting features that SwipeClock’s ApplicantStack offers.
Text messaging is a valuable communications tool that recruiters can use to easily connect with candidates. It helps increase engagement and improves the hiring process through faster delivery of information and effective management of expectations.
1. Texting candidates consolidates communication into one convenient place
With SwipeClock, all of your text messages go through the ApplicantStack solution within WorkforceHub, so anytime you click on the button to send a text, you can immediately see the text history with that person. This messaging history can become extremely valuable when managing multiple candidates at varying stages of the hiring process.
2. Scheduling and follow-ups become a faster, more efficient process
While trying to keep both applicants and management happy, it is necessary for most offices to consistently be on top of the hiring and onboarding processes. And since 78% of US consumers say receiving a text message is the fastest way for businesses to reach them, SwipeClock’s texting feature enables HR departments to not only automate and streamline this process but personalize the communications for greater effect.
3. Applicants and Employees, like the rest of the world, prefer texting to phone calls and email
With more than half of US mobile users saying they view a business more positively if they utilize SMS capabilities, it’s no wonder texting is the preferred way for the majority of recruits to receive hiring and interview updates.
It is, however, important to remember that although the stats overwhelmingly suggest the US markets much prefers texting to other forms of communications, there are still those who prefer a call or email. So, with that in mind, it may be prudent to simply ask how they like to be communicated with before assuming they’re a frequent traveler aboard the texting train.
4. Coordination of tech-driven interactions is streamlined and professional
In general, people are looking to work for companies that have an eye towards leading-edge technology. By communicating the way they prefer to be communicated with, recruits and employees tend to equate that tech-driven communication with an office being “high tech.” This often leads many people to identify the company as a quality, forward-thinking workplace.
5. Two-way texting is vital to maintaining a connection to valued candidates
When texting with a company, many people are pleasantly surprised and excited to find out that there’s a person on the other end of their text conversation. When they respond and someone texts back, they feel a personal connection.
The reality is that using texting to communicate back and forth no matter who you are communicating with provides a wealth of advantages and benefits. With 92% of American adults owning a cellphone and, on average, an SMS open rate of 98% (compared to under 20% for email and 76% of calls going straight to voicemail), one might think it crazy not to use SMS text to more effectively confirm and communicate with your workforce as well.
Texting has been responsible for major business deals, peace treaties, marriage proposals and breakups and now it’s most definitely ready for corporate recruiting and onboarding communication. With SwipeClock’s texting capabilities, businesses and their HR personnel are able to communicate more effectively as they continue to work to improve the overall recruitment and onboarding process.
If you are an HR director, it’s boom or bust right now when it comes to talent management. Essential businesses are in a hiring frenzy. Others, regrettably, are laying off or furloughing workers.
We hope you are in the former category.
But how do you compete for talent with Walmart, Amazon, Fed-Ex and CVS?
Let’s look at 3 ways creative HR directors are hiring during the COVID-19 crisis.
3 Ways to Hire During the Coronavirus Chaos
1. Partner With Your Customers and Vendors
Are you a talent acquisition specialist for a B2B company? Have any of your customers or vendors recently let employees go? There’s no reason you can’t follow the lead of CVS and source partners’ recently laid off employees. If you are a professional services company, you may have relationships with hundreds of organizations.
CVS is embarking on one of the most ambitious hiring drives in its history with plans to hire 50,000 full-time, part-time and temporary workers—and it has decided to tap directly into its customers’ workforces by taking on furloughed workers from the Marriott and Hilton hotel chains. The drugstore chain said it would use a “technology-enabled hiring process that includes virtual job fairs, virtual interviews and virtual job tryouts.” Market Watch
Most SMBs don’t have the resources of CVS but you can use the same techniques on a smaller scale. Talk to colleagues who have business relationships with your partners’ or customers’ recently laid off employees. These may include account managers, event planners, buyers, and supply chain managers.
These potential employees have already been vetted by companies you know and trust. They probably have a favorable view of your company. Passive recruiting is a lot easier when you are trying to source talent that is currently unemployed!
2. Host Virtual Job Fairs
Create an event using chat rooms, video conferencing, company videos, and webinars. Assign each hiring manager a presentation. Enlist your best brand ambassadors (current employees who love your company) to engage with job seekers.
A virtual job or career fair is perfect for attracting both onsite and remote workers. For telecommuting positions, you aren’t limited to job seekers in a geographic radius.
If you are looking for employees in your community, you can tailor the event to a specific demographic. If a local employer just cut workers, be straightforward about targeting their former workforce.
Who do you invite?
Use your applicant tracking system (ATS) to search for resume keywords in your talent database. Chances are, some of these people have recently been laid off. Create a job fair email template in your ATS and email an invitation to qualified candidates in your pipeline. Include a link to your registration page.
Request employee referrals. Each of your employees probably know several people out of work right now. Don’t forget to advertise on your social media sites. Ask your vendors and business partners for referrals. Talk to career counselors at schools in your community. Make the sign-up process fast and easy.
Virtual job fairs speed up hiring
For the recruiter, these events [virtual job fairs] compress the time to first engagement and ultimately the time to hire. Candidates are given the opportunity to engage with an actual recruiter from the company they are interested in on a specific day and time. That’s something you normally don’t have that early in the process. (SHRM)
3. Offer Flexible Schedules
Schools are closed. People are caring for sick family members. Workers need flexible schedules as much as they need steady jobs.
There’s never been a better time to offer flexible and non-traditional schedules—for both onsite, mobile and at-home employees.
Flexible schedules allow smaller companies to compete
Flexible schedules aren’t just an attractive perk for job seekers. They help SMBs be more competitive in multiple ways.
- Flexible scheduling reduces labor costs
- Reduced absenteeism increases productivity
- Engaged employees drive business growth
- Improved work/life balance helps retain experienced employees
What’s the easiest way to provide flexible work schedules? Cloud-based employee scheduling software is your answer for flex scheduling.
Employee scheduling software lets you create standard schedules in seconds—and flexible schedules in minutes. You create templates for each department, team, or location. You can also create templates for specific shifts or seasons. When the base schedules are in place, it’s easy to drag and drop employees into shifts.
Flexible schedules reduce healthcare employee burnout
Employee burnout is an issue for many industries, especially healthcare. And especially now. When employees have more control of their shifts, they are less likely to suffer psychological stress. Workers with improved mental health are more effective and make fewer mistakes. There’s never been a greater demand for experienced healthcare employees. If you don’t offer flexible schedules, your workforce can easily find positions at competing healthcare employers.
A Refresher Course on Best Practices for Hiring
1. Use an Applicant Tracking System
An applicant tracking system (ATS) allows you to reach far more candidates and track them through the hiring process with smart automation.
The software manages postings in multiple venues, receives and filters applications, parses resumes, and store applications for future openings. Since preliminary screening is automated, it narrows down applicants to a small pool of promising candidates. An ATS is a smart investment for any small business owner who is serious about competing in today’s job market.
An applicant tracking system doesn’t just make your life easier. It is an important tool for attracting top talent and onboarding them when they are hired.
Did you know that desirable candidates will probably find a job within two weeks? If your application system takes weeks, you are losing quality employees to companies with modern, efficient systems. Job seekers have plenty of options. The best applicants will move on if your recruiting system is antiquated.
2. Rethink Educational Requirements
Many employers have discovered that real-world experience can be more valuable than a degree. In a tight job market, you can’t always get college grads. Consider candidates with tech certifications and applicable work history.
3. Fine Tune Job Descriptions
Enlist your managers and employees to write accurate, detailed job descriptions. These don’t need to sound like they were written by a professional headhunter.
Include the salary range. Many applicants don’t waste their time applying when they don’t know what the job pays. Save yourself time by weeding out candidates who are looking for a higher salary.
When creating job descriptions, lessen the emphasis on qualifications the candidate must possess. Consider what your company can do for the employee. Candidates who respond to a benefits-first approach are often the most ambitious and competent.
You can create, store, and update job descriptions with recruiting software. Centralized access makes it easy for teams to collaborate.
4. Shorten Your Applications
Only the most desperate candidates will struggle through a lengthy application. Carefully-designed applications contain only the essentials. Recruiting software has templates to get you started.
5. Define Your Hiring Criteria
Answer the following questions: 1. Who must sign off on the hire? 2. What specific qualifications are necessary? 3. What is the deadline for making a decision?
6. Treat Applicants Like Customers
We’ve all had bad experiences job hunting. These include automated “we received your resume” emails (or worse) no notification that the company even got your application.
Be clear about the timeline. Keep candidates informed during the entire process. Your hiring methods reflect on your company. Respect your applicants as if they were your customers.
7. Formalize Your Interview Process
Create an interview script and make sure managers follow it. Ensure that it meets anti-discrimination requirements. Workforce management recruiting software helps you create and manage interview scripts. Update the questions as job roles evolve.
Good interviewers don’t dominate the conversation. They let the candidate do most of the talking. Pay close attention to the questions the candidate asks. They will yield valuable insight into the job seeker’s priorities and personality.
8. Monitor Employee Reviews
Have you read the online reviews from current and former employees? Smart employers take them seriously and make changes when necessary. Evaluations by actual employees carry far more weight than your website. Good job candidates do their research. Negative reviews hurt your hiring chances. You can’t remove reviews on most sites, but you can respond to them and describe steps you’ve taken to address the complaints.
Healthcare recruiting challenges aren’t easing up in 2020.
The only thing harder than finding quality healthcare employees is keeping them.
Does your healthcare recruiting process need a major disruption? Here are actionable techniques that can solve recruiting dilemmas.
Today’s post contains strategies for:
What are the top healthcare recruiting problems?
- Lack of qualified applicants
- Competition from employers inside and outside the healthcare industry
- Historically high turnover
6 Healthcare Hiring Solutions
1. Target passive candidates and provide training
There are not enough traditional candidates. Companies have found success sourcing passive talent and training for hard skills. Consider the crippling costs of high turnover. Providing CNA certification training can be a wise investment.
Once we identified altruism as a key trait for community health workers, we sought out natural helpers by circulating job descriptions through YMCAs, soup kitchens and block captain associations. This approach yielded far more applicants who were suited for success in the role. —Shreya Kangovi, MD, executive director, Penn Center for Community Health Workers
2. Improve job descriptions
First, create an Employment Value Proposition or EVP. We explain how to do it in this article: Recruiters: Have You Created An Employment Value Proposition? This tells applicants why they should choose your company.
Your job descriptions need to be more than a laundry list of duties and qualifications. The best way to manage multiple job descriptions is with an applicant tracking system, which we discuss below.
3. Minimize unconscious bias
Unconscious bias may be eliminating promising talent. We addressed this in detail in our post 6 Tips For Avoiding Hiring Bias. Here is a rundown of the tips. Consult the article for an in-depth discuss.
- Create gender-neutral job descriptions
- Review resumes blind
- Train employees on hiring bias
- Diversify recruitment panels
- Standardize interview questions
- Incorporate employee resource groups
4. Improve job conditions
Let’s face it, home health, long-term care, and community health positions are relatively low-paying. Few employers can increase pay significantly and remain in business. Therefore, companies must do everything in their power to improve job conditions.
There isn’t a magic bullet that will work for every employer. Consider flexible scheduling and providing outside resources (more on those below). In addition, perform exit interviews when an employee quits. Find out why. Do what you can to prevent the problems if it’s within your power.
Flexible scheduling doesn’t cost more but reliably improves employee satisfaction. Inexpensive scheduling/timekeeping software is a must-have.
Those on the low end of the pay scale are subject to many situations that higher-paid people don’t understand. Identify outside-of-work challenges your employees face. If you can connect them with resources, it will benefit everyone—your patients, your employees, and your bottom line.
Provide an on-site counselor or contract for counseling services with a community-based human service agency. In either case, make sure the counselor is positioned to connect workers to a broad range of supports that can stabilize workers’ personal lives and thereby improve their job performance.—Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, ‘Finding and Keeping Direct Care Staff’
5. Educate your hiring manager
Small healthcare companies often lack a formally-trained hiring manager. If this is the case for your company, consult our comprehensive series: How To Hire Your Next Employee. It’s a step-by-step guide designed for both beginners or experienced recruiters. (It’s the next best thing to a professional recruiting degree and completely free.)
6. Use an applicant tracking system
Manual practices are woefully inadequate for the hiring challenges discussed here. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) provide a predictable ROI for all types of healthcare employers.
- Weed out unqualified candidates faster
- Process hundreds of applications at a lower cost
- Cast a wider net — advertise jobs in more places (social media, job boards, educational institutions)
- Help your hiring team incorporate best practices
- Use recruitment analytics to find what’s working and what’s not
- Create and manage a structured employee referral process
- Provide a mobile-friendly hiring platform (89% of job seekers say their mobile device is an important tool for job searching and 45% use it to search for jobs at least once a day.)
How does this work in practice? Read how Maryland University of Integrated Health and Marana Healthcare improved hiring outcomes with ApplicantStack.
By Liz Strikwerda