SwipeClock Acquires Applicant Tracking System ApplicantStack

SwipeClock Acquires Applicant Tracking System ApplicantStack

ApplicantStack joins forces with SwipeClock to provide the best HR labor management solutions for SMBs across the country

Cary, NC, Release Date: January 15, 2019.

ApplicantStack has been acquired by workforce management software company, SwipeClock (https://www3.swipeclock.com/) and will be joining their workforce management solution portfolio. SwipeClock provides HR labor management solutions including time & attendance, scheduling and employee self-service software. The addition of ApplicantStack will give them a best-in-class applicant tracking and onboarding solution to add to their product suite.

“We’re excited to join SwipeClock’s family of premier HR solutions for small and medium-sized businesses,” stated Nathan Shackles, CEO of ApplicantStack. “Joining SwipeClock will enable us to further enhance our ApplicantStack Recruit and Onboard products while also providing our customers access to an integrated set of HR labor management solutions.”

ApplicantStack will continue to operate as a division of SwipeClock with the same products and level of service it has in the past. ApplicantStack’s products and services will continue uninterrupted.

“Applicant tracking and timekeeping are among the most compelling requirements for small businesses,” said Coleman Barney, SwipeClock CEO. “The acquisition brings together two extraordinarily complementary products that our partners and their customers can start using right away. This is a natural fit with our strategy to extend and expand our solution with other HR services of value to small and medium businesses.”

About ApplicantStack:

ApplicantStack: the affordable, easy-to-use, full-featured recruiting and onboarding system trusted by 2,500+ companies since 2009 to automate and streamline their recruiting and onboarding process.

We spent our careers in human resources, bogged down with paperwork and craving more time and resources. Our goal is to provide organizations the tool we always wish we had. We created ApplicantStack, a simple, gets-the-job-done software that has everything you need and nothing you don’t. It’s not another thing to manage, but the tool that helps you manage your day.

To learn more please visit: https://www.applicantstack.com/

About SwipeClock:

SwipeClock is a leader in simple and affordable workforce management services. Our more than 1,000 partners have empowered more than 30,000 businesses to reduce labor costs, comply with regulatory mandates, and maximize profits. SwipeClock cloud products (WorkforceHUB, TimeWorksPlus, TimeSimplicity) and hardware clocks (TimeWorksTouch, TimeWorksTUFF and others) provide instant employee access to automated timekeeping, scheduling, leave management, HR dashboards, and other HR resources. With SwipeClock, employers transform labor from a cost of doing business to a competitive advantage.

To learn more please visit:  www.swipeclock.com.

Types of Unconscious Bias in Hiring

Types of Unconscious Bias in Hiring

The field of psychology has drastic implications for talent acquisition and retention. Psychology is the study of why people do what they do – in essence, what makes people tick. There are certain motivations and fallacies common to much of the population. In many cases, it affects what we say and do.

A cognitive bias is a flaw in judgment. There are dozens of cognitive biases, many of which you are probably familiar with. Think about a coin toss that comes up heads ten times in a row. There’s still a 50% chance that the next flip will be tails – even though it seems unlikely. If you’ve already spent money on something, like an all-you-can-eat buffet, you might gorge yourself to ensure you ‘get your money’s worth.’ This is the sunk cost fallacy. You’ve spent the same amount regardless of how much you eat.

Hiring bias has much more important implications than the examples above. Gender and racial hiring bias are most frequently mentioned, but there are other types of cognitive biases you might be falling victim to. The first step to overcoming a bias is knowing that it might exist.

Types of Cognitive Hiring Bias

The Halo Effect

We all know that first impressions matter. Part of this is because of the halo effect. Once we have a favorable opinion of someone, it takes a lot to change our minds. Another element of the halo effect is the idea that because a person excels in one area, he or she will also excel in others. We might assume that because someone is an excellent public speaker and is especially talented in his field, he will also make a good group leader. In reality, these skills don’t necessarily influence each other.

Expectation Bias

A recruiter might read through dozens of resumes. One candidate looks particularly good “on paper.” When that person comes in for an interview, the recruiter may be more likely to overlook obvious flaws; say, the person doesn’t make eye contact or is inarticulate or incompetent. If you expect someone to be something – whether that’s good or bad – he or she is likely to fulfill those expectations.

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek out information that validates your current opinion. For example, people who tune into Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck are typically more conservative. These pundits espouse beliefs that are congruent with the conservative mindset. As a hiring bias, confirmation bias can be seen in the tendency to focus only on the aspects of a person that coincide with the recruiter’s pre-established thoughts on the candidate.

Anchoring Bias

Anchoring is a hiring bias in which the recruiter or hiring manager fixates on one piece of information, giving it more weight than it deserves. Say, for example, you have a candidate who went to Harvard, or who is president of the local Mensa Society. Even if the candidate isn’t the best for the job, it may be tempting to overlook his or her flaws because “She’s in Mensa!” or “He went to Harvard!”

Social Comparison Bias

This is a tough one for managers who are hiring employees to join their team. The social comparison bias is the tendency to dislike or feel competitive with others who may have the same kinds of skills. For example, if you’re widely seen as the company’s expert in a certain software program, you’ll feel reluctant to hire someone whose skills meet or exceed your own. Research has shown that this is a relatively common phenomenon, so it’s a hiring bias you’ll want to consciously avoid.

Ingroup Bias

Ingroup bias is the tendency to favor people who are similar to oneself, or who are part of the same “group.” It’s an interesting hiring bias because in some cases, like sexism or racism, it’s blatantly seen as wrong. But there are less obvious examples of ingroup bias. Some hiring managers, for example, might look more favorably on fellow alumni. You may feel a sense of camaraderie and kinship with a candidate who participated in the same fraternity or sorority that you joined in school. There are several types of ingroups, but any kind of favoritism based on this is a hiring bias that could negatively impact your hiring decisions.

Shared Information Bias

While this type of bias may not directly affect your candidates, it can certainly draw out the hiring process. Shared information bias is the tendency for members of a group to discuss information that everybody is already aware of, rather than focusing on hidden information that is only available to some. For example, if one interviewer notices an irritating quality in a candidate, he or she should share this with the group – even if it doesn’t seem relevant. Don’t focus on just making a decision. The process is important, too.

Overcome Hiring Bias

Do you know how to recruit in a way that will avoid this? Awareness of these kinds of hiring biases is critical. Many publications have recently suggested that automated intelligence is the solution for removing (or at least significantly decreasing) hiring bias. An applicant tracking system can show or hide certain aspects of a candidate’s profile that you don’t want to consider. You can decrease the shared information bias, since everyone keeps notes in a central location. Hiring bias doesn’t have to be an insurmountable problem. Learn about more tips for avoiding hiring bias here.

ATS Systems: Do This First

ATS Systems: Do This First

The hiring process is critical to the overall reputation of the company, and most of all to your employment brand. Companies with better reputations attract better people, are seen to offer more value, and can even charge a premium for their products and services. One great way to improve your brand reputation? Improve your hiring process.

A good process is the result of strategic planning and efficiency, which can be achieved with the help of ATS systems. If you’ve recently purchased or are thinking about investing in applicant tracking software, there are three things you can do right off the bat to improve your hiring process.

Customize screening questions by department.

ATS systems should allow you to tailor your online screening questions. Save time using department-based screening questions. One size does not fit all in the hiring world. The qualifications you need for a finance expert aren’t going to be the same as those for a customer service representative. Take a few minutes to talk with the hiring managers in each department. What kinds of people are they looking for? What are the core competencies critical to the overall success of a person taking on a position in that department? Knowing the right questions to ask can save you time by winnowing down the number of unqualified candidates who apply. Why waste everyone’s time? Customize the screening questions according to discussions with your hiring managers and you’re more likely to hit the mark sooner.

Get the team on board.

Effective collaboration with stakeholders is essential to streamlining your hiring process. ATS systems can be powerful tools, but only if your people are taking advantage. You’ve got to make it easy for everyone to understand and implement your applicant tracking system. Encourage team members to use the ATS systems’ most basic features. Over time, they’ll become more adept and can leverage advanced tools. Hint: try out the software before you buy it. If it isn’t intuitively obvious, your team is not going to want to use it.

The interview process is essential when deciding on a candidate’s eligibility. Your candidate will come into contact with several members of your organization, both formally and informally. ATS systems give you a centralized location to enter feedback, notes, and reviews. It’s the easiest way to consolidate everyone’s thoughts as you work together to reach a decision.

Use the email response function.

This is an important habit to get into. Communication is critical to your applicants; always respond in a timely and professional manner. Candidates are typically applying for several jobs at once. You need to remain in frequent contact, especially with your most desirable candidates. ATS systems allow you to schedule and send emails automatically based on triggers. Build customized templates ahead of time so you don’t come across as impersonal. The email response function is common courtesy for your applicants, and it’s easy to implement.

There are many ATS systems out there. Do your research before you buy. After you’ve made a purchase, set up prescreening questionnaires and email response functions. Get your team excited and on board. They (and you) might be surprised by the many ways an applicant tracking software can augment your current hiring process. If you’ve never used an applicant tracking system, check out this two-minute demonstration of ApplicantStack. Ready to try it out? Click here for your free trial!

Digital Onboarding for Remote Employees

Digital Onboarding for Remote Employees

Remote work is rapidly becoming an accepted and even desired part of the American lifestyle. Take a look at these statistics. Some might surprise you!

Remote work isn’t just a fad or trend. A recent survey found that 80% to 90% of the workforce says they would like to telecommute at least part of the time. It’s an option that more companies are considering – especially as the job market heats up.

If you’re hiring remote workers, how can you make sure they’re a part of the team? How do you integrate them with your corporate culture and teach them the responsibilities of a new job from a distance? The answer: digital onboarding.

Why Use Digital Onboarding?

Remote employees are accustomed to working from home. Ideally, your new hire is self-motivated, excited to get to work, and independent. Digital onboarding offers several advantages that traditional onboarding doesn’t. And it’s not just good for remote employees. In-office workers will appreciate these benefits, too.

It’s Easy

Instead of dampening first-day enthusiasm with a litany of paperwork to fill out and mindless videos to watch, digital onboarding gets that stuff out of the way ahead of time. Your new employee will be able to spend Day One – whether that’s in the office or out of it – learning the ropes of his or her new role rather than whiling away the hours in a conference room.

It’s Standardized

Every employee goes through a similar onboarding process. When you set up digital onboarding with software like ApplicantStack Onboard, you ensure that every box is checked, every time. Collect all necessary paperwork using a library of state and federal forms. Distribute company policies, benefits information, and other notable documents so they can be reviewed at any time in one place. If your onboarding process is less than successful, you can examine what works and what doesn’t and make changes so that everyone has the same positive experience.

It’s Efficient

Printing and passing out entire reams of legal documents and forms is tedious (and expensive!). Digital onboarding allows you to download documents once, and distribute them to new hires without making multiple trips to the printer. You don’t need to take up an employee’s valuable time to walk a new hire through the onboarding process. Digital onboarding guides your new hire step by step, at his or her own pace.

It’s Engaging

The most engaged employees are actually those who telecommute three or four days a week. Surprised? This kind of schedule offers a good balance between on-site collaboration and off-site autonomy. In-person onboarding isn’t always necessary. Let your new hire do what he or she can do from home. Then, maximize time at the office by building in-person relationships with teammates and colleagues. Digital onboarding gets the mundane tasks out of the way, so you can focus on what really matters when you’re face to face.

It’s Thorough

Use your onboarding software to create a checklist for your new hires and your hiring managers. Authorized users can log in to make sure that tasks are completed, and follow up with anything that’s still missing. Upload safety or training videos to YouTube and link them to your checklist. Your new hire will be able to view them instantly at his or her convenience. Assigning tasks ensures that every box is checked so nothing is overlooked.

Whether you’re hiring someone who will be working remotely full time, occasionally telecommuting, or working from the office every day, digital onboarding makes the onboarding process less painful for all involved. No one wants to spend his or her first day on the job filling out forms.

Want to learn more? Watch this brief demo. Ready to try it out for 15-day? Click here for a free no-obligation trial.

Three Ways to Make Seasonal Hiring Easier

Three Ways to Make Seasonal Hiring Easier

Hiring season can be painful for everyone: the applicants, the hiring team, your finance department, and your current employees. What can you do to make seasonal hiring easier on everyone involved? These three strategies for seasonal hiring and onboarding will make a difficult transition smoother – and help you get your business back to ‘business as usual’ this holiday season.

Talk to Current Employees

Before you enlist dozens of new employees to help you round out your holiday season, have a chat with your current workers. Does anyone want to take on more hours? If your current employees want to work a bit more, there’s no need to hire quite so much additional help. They already know the ropes, so you don’t need to worry about training. And they’ll appreciate the extra hours. Even if you’re paying overtime, you’re likely to save money in the long run. The cost of advertising for, interviewing, hiring, and training a new seasonal employee likely outweighs the additional expense of overtime pay.

If your current employees aren’t interested in taking on more hours, make seasonal hiring easier by asking them for recommendations. They may know of friends or acquaintances looking for seasonal work. More than 70% of people get a job through networking. Leverage the social network of current employees to find seasonal employees who will be excited to join the team. It’s a win for everyone – your new hire gets a job, your current employee gets to help out a connection, and you have another position filled.

Know the Labor Laws

The last thing you want is to run afoul of local or federal labor laws regarding seasonal employees. Talk with your hiring team to make sure they are representing the seasonal jobs correctly. Are workers full time, part time, or independent contractors? Detail the duration of employment in writing to avoid confusion when the season ends. Do you need to offer health benefits? Under the Affordable Care Act, you may need to provide health insurance for employees who work over 30 hours a week for more than 120 days. The rules for health insurance are complex; familiarize yourself with them before you start hiring, so you don’t have to pay a penalty later on.

You can make seasonal hiring easier by following the same procedures you’d use for a full-time employee. Collect the appropriate forms, including W4s or W9s. Track hours and attendance for each employee, so you have documentation if there’s ever a question about whether or not laws were followed.  Remember, anti-harassment, retaliation, and discrimination laws are just as applicable for seasonal employees. Go through your employee handbook and look at each benefit. Will your seasonal employees be entitled to these benefits? Make the qualifications for each benefit clear, so employees don’t claim that they are entitled to them later on. Lastly, a thorough onboarding process is essential.

Train Continuously

Onboarding is just as important for seasonal employees as it is for traditional ones – if not more so. In addition to the conventional onboarding process, develop opportunities for your seasonal employees to train on the job as well. Have each seasonal employee spend at least a day or two shadowing a more experienced colleague. Schedule weekly meetings to discuss each employee’s progress, and to answer any questions he or she might have. Consider expanding your onboarding program to add occasional training sessions before or after closing, when seasonal employees can role play different scenarios and practice their skills.

Don’t neglect your seasonal employees just because they’re only going to be around for a few short months. They have a strong influence on your bottom line during this busy season. The holiday season may only last a few months, but it can account for as much as 30% of annual sales in some industries, according to the National Retail Federation. Follow seasonal hiring best practices, educate yourself on the labor laws, and make sure you’re coaching and training your new hires throughout their tenure. These strategies will make the holidays a bit cheerier for everyone.

9 Tips to Choose the Best ATS Solution in 2019

9 Tips to Choose the Best ATS Solution in 2019

According to current research, the global applicant tracking software (ATS) market size is projected to grow from $1.21 billion this year to $1.81 billion by 2023. That’s a healthy Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.3%.

And why not? The economy is running full-speed ahead. Unemployment has finally rebounded from the Great Recession and is the lowest in half a century. Besides a robust GDP, the upshot of low unemployment is the premium it places on finding qualified candidates for job vacancies.

So, it’s no wonder that demand for ATS surges. After all, if a company can grease the gears of its recruitment efforts, finding and acquiring the most qualified talent becomes faster and easier. And a good Applicant Tracking System does just that, streamlining sourcing, social engagement and the entire hiring workflow through a solitary integrated platform.

For 2019, ATS solutions will be even more “fortified” with artificial intelligence (AI) advances. Notwithstanding AI-induced automation that will minimize friction in the hiring workflow (anyone for machine-generated reminders based on deadlines and company objectives and workflow-assessing analytics?), choosing the best ATS for your company requires more than just picking the most “automated” solution.

Here are nine tips to help guide you to the best possible ATS for your company.

When investigating an ATS solution, you want to determine:

  1. The value an ATS system will deliver to your company. Before considering any solution, you must decide just what your company’s recruitment and acquisition needs are and will be. Once determined, you look for those ATS features that should bring to fruition those objectives. Then, determine if those features fit your budget.
  2. How easy is the application to use for all parties? Explore the intuitiveness of the application. Can you and your team – and the recruit – easily navigate the screens? Sometimes, an abundance of features and layers of screens can do more harm than good in terms of working with the software. The simpler the operation, the sooner the team accepts it and the faster its onboarding – another paramount concern.
    Also consider what kind of candidate experience does an ATS offer? You will lose valuable prospects if the job application process is clunky, frustrating and, ultimately, dismissed.
  3. Level of sophistication. Does the ATS integrate with your other apps and salient third-party software? How does the vendor handle upgrades? Is the ATS scalable, so it can grow with your company?
    Does the ATS allow you to post to multiple job sites (issue No. 1 for SMBs!). Can users manage resumes, collaborate with recruiters and integrate with job boards? These handy features contribute to a speedier hiring workflow.
    Perhaps even more critical, does the ATS support employee referrals? Because referrals remain the best method to find candidates, you want an ATS that demonstrates a clear means to attract and reward referrals from your team.
    Is data migration from legacy systems – and to future systems – available? With input from many sources and different candidates, make sure any considered ATS can integrate with various databases and specific file types. Can the ATS bulk import data?
  4. If workflow management is diffuse or – better – centralized. It’s recommended that the easier it is for the team to access the right information at the right time by the right people, the better prepared they will be for an interview – and the smoother the interview will go.
  5. If a vendor offers a no-hassle, no-cost trial of the ATS. You want to kick the tires, try it on for size. If for any reason you’re not feeling comfortable or confident with a particular ATS, you can avoid long-term commitment and back away after a free trial.
  6. How extensive reporting needs to be. Are reports templated? Can you customize ad-hoc reports to identify the source of a hire, the number of candidates in queue, and respective qualifications? Will report creation by arduous or straight-forward?
  7. The extent of the ATS search ability. You want a fast, accurate search with results organized in a logical and intuitive way.
  8. The breadth and scope of customer support. When an issue arises, is customer support available? Do you have to pay for it? To what extent can CS help? Because CS is critical to the success of any software company, this question must be answered.
  9. If the ATS is mobile. In 2019, a distributed workforce will be even more routine. For global companies of any size, any member of a hiring team should be able to review candidates, schedule interviews, leave feedback and check the workflow from anywhere, at any time and on any device.

A good applicant tracking system not only makes it easier for all stakeholders to store, organize, and access critical information at any time, but also offers insights into those candidate qualities that your company is seeking. It should let users manage multiple recruitment initiatives from a single platform at the same time.

Pick the wrong ATS and you could have a recruitment and acquisition debacle on your hands that leads to lost talent, unhappy management, discouraged team members and wasted time and money.

Pick the right ATS and you’ll find an improved quality to new hires, as well as a reduction in cost-per-hire. Your team remains motivated. Your hires get happy. And you get better, faster and more cost-effective recruitment that’s repeatable.