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

Here are 9 tips to guide you to the best possible ATS for your company.

9 Tips For Choosing An ATS Solution in 2019

When investigating an ATS solution, you want to determine:

1. What value will the ATS provide?

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. How sophisticated is the software?

  • 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?
  • Can the ATS bulk import data?
    • With input from many sources and different candidates, make sure it can integrate with various databases and specific file types.

4. Is workflow management diffused 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. Does the vendor offer 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. Are the reporting capabilities sufficient for our needs?

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 straightforward?

7. How do the search functions work?

You want a fast, accurate search with results organized in a logical and intuitive way.

8. What is 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. Is the ATS 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.

The ATS Market is Growing (For Good Reason)

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.

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.

By Keith Craig  Last updated September 10, 2019

Infographic: Applicant Tracking System Benefits

Infographic: Applicant Tracking System Benefits

What’s something that 95% of Fortune 500 companies use, but only 26% of employers have discovered? Fortune 500 CEOs are taking advantage of the many applicant tracking system benefits for their company. These benefits apply to a small or medium-sized business, too!  Here are just a few ways an applicant tracking system benefits companies.

It Saves Time

An applicant tracking system can automate many of the manual tasks that a recruiter or HR team member is currently performing. ApplicantStack allows candidates to search resumes for keywords, automatically screening out unqualified candidates. Recruiters can create, manage, and schedule email form letters to remain in contact with applicants. Action items can be assigned to specific team members, so you can find and fix holdups.

It Saves Money

When you’re saving time, you’re saving money. A small company can save up to $10,000 using an applicant tracking system. In the United States, the average cost to hire a single employee ranges from $3,000 to $4,000. An ATS can save you serious money by streamlining your hiring process.

Applicants Love It

Applying for a job is dreary enough, and it doesn’t take much for an applicant to abandon a frustrating form. You need a mobile-friendly interface, quick communication, and smooth scheduling. Among the many applicant tracking system benefits is the ability to create a positive experience for your candidates.

Companies Love It

The reason so many Fortune 500 companies use an ATS is because it works so well! In addition to making your hiring process more efficient, an applicant tracking system offers the benefit of data collection and analysis. HR departments can figure out which candidate sources are working well. Cost-per-hire is easily calculated, and bottlenecks can be identified and fixed

Want to learn more about the many applicant tracking system benefits you could be taking advantage of? Check out our infographic below!

applicant tracking system infographic

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.