5 minute read. Updated November 20, 2020.
What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?
An applicant tracking system is a type of HR software that automates the hiring and onboarding process.
Why is 2021 hiring hopeless without one?
Let’s talk about it.
Acquiring talent for a small or medium size business has never been easy. Even before 2020 when everything got harder. Before the pandemic, recruiters complained of a lack of candidates due to low unemployment and talent shortages. Companies that could move applicants quickly through their process had the advantage. Of course, they needed a good evaluation process to find best-fit candidates.
In 2020, the pandemic upended recruiting. Essential businesses started hiring at scale. Companies that pivoted suddenly needed to fill new job roles. Employers in shrinking industries were inundated with applicants for the few openings they had. Because many started working from home, hiring processes had to be adapted so they could be conducted virtually.
Regardless of the unrecognizable hiring landscape, an ATS is still the answer. Are you doing high volume hiring in 2021? An ATS is essential for managing multiple job openings simultaneously.
Are you recovering in 2021? You probably have a shorthanded hiring team. ATS automation will allow a small team to meet your hiring needs while you are getting back on your feet.
11 Undeniable Benefits of Applicant Tracking Systems
1. An Applicant Tracking System Saves You Lots of Money
Applicant tracking systems provide an impressive ROI. How much? A small company can save up to $10,000 using an ATS.
Companies using applicant tracking system reap the rewards. New-hire turnover is 40% less on average, and they can fill vacancies 20% more quickly.
New Hires Generate Revenue More Quickly
ATS help you fill positions faster. This shortens the time it takes for the new hire to generate revenue. ATS with onboarding tools further shorten the time-to-productivity.
2. Hire Top Performing Candidates Before Your Competition
An ATS help you identify top candidates and present an offer before the applicant is hired by a competitor. These high-demand employees drive productivity and innovation.
3. Track Hundreds of Resumes With Ease
When it comes to administration, ATS automation is truly impressive. Systems can handle hundreds (even thousands!) of applications, resumes, and other workflows.
Not only do you save on the cost of labor for the hiring team, but you also free up their time.
They can use that time on improving hiring strategies. Improved hiring strategies can then help your business grow even faster
With the strategic use of an ATS, you can become the budget hero in your company.
4. An ATS Creates a Dynamite First Impression
During the recruitment process, your goal is to attract top people to your company. You aren’t just recruiting; you’re marketing. Shockingly, 69% of unemployed people wouldn’t take a job if the company had a bad reputation—they would rather stay unemployed!
Applicant tracking systems help you put your best foot forward. Automate communication with candidates, so no one falls through the cracks. Get your job listed on prestigious job boards across the internet. Brand your application portal so it’s unique to your company. This is how you communicate a professional image of your company to job seekers.
5. Your Competitors Are Using An ATS
If you haven’t implemented an ATS, take note. 98% of Fortune 500 companies and at least 66% of large companies use it. The adoption rate for small companies is lower, but growing quickly. Last year, it was estimated that 35% of small organizations use ATS.
Keep in mind that you are also competing with talent sourcing agencies. The ATS adoption rate for professional recruiters is nearly 100%.
6. Recruitment Texting is a Must in 2020
Many companies are using recruiting texting in their hiring operations. The open rates for marketing texts are legendary. Some studies put the text open rate above 90%! Compare that with around 45% for emails.
Consider this: if a person has set up texting notifications, they can see a preview without opening the message. If the text is short, they can probably see the whole message in the notification window.
If you aren’t engaging with your candidates through texting, you are falling behind. ATS texting helps you leverage the power of many candidates’ preferred method of communication.
7. Quickly Narrow Down The Application Pool
First, you create a job posting. Your ATS posts it to multiple online sites (of your choosing). The applications start coming in. The system collects and organizes them in a central database. It creates a profile for each applicant.
As you know, job seekers format their resumes in a variety of ways. The ATS extracts the information and organizes it in the same format for each candidate profile. In the profile template, there is a field for each relevant piece of data.
For example, there is a field for each degree earned, each previous job title, and each skill.
This type of organization gives you searching superpowers. You can analyze and compare by work experience, education, or previous employers. Or job titles, skills, or demographic variables.
Let’s talk about resume filtering. The software uses keywords from the job posting. It matches the keywords with those found in the resumes. Consider how long it takes you to read one resume. An ATS can parse thousands of resumes in seconds.
This process weeds out the candidates who don’t have the necessary qualifications and it delivers a pool of qualified candidates before you need to read a single resume!
8. Screening Questions Help You Find Better Candidates
When you’re reviewing resumes, you’re going to choose quality over quantity every time. No one wants to waste time going through dozens of unqualified applicants. An applicant tracking system allows you to add screening questions to your application to ensure applicants meet basic qualifications like education level or years of experience. Some applicant tracking systems let you create scoring rules that weigh certain questions more heavily, so better applicants automatically rise in your review queue.
9. ATS Can Post To Multiple Online Job Boards
With an ATS, your job posting gets maximum online exposure. Most will post to LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, and Monster (just to name a few) with one click. While you’re at it, post it to your social media sites and careers page.
You create the job posting in the ATS, and the software takes care of the posting. This is a huge timesaver for busy hiring managers.
10. Applicant Tracking Systems Improve Collaboration
You are more likely to find high quality candidates if multiple stakeholders can weigh in.
But if expanding the hiring team slows down the process, the top candidates will lose interest. They will seek out firms that move faster.
ATS databases enable effective collaboration. Each decision maker can enter notes and applicant ratings. (The rating system is customizable, by the way.) Mobile apps allow recruiters to access the ATS from any internet-enabled device. Some systems include video interviews that team members can watch at their convenience.
11. Applicant Tracking Systems Help You Comply With Labor Laws
To say that recruitment compliance is complicated is an understatement.
The laws are always in flux and they vary by location, industry, and business size. Small companies have fewer resources to ensure that processes are compliant.
ATS help you comply with regulations related to hiring. Vendors update SaaS systems to stay current with hiring regulations.
In addition, ATS generate reports to protect you in case of a legal challenge.
For example, suppose a rejected candidate alleges discrimination. Don’t worry. Your ATS has the documentation to validate your legal hiring criteria.
Who uses Applicant Tracking Software?
If you receive applications, you need an applicant tracking system. ATS software clients include:
- Independent recruiters
- Staffing agencies
- Executive search firms
- Large enterprises
- Small and medium-sized businesses (SMB)
Typically, the applicant tracking software is managed by the human resources department or a hiring manager.
We’ve touched on a few ATS functions. Let’s take a deeper dive into the inner workings of applicant tracking systems.
What Does an Applicant Tracking System Do?
ATS perform a wide variety of functions to make the recruiting and onboarding process easier for managers as well as new employees. Any applicant tracking software should perform the following five functions.
There are incredible people out there just waiting to fill your positions – but if they never see the job posting, they won’t apply. A Pew Research study found that “researching and applying for jobs online is nearly universal” for job applicants. When selecting an ATS software, look for one that gives you access to critical job posting boards like Monster and Indeed.
In 2015, almost 60% of younger job seekers used their smartphones to search for job openings, and half of that population used a smartphone to fill out a job application. Those numbers are only expected to increase. Any of the ATS you look into should be mobile-friendly, creating job listings that allow applicants to submit documents via mobile phone and to bookmark jobs for later.
As any amateur job seeker will tell you, networking is the best way to find a job. Your applicant tracking system needs to sync with the most popular social networks–LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. You don’t have to worry about unqualified applicants when you use applicant tracking software because they’ll be weeded out. You just want to get your posting in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
Inc. reports that for every job posting, companies receive an average of 250 applications. Larger companies will be flooded with applications for each job they offer, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. ATS software should allow you to quickly and painlessly sift through applicants, bringing the best-qualified people to your attention and automatically rejecting unqualified candidates.
Most ATS allow you to create prescreening questionnaires. Applicants are required to answer certain questions, and ‘wrong’ responses will remove them from the candidate pool (while automatically sending a thoughtfully worded e-mail thanking them for the application). Some ATS go a step further, assigning value points to each question so you can sort candidates by score.
The best applicant tracking software integrates and automates resume parsing, resume storing, and reference checking. If it doesn’t have to be done by a human, why not automate it? The HR department or hiring manager shouldn’t have to sort through dozens of easily eliminated candidates. An applicant tracking system performs the menial tasks of analyzing dozens of candidates, so the hiring manager can focus on the few who really stand out from the crowd.
Communication is key in every aspect of life, and that includes the hiring process. The way you communicate with a potential new hire says a lot about your company’s values, and knowing where they stand in the application process is essential for applicants.
ATS let you automatically update candidates with news about the job posting. Give stragglers a gentle nudge to complete an application, or let someone know that you’d love to conduct an interview. Past applicants will appreciate knowing if the job has been filled, and may opt to receive job updates from your company in the future.
Once you’ve narrowed down your applicant pool, applicant tracking software eliminates the back-and-forth of trying to schedule an interview by creating a calendar with open slots for preliminary phone or in-person interviews. Out-of-state jobs may require video interviews so you can analyze behavioral tendencies; some kinds of applicant training software offer this integration as part of the package. The hiring manager enters the times he or she is available, and the interviewee selects the option that works best. No more complicated weeks-long games of email tag to find a time that works for everyone!
Applicants want to know how they are doing throughout the process. One study shows that the key pain points are right after submitting the application, when 49% would like feedback; if not selected for an interview, when 39% would like feedback; and after the interview if they weren’t selected, when 43% would like feedback. Each of these is an opportunity for the HR department or hiring manager to show that the company truly cares about its potential employees. ATS software makes this easy to do.
Once you’ve found the best candidates, an applicant tracking system can streamline the hiring process, particularly if you’re using collaborative hiring. Many jobs require input from multiple decision-makers. The ATS software consolidates reviews and reports from every stakeholder, so hiring managers can take in everyone’s opinions at a glance.
Candidates can be scored and rated separately, and a good applicant tracking software includes collaborative tools and reports so everyone is on the same page. Want a background screening? Your applicant tracking system should be able to provide that, too. After you’ve extended an offer to your prospective employee, many ATS offer additional abilities so you can onboard the new hire.
The application process may be over, but onboarding is just beginning. Your new hire has documents to fill out, resources to review, and forms to e-sign. ATS software should have an onboarding portal where you can consolidate documents. Your new hire can sign in, review and securely sign necessary paperwork, and use the portal as a resource to check back on onboarding documentation and company guidelines whenever he or she chooses.
Your applicant tracking system may even sync with payroll, so you can quickly get your new hire into the system and properly compensated. Tasks can be created, edited, and managed for both the new hire and the hiring manager. And all of your documentation is secure and accessible in cloud storage.
The right ATS is your hiring manager’s best friend. Try ApplicantStack for free today. It will help your hiring team succeed in 2021 and beyond.
Updated November 10, 2020
What Are Structured Interviews?
A structured interview uses a uniform script of questions. To conduct the interview, the interviewer follows the same script for each candidate. The questions are chosen specifically for the skills required for the position. They also include questions that reveal desired behavioral attributes. In an unstructured interview, the interviewer is free to change the line of questioning on the fly.
A structured interview rating system also uses a uniform format for rating applicants. The standardized scoring system is tied to the interview questions. Structured interview questions and scoring provide a standardized way to evaluate the interviewee. If you want to improve your hiring outcomes, consider creating a structured interview process.
How Does A Structured Interview Process Improve Hiring?
- It is more objective—all applicants are asked the same questions in the same order
- It minimizes confirmation bias (when the interviewer seeks to confirm a subjective first impression or initial bias)
- It is more effective for evaluating soft skills
- It helps the interviewer cover all the important topics
- It helps the employer comply with laws governing hiring practices
- It is more efficient
How Do You Create a Structured Interview?
- Write a highly-detailed job description
- Include skills/certifications/experience (hard skills)
- Identify the behavioral qualities (soft skills) you are looking for
- Use the STAR method to create behavioral questions
- Create a script that puts the questions in order
- Create a scale to rate the answers to each question
- Keep interview variables as uniform as possible—time of day, location, interviewer
- Train hiring managers on the system
- Make sure interviewers are familiar with the script before they interview a candidate
- Interview applicants
- Rate each applicant on each question/answer
- Schedule feedback meetings with the hiring team
- Evaluate applicants using ratings
What Are Behavioral Interview Questions?
Behavioral questions are more effective for predicting how an applicant will perform in the job role. Behavioral questions (also called situational questions) focus on how the candidate performed in previous positions. Behavioral questions also identify soft skills.
What Are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are behavioral attributes and competencies that help an employee be effective at their job. They are especially helpful for positions that require working with a team. They are also important for management roles.
What Soft Skills Do Employers Look For?
The following soft skills help employees be successful in their jobs:
- Positive attitude
- Communication (written and verbal)
- Time management
- Critical thinking
- Collaborating with a team
- Ability to learn from criticism
- Ability to resolve conflict
- Creative problem-solving
- Honesty and integrity
What is The STAR Method For Behavioral Questions?
The STAR method is a common system for creating behavioral questions. STAR stands for situation, task, action, result. The STAR method works best when you are specific as possible.
To write an interview question using the STAR method:
- Identify a challenging situation common to the position
- Identify the task you wish to achieve (your goal)
- Identify what action should be taken to accomplish the task
- Identify the ideal result
Examples of Behavioral Questions And The Soft Skills They Reveal
- Why do you feel you are the best person for this position? (Strengths, self confidence, ambition)
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake. What did you do about it? (Weaknesses, maintaining composure under pressure, ability to receive criticism, self-awareness)
- Describe a problem at your previous job and how you solved it. (Problem solving ability)
- Describe a situation in a previous position where you had to resolve a conflict between members of your team? What did you do? How did it turn out? (Conflict resolution, creative thinking, ability to work as a team, leadership, positive attitude)
- What’s your favorite thing about [insert applicable job position]? (Values, goals)
- How would you prioritize competing projects that have the same deadline? (Organization, creative problem solving)
- Describe a time you disagreed with your manager and what you did about it. (Coachability)
- Describe a time you had to persuade team members to do something they didn’t want to do. (Leadership, management)
- Describe a time you had to learn something fast for your job. (Adaptability, creative problem solving, critical thinking)
- Did you ever fail to meet a deadline? Why? What did you do about it? (Work ethic, organization, time management)
- Have you ever had an ethical dilemma at work? What did you do? (Integrity, honesty)
Tailor these questions to the position. For example, for a customer service position, ask the applicant to describe a time they solved a problem for a customer. For a teaching position, use scenarios involving students.
Behavioral questions can reveal whether a candidate is a better fit for another position. Keep the applicant in your candidate pool for future openings within your company.
How Do I Create a Structured Interview Process?
A structured interview process requires organization and documentation. An applicant tracking system (ATS) with interview tools streamlines the process. You create job postings, job descriptions, questionnaires, interview scripts, and ratings scorecards.
Cloud-based systems help your hiring team collaborate. They provide centralized access and electronic records. Everyone can see the feedback and scoring for each applicant. Search tools help you track multiple applicants and job positions.
ATS’ maintain a candidate pool. You can reach out to previously rejected (but qualified) applicants for future openings. This gives you a head start for each job opening.
An ATS simplifies interview scheduling. You can email applicants from the software. You create email templates for the standard ‘Thank you for your application’ emails. Write personalized emails when you can. Let the system send auto-emails when you don’t have time.
Applicant Tracking Systems With Interview Tools Make it Easy
ATS’ are affordable for small businesses and tight hiring budgets. Most have a nominal sign-up fee. You can start small and inexpensive and scale up as your company grows. If you are wary of long-term contracts, look for a month-to-month subscription. For a small investment, you can try it out. Discover how it streamlines structured interviewing.
Systems with onboarding tools allow you to change an applicant’s status to ‘Hired’ and migrate them to the onboarding process. You won’t have to enter all of their information again.
SwipeClock ApplicantStack for Structured Interviews
ApplicantStack Recruit helps small businesses implement the same type of structured interviews used by large employers. ApplicantStack solutions help you thrive in today’s competitive labor market. You can try ApplicantStack Recruit for free and start improving your hiring outcomes.
Hiring bias limits efforts to increase workforce diversity. Companies that do more than pay lip service to diversity identify the types of bias in their process. After that, they create a detailed plan to eliminate it. To carry out their plan, they dedicate the necessary resources, measure outcomes and modify as needed.
Working toward demographic parity is not just the right thing to do from a moral standpoint. It’s the best thing to do from a business standpoint. At the end of this article, we discuss the benefits of increasing workforce diversity.
First, we’ll discuss seven insidious types of hiring bias. After that, we will outline an 11-step roadmap to eliminate the bias and build a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
7 Types of Hiring Bias to Root Out
These are categorized as cognitive biases. A cognitive bias is a flaw in judgment. Think about a coin toss that comes up heads ten times in a row. While there’s always a 50% chance that the next flip will be tails–it seems unlikely.
1. The Halo Effect
We all know that first impressions matter. This is related to the halo effect. Once we have a favorable opinion of someone, it takes a lot to change our mind. 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. For example, we might assume that because someone is an excellent public speaker, he will also make a good content writer. In reality, these skills don’t necessarily influence each other.
2. Expectation Bias
This is related to the Halo Effect discussed previously. 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. For example, the person doesn’t make eye contact or is inarticulate. If you expect someone to be something–whether that’s good or bad–he or she is likely to fulfill those expectations.
3. Confirmation Bias
Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek out information that validates your current opinion. For example, people who tune into Sean Hannity are typically more conservative. People who watch Rachel Maddow are typically more liberal. As a hiring bias, it’s the tendency to focus only on the aspects of a person that coincide with the recruiter’s pre-established opinion.
4. Anchoring Bias
Anchoring is a hiring bias in which the hiring manager fixates on one piece of information. As a result, they give it more weight than it deserves. Say, for instance, you have a candidate who is the president of the local Mensa Society. Even if the candidate isn’t the best for the job, it may be tempting to overlook her flaws because ‘She’s in Mensa!’
5. Social Comparison Bias
Managers hiring for their team are especially vulnerable to this one. The social comparison bias is the tendency to dislike or feel competitive with others who may have similar skills. For example, suppose you’re known as the company’s expert on a certain software application. You may feel reluctant to hire someone whose skills exceed your own. For decades, research has shown that this is a relatively common phenomenon. Therefore, it’s an issue you’ll want hiring managers to consciously avoid.
6. Ingroup Bias
Ingroup bias is the tendency to favor people who are similar to oneself. Those who are part of the same ‘group.’ Like sexism or racism–it’s blatantly unfair. 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 with a candidate who participated in the same fraternity or sorority. There are several types of ingroups, so make sure your team watches out for them.
7. 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. All members of the team should have the full scope of information.
Now that we have discussed types of unconscious bias, hopefully you will consciously avoid them. Many experts suggest that AI is the solution. An applicant tracking system (ATS) can be used in many ways to root bias out of your hiring process. For example, an ATS can hide aspects of a candidate’s profile that you don’t want to consider. Also, you can use an ATS to manage gender- and ethnically-neutral job descriptions. Plus, you can decrease the shared information bias when everyone keeps notes in a central location. Lastly, tracking all candidates and hires in a centralized location makes it easier to track your diversity metrics.
An 11-Step Roadmap for Increasing Diversity Through Recruitment
Once you’ve identified the types of hiring bias going on, it’s time to make a plan to reduce and, hopefully, eliminate them. Use these steps to create a plan designed for your company. Many factors will affect your plan. For example; your industry, the size of your hiring team, the number of yearly hires, and your current level of diversity.
1. Set Measurable Goals
Firstly, assess your workforce. Consider gender, ethnicity, and age. Also educational background, socioeconomic status and geographic location if you have remote workers. (If you don’t have remote workers, why not?)
In addition, be mindful of not discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Though this information would be difficult and inappropriate to address in an assessment. (Under no circumstances should you ask any employee about his/her/their sexual orientation or gender identity! It would be illegal and in extremely poor taste.)
Secondly, create a diversity mission statement. Let your employees know about your diversity hiring goals. If you use an HR portal, remind your employees of your diversity mission frequently.
Thirdly–and this is most important–make a specific goal to increase your target hires in each underrepresented group by X in X months.
Lastly, include your diversity mission statement in your employee handbook and training materials. Put the statement on every piece of recruiting communication. Use it on internal documents so it’s always top of mind for your employees.
Keep in mind that diversity doesn’t just mean varying nationalities. It’s also important to hire professionals from a range of industry backgrounds and diversified levels of experience while paying attention to gender balance. The beauty of diversity is there is no perfect formula. Every team will look unique. (Sheryl Lyons, “The Benefits of Creating a Diverse Workforce,” Forbes)
2. Incorporate Employee Resource Groups
Make diverse candidates feel more comfortable by using employee resource groups (ERGs) during interviews. (Hopefully, you have ERGs. If not, encourage your staff to create them and support them in the effort.)
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are voluntary, employee-led groups that foster a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with organizational mission, values, goals, business practices, and objectives. Other benefits include the development of future leaders, increased employee engagement, and expanded marketplace reach. (Catalyst)
3. Review Resumes Blind
Studies show that resumes with white-sounding names receive more callbacks or interviews than those that seem non-white. Consequently, many candidates ‘whiten’ their names and backgrounds. But why should a candidate’s name affect whether he or she is a fit for an open role? You can use an ATS to remove names and hide demographic information. This will help your team avoid unconscious bias during the resume review process.
4. Diversify Your Hiring Team
Is your hiring team diverse? Applicants will notice. If minority candidates have several job openings to choose from, the makeup of the interview team could be a factor in their decision. Diversify your interviewing team. This will help them make better collective decisions.
5. Train Employees on Hiring Bias
You can’t increase workforce diversity if your employees don’t understand unconscious bias. Therefore, it’s important to conduct formal training. You can create your own internal training program, hire a consultant, or use online resources like Google’s unconscious bias training.
The Harvard Business School’s Implicit Project (requires registration) is an eye-opening exercise. It can help people recognize and measure their biases. At the start of training, consider having participants take a few surveys to learn what social stereotypes they may be harboring. Encourage them to challenge their assumptions.
6. Retool Your Job Descriptions and Job Requirements
Do you use gender-neutral terminology? Scrutinize your job descriptions and take out any gender-specific language. Instead of ‘he’ use ‘he or she’ or ‘s/he’. You can always use the job title in place of any pronoun.
Many words used frequently in job postings discourage women from applying. Here is a free gender decoder tool. Just paste in your job description. Create job description templates after carefully crafting them to avoid bias. Manage them in an applicant tracking system.
Just as important as giving your job descriptions a makeover, consider your job requirements. If ‘corporate culture match’ is a hiring criterion, remove it. This is an easy place for unconscious bias to creep in. It will hinder your efforts to increase workforce diversity. Furthermore, if your company culture reflects a homogenous workforce, you don’t want to use it as a measuring stick anyway. Increasing workforce diversity will improve your company culture.
7. Use Structured Interviewing
In addition to retooling job descriptions, rewrite interview scripts to avoid bias. Train your interviewers to use them correctly along with EEOC guidelines. Manage your structured interviewing scripts in your ATS. Standardizing interview questions enables a consistent and fair experience for all candidates.
Lastly, remind employees to avoid asking questions that could lead to a candidate sharing his or her age, religious affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity. This information doesn’t relate to a candidate’s ability to perform in the role and could bias hiring decisions. If the candidate volunteers the information, instruct your interviewers to steer the conversation elsewhere and discourage them from sharing the information with the rest of the panel.
8. Seek Diverse Referrals
In addition to revamping recruitment communications, use your employee referral program. Encourage employees to refer applicants from underrepresented groups. Our closest associates are likely from our same demographic group. When moving outward in our network, however, we find more diversity. Therefore, encourage your employees to look beyond their first- and second-degree connections.
Pinterest created a program designed to increase the diversity in their engineering teams. They asked their engineers to refer potential job applicants from target demographics. They discovered that if their employees made a conscious effort, they could find referrals from underrepresented groups. Pinterest’s diversity referral program was a success. They are taking additional steps to increase diversity in other departments. (Medium)
9. Improve Onboarding
You might wonder what onboarding has to do with workforce diversity. It comes after a candidate accepts the job, after all. The reason onboarding is key is because good onboarding reduces turnover. Hiring more employees from inadequately represented groups is the first step. Retaining them is the second step.
Consider the employees who have quit your company in the last five years. Identify whether minorities, women or older employees have shorter tenure. If they do, you’ve got problems with culture and management. Your company may not be welcoming to underrepresented groups. The topic of turnover leads to the next section.
10. Use Exit Interviews
Hopefully, you don’t have a lot of employees quitting. If you do, use exit interviews to learn why they are leaving. You may discover you have problems with your managers. Perhaps your company doesn’t support work/life balance. Maybe there are limited opportunities to progress along a career path. Are your advancement policies discriminatory? Find out what’s going on and fix it.
11. Revisit Your Benefits
Does your company recognize employees in different life stages? Do you support working mothers and fathers? Which holidays do you recognize? If your benefits are designed for a homogenous workforce, it will hamper your workforce diversity goals.
Offer benefits such as onsite daycare, childcare subsidies and flexible schedules, and let new hires know that you are willing to accommodate cultural and religious holidays and diversity-friendly (but office appropriate) apparel choices.
Wall Street Journal
The Business Advantages of Workforce Diversity
Let’s discuss the benefits of workforce diversity from a business standpoint. A diverse workforce has increased depth of experience, knowledge. and skills. It is more productive and innovative. It’s impossible to successfully introduce a product into a new market if you don’t understand the culture. Diverse teams can better serve diverse clients.
Through 2022, 75% of organizations with frontline decision-making teams reflecting a diverse and inclusive culture will exceed their financial targets. And gender-diverse and inclusive teams outperformed gender-homogeneous, less inclusive teams by 50%, on average. (Gartner)
The consulting group BCG found that organizations with above-average diversity on their management teams had higher innovation revenue. 19 percentage points higher, in fact, than companies with below-average leadership diversity. 45% of total revenue versus just 26%. Note that this study involved leadership teams. This underscores the importance of increasing diversity at the highest levels. If you focus only on entry-level positions, you won’t experience the same benefits.
In conclusion, let’s reiterate the steps to increase workforce diversity. First, understand the types of hiring bias. Second, identify which ones are inherent in your process. Third, create a detailed plan to eliminate the biases. Fourth, set a measurable goal for increasing diversity. Fifth, follow the plan and measure results along the way. Sixth, tweak the plan as needed until you reach your diversity goals.
Updated March 26, 2020
Video interviewing is helping essential businesses interview candidates during the coronavirus pandemic.
Recruiters and Job Applicants are Working Remotely
- Recruiters can interview candidates while working from home
- Applicants can talk to hiring managers while self-isolating
- Hiring teams can record video interviews for remote collaboration
Face-to-face interviewing is very difficult if not impossible right now. The days of in-person interaction are on hold. Video interviewing platforms are critical right now.
Video interviewing platforms create a streamlined, consistent and convenient interview process—a process that makes life easier for both applicants and hiring managers. When hiring processes have been turned upside down, anything that makes life easier for recruiters is worth its weight in gold.
So how does it work?
Hiring managers looking to invest in video interviewing platforms have two options: one-way recorded interviewing or two-way live interviewing.
One-Way Video Interviewing
Employers using the one-way video interviewing process send a list of questions and topics to the applicants ahead of the scheduled interview date. Applicants have the opportunity to read over the questions and come up with answers on their own time (like after dinner, over the weekend, or really whenever they want). Then they send back a video of themselves answering the questions. It’s simple and efficient.
- Create text or video based questions
- Limit think time
- Control the number of allotted takes
- Restrict max answer length
One-way video technology places responsibility in the hands of the applicants by giving them time to formulate answers and requiring them to submit their response on their own time. While they don’t have to make the drive to an office, they do have to set up a video recording of themselves.
Two-Way Video Interviewing
The two-way live video interview process is similar to traditional face-to-face interviews. Hiring managers who want to use this process need to contact the applicant and schedule a time that works for both parties. Applicants scheduled for a two-way video interview prepare as they would for a traditional interview process—by compiling a resume, analyzing their strengths and weaknesses and coming up with answers for possible questions.
- Record full-length interviews
- Brand your interviews
- Conduct interviews directly in your web browser
- Receive concierge support
What are the benefits of video interviewing?
There are plenty of reasons to invest in video interviewing platforms. Some of the benefits hiring managers gain from switching to video interviewing are:
- It’s cost effective
- It’s easier to schedule and can take place after work hours
- Allows for consistent interview questions
- Easy to track performance and compare applicants
- Reveals how candidates handle technology
- Helps hiring mangers find employees they wouldn’t have found otherwise
The right video interviewing technology saves time, energy and money. It allows hiring managers with packed schedules to find the right time for an interview—even if it’s after work hours—and gives applicants the convenience of interviewing from their own home (or wherever they feel most comfortable).
The option to choose a convenient location is one of the most valuable benefits. Video interviewing gives candidates who aren’t entirely committed to pursuing an open position the opportunity to interview—without having to worry about the inconvenience of transportation. And sometimes the best fit for an open position is the talented candidate who isn’t sure what they want or isn’t sure if they have the time to drive across town for an interview.
Tips for successful video interviewing
There are, of course, a few important things to remember when using video interviewing technology. Unreliable internet connection, difficulty performing in front of a camera, finding a quiet place for the interview—these are some potential difficulties for video interviews. But these problems are easy to avoid and hiring managers should give applicants a brief explanation of how the process works beforehand.
Hiring managers also have the choice to use video interviewing for some positions and not others. They may want to reserve video technology for applicants from out of town or those applying for remote positions. The flexibility of video interviewing gives hiring managers and applicants the opportunity to communicate and determine which option works best.
There’s no reason for employers to miss out on streamlining their interview process and securing the best talent. Companies that implement video interviewing technology may have an edge over companies relying on in-person meetings.
Getting the most out of video technology
Video interviewing technology alone is helpful. But when paired with an applicant tracking software, it’s transformative—it’s the missing piece of the hiring puzzle that completes the picture and enhances a company’s performance.
HR reps and hiring managers who use an applicant tracking software integrated with a video interview system are able to perform one-way or two-way live video interviews and compare applicants with help from other applicant tracking software features. Using these tools together allows for a seamless hiring process, from screening applications to performing interviews to onboarding.
After screening and ranking applications, hiring managers and HR departments can determine which applicants they want to interview. And after scheduling and completing the interviews, they can watch the videos, compare them to performances from other candidates and submit feedback using their applicant tracking system review features.
Use Video Interviewing to Connect With Quality Candidates Anywhere
Companies who want the top talent need the right technology. An applicant tracking system like ApplicantStack integrated with a best-in-class video interviewing platform, gives companies the edge they need to find the right fit for open positions. By relying on video interviews, hiring managers can save time, energy, and money—all while analyzing each applicant.
ApplicantStack, the affordable, full-featured applicant tracking system trusted by over 1,500 companies to manage their candidates and workflows, integrates with Spark Hire, Inc. for video interviewing.
Spark Hire is a video interviewing platform used by more than 3,000 organizations to make better hires in a fraction of the time. For more information about Spark Hire go to Spark Hire.
Updated August 15, 2020
If you aren’t using candidate evaluation forms, you aren’t collaborating effectively.
Candidate Evaluation Forms For Interview Feedback
What is a candidate evaluation form? It’s a tool that allows members of the hiring team to rate applicants based on the same criteria. It is also called an interview feedback form or candidate feedback form.
8 Ways Candidate Evaluation Forms Improve Recruiting
- It ensures each interviewer is thorough in their evaluation
- It speeds up the interview feedback process
- It helps prevent bias in job interview evaluation
- It measures hard and soft skills
- It simplifies collaboration among your hiring team
- It helps differentiate candidates with near-identical qualifications
- It improves the candidate experience
- It saves time when first-round rejected candidates are considered for future positions
- The systemized scoring increases the usefulness of your talent pipeline database
The Interview Feedback Review Process
How do you evaluate candidates without a systematic way to rate them?
Let’s consider a common scenario.
You currently have a mission-critical position to fill and a fairly tight deadline to hire a qualified person. You have posted the position on your website and other outside resources like Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed and Craigslist.
What comes next is a stack of resumes. Followed by the interview process. In 2020, you’re competing with many other companies to find the best talent. You can’t afford a slowdown in your process.
The top candidate could be hired by your competitor. The most desirable candidates are off the market in 10 days.
But you need to proceed strategically so you don’t hire the wrong person.
You pick up the first resume and encounter some mission statements like…
- “Motivated individual seeks challenging position for personal and professional growth”
- “Industry expert and thought leader available to implement revenue-ramping methodologies.”
- “Professional guru with proven track record of driving key performance metrics seeks next challenging opportunity.”
…and you then proceed to read through four more pages of the resume.
Buried in the resume amid the industry keywords and buzzwords is the information that is relevant to your open position. After reading about 10 of these resumes, you can’t remember which candidate had which qualifications. It’s a good idea to organize the applicants into categories like “Unqualified”, “Potential” and “Top Prospect” as you are reviewing the resumes so you can focus on the shortlist of more qualified candidates when you revisit them.
The next step in the process is to make every effort to forward only the best applicants to your manager for review, so you don’t waste the manager’s time and earn his/her confidence that you understand the critical needs.
How Can I Get Useful Interview Feedback From My Hiring Team?
One of the most challenging aspects of the hiring process is about to occur… obtaining useful feedback from your staff during this review process. No matter how many employees you engage in the hiring process, it’s important that you gather the feedback in a consistent and meaningful way.
Let’s discuss how you use candidate evaluation forms filled out by your managers and staff during the review process.
How Can I Standardize Interview Feedback?
Utilizing multiple choice, ratings or scale questions when requesting feedback may prevent receiving vague reasons they are not interested and emails that are difficult to interpret. While you will find feedback questionnaires and interview examples helpful during the review process, you will find them even more necessary after the applicant has been interviewed.
When each member of the hiring team contributes to the interview feedback form, you elevate the entire process. Each person’s perspective and expertise improves the scoring.
The result? You will find best-fit employees quickly.
Job Interview Evaluation Comments Samples
Here are some examples of effective interview feedback evaluation forms. You can modify them as appropriate for the specific position. For example, if the position requires additional skills not listed here, add the skills to the first evaluation sample.
Interview Feedback Examples (Pre-Interview)
Very often the manager reads the candidate’s resume and uses a gut feeling to determine if the candidate should be considered. They may even make a judgment based on the resume format, the number of jobs and where they went to school. If you ask the manager exactly what it is they liked or didn’t like, you will receive more meaningful information and can make a more informed decision about whether you should invite this candidate in for an actual face to face interview.
Examples of Effective Manager Feedback Questions (Post Interview)
The feedback you receive from the staff involved in the face to face interview can also be based on more fair and factual information if guidelines for evaluation are distributed. It is recommended that the skills or competencies needed to be successful in the job are listed so the interviewer can explore these areas during the interview and rate each candidate effectively. Please note the two different examples below.
Negative/Positive Interview Comments Example #1
Negative/Positive Interview Comments Example #2
How Job Interview Feedback Fits in the Applicant Journey
Job interview evaluation influences other applicant touchpoints. As such, it can help you improve job descriptions, interview scripts, and other candidate communications. It also helps members of your hiring team become better at evaluating candidates. It’s a key best practice for any company that is serious about improving hiring outcomes.
Benefits of a Structured Interview Feedback Process
- Avoids typical evaluations of candidates that may be filled with ambiguity, superficial statements, and generalizations.
- Your hiring decision is based on objective information that the candidate’s skills match your job or project requirements—not because they are an excellent resume writer.
- The standardized evaluation questions point out the different opinions of the interview/ evaluation staff and help raise any red flags about the candidate.
- Ensures your hiring process is in compliance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
- Helps avoid costly hiring mistakes.
- Using multiple selection methods helps to ensure you are choosing the best candidate–No single technique on its own can predict on-the-job performance and success.
- Streamlines the process and ensure a better, fit—increasing employee retention and productivity.
The Problem Solver Hiring Philosophy
Before you create your interview script and candidate evaluation form, establish your overall philosophy. In the following Quora post, Ryan Duffee, HR manager and consultant, explains how he focuses on finding problem solvers.
When hiring someone, you should always be looking for a problem solver. A business in itself is a problem solver. The company you represent is providing a solution to a problem (whatever is in demand). The product or service you provide is a solution. Inside your business, problems will come up. Especially new start-ups or businesses who have been around forever and operating on antiquated tech or software, policy creation, accounting, personnel, etc. Whenever an organization makes a decision to hire, it is because there is a problem and they need to bring someone in to fix it. Don’t think problems are all negative either. Hiring someone to take on an increase in workload is a positive problem to have. It goes both ways. Moreover, when looking at resumes or interviewing people, the one thing on your mind is, can or will this person fix my problem?
Know The Needs in Your Organization
As an HR Manager, it is my responsibility to know about 99% of the things going on within my company. If you have an HR person that can’t tell you the workload going through a department, that is an issue. I personally make it my routine to meet with dept. managers to ask how their depts. are performing. Not only does it help me understand what they’re doing, it shows them that upper management and/or C-suite are engaged and have better communication.
Most of the time I receive a quick, “good-good” or “great, thanks”, but there are those times where I get the needed info, “We’re swamped and John Doe is overwhelmed and falling behind!” Now is when I (your person) come into action. I will sit with managers and discuss a number of things like workflow trends; is the work load increase just a temporary thing? How long has it been this way? How much production or time have we lost? My job becomes a fact finder (investigator) to go to the executive team to say, “Everyone, we have problems X, Y & Z… My recommendation is to hire or not hire more personnel to handle the increased work load. If we hire 1, 2… this is what we can expect in terms of increased production.” If the ROI on hiring a problem solver (new hire) is greater than the expenses, it makes sense.
Create Your Job Description Based on Problems That Need to be Solved
When reviewing resumes, have those problems you need to fix not only on your list of questions, but they should be on the job posting, listed in the form of a job description. Why is that important? This gives the job seeker a chance to see your problems and ask themselves if they’re the right problem solver to help you and apply.
When you know your problems you can clearly define the solution(s) you’re looking for. So, before you go hiring your best friend from the neighborhood because you want to have lunch with them and chat about everything in the world because it’s fun, you need to ask the question of how effective of a solution is this to my problem, or will it create a new problem? Nothing wrong with hiring your friend, I’m just using that as an example. I say, “hire solutions and make a new friends.”
This is not a blanket, one-size-fits-all thing. You should know your organization’s needs, the culture, the work and training required, etc. Hiring an 18 y/o to flip burgers and serve fries doesn’t require the same scrutiny as hiring a Project Manager who will be overseeing multi-million dollar projects. However, you can use this problem solver philosophy to help narrow your search regardless of your industry. (Ryan Duffee)
For more information on candidate evaluation, see:
Welcome to our series How To Hire Your Next Employee: The Ultimate Guide. In today’s post, we describe how to schedule interviews with ApplicantStack.
Before we continue, let’s review where we are in our series:
The Challenges of Interview Scheduling
Manual interview scheduling is a logistical headache. It is also a bottleneck in the hiring process for many companies. There are just so many moving parts. There’s the applicant’s availability. Each member of the interviewing team has schedule constraints.
How do you get all of your managers and applicants scheduled for an interview without all the back-and-forth of email confirmations and schedule alignment?
Barriers to Applicant Communication
If you’re trying to schedule by phone, you may have to make several attempts. Manual emails are error-prone. Listing the wrong time is easy to do when you’re sending dozens of emails out simultaneously. When an applicant needs to reschedule, the chaos starts all over again.
ApplicantStack Schedules Interviews Brilliantly
ApplicantStack makes scheduling interviews a breeze. You can even give candidates the power to select a date and time that is mutually available.
How ApplicantStack Automates Interview Scheduling
ApplicantStack integrates with Google Calendar and Office 365. You have two ways to schedule: you can choose a time or allow the applicant to select an interview time from pre-cleared calendar slots.
If you enable applicant self-scheduling, the candidate will be emailed a link to your scheduling calendar. When they follow the link, they will see your interview calendar. They can only schedule during a slot your hiring team has already designated.
The benefits of ApplicantStack automated interview scheduling:
- Improves the applicant experience by allowing self-scheduling from a connected device
- Decreases time-to-hire by eliminating back-and-forth calls and emails
- Reduces abandoned applications due to schedule confusion
- Allows your hiring team to focus on top candidates instead of manually scheduling interviews
Automated Interview Scheduling Improves The Applicant Journey
It’s getting tougher and tougher to find quality employees in today’s labor market. To be competitive, you need to provide an exceptional applicant journey. Confusing interview scheduling downgrades the applicant journey quickly.
Automated interview scheduling with ApplicantStack strengthens your company brand. You are less likely to lose an applicant due to a clunky interview scheduling process.
Thanks for checking out our series How To Hire Your Next Employee: The Ultimate Guide.
In our next post, we will discuss how to efficiently collect feedback from members of your hiring team.
Take a look at this entire series as an infographic!