How To Hire Your Next Employee Series: Candidate Screening

How To Hire Your Next Employee Series: Candidate Screening

Welcome to our series How To Hire Your Next Employee: The Ultimate Guide. In today’s post, we describe how to do candidate screening with ApplicantStack.

Before we continue, let’s review where we are in the series:

Everyone wants to find the best employee. But finding that ideal person in a pile of applications can be daunting.

Manual candidate screening is one of the most difficult parts of hiring. How do you review hundreds of resumes and applications? How do you find the ideal applicant before your competition does?

What Are The Challenges of Manual Candidate Screening?

  • Creating effective scoring criteria
  • Isolating a pool of qualified candidates quickly
  • Keeping track of applicants from multiple job boards
  • Tracking each applicant in the hiring process
  • Filtering out unqualified candidates
  • Collaborating with your hiring team

Scoring applications with ApplicantStack is ridiculously efficient.

ApplicantStack shines a spotlight on the best candidates by automatically scoring them.

Manage Applicants in a Central Dashboard

All applications come into a central dashboard. ApplicantStack scores the applications based on your criteria. Immediately.

No more printing and sorting. Everything is digital and accessible wherever you and your hiring team are.

With ApplicantStack, you won’t have to:

  • Print resumes and applications
  • Sort through stacks of paper applications
  • Worry about losing track of candidates
  • Waste time on unqualified applicants
  • Duplicate processes among your hiring team

Sort Applicants By Score

In the applicant dashboard, sort the applicants by score to see the highest scoring candidates at the top and the knockout candidates at the bottom.

Review The Applicant’s Summary and Resume

Select the top candidate on the list to review the candidate’s summary, source (where they applied from) and resume. You can also see how the score was calculated.

Move Applicants Quickly Through The Hiring Process

If the candidate is a fit for the job, send them to Manager Review. If not qualified, mark the candidate as Do Not Pursue. A candidate can also be fast tracked. Continue through the list to process all candidates.

ApplicantStack Auto Notifications

You can set up automatic emails to candidates as well as internal team notifications.

How Does ApplicantStack Expedite Candidate Scoring?

  • Create questionnaires with custom scoring criteria
  • Knockout questions eliminate unqualified candidates
  • Identify a pool of top applicants quickly
  • Assign tasks to hiring team members
  • Checklists show where each applicant is in the hiring process
  • Manage applicants from multiple job boards from a central dashboard

In our next post in the series How To Hire Your Next Employee: The Ultimate Guide, we will show you how to schedule interviews.

Take a look at this entire series as an infographic!

How To Hire Your Next Employee Series: Making Your Selection

How To Hire Your Next Employee Series: Making Your Selection

Welcome to our series How To Hire Your Next Employee: The Ultimate Guide. In today’s post, we describe how to make a candidate selection with ApplicantStack. We will explain how ApplicantStack streamlines the background and reference check process.

Before we continue, let’s review where we are in the series:

Make Your Hiring Selection With Confidence

The time has come to make a selection from your pool of top candidates. You want to be careful, but you risk losing applicants if this stage takes too long.

You have candidates at every point in the hiring workflow. You can’t afford bottlenecks anywhere along the applicant journey. Every stage is critical, including this one.

Don’t let background and reference checks slow down your hiring process. ApplicantStack helps you optimize this critical stage by narrowing your pool of candidates to the best possible options. Then it eliminates final concerns with background checks and calls to references.

What is a Background Check?

A background check as part of a job application is a review of the applicant’s records and history. The employer wants to determine if the applicant is honest and trustworthy. They want to know if he/she poses a threat to the company in any way. For example, if the applicant has been convicted of theft or an assault, it would raise red flags.

Employers also check other information specific to the job role. For an accounting position, the employer might review the applicant’s financial records. If the applicant was highly leveraged with debt, the potential employer probably wouldn’t be comfortable letting them handle company funds.

Most employers contract with a company that specializes in performing background checks.

The purposes of a background check include the following:

  1. To confirm the applicant’s identity
  2. To determine if the applicant has a criminal record
  3. To confirm the employment history listed on the resume and/or application
  4. To confirm the education listed on the resume and/or application
  5. To review the applicant’s driving record
  6. To review the applicant’s credit history

There are federal and state laws that regulate background checks. It’s important that employers understand how to conduct legal background checks.

When Should I Perform a Background Check For a Job Applicant?

Background checks are generally performed following the review process, before an offer is extended. You can move this action to any point in the process based on triggers in the workflow. When the background check step is triggered, an email is automatically sent to candidates asking them to complete the screen process.

What is a Reference Check?

Employers perform reference checks to evaluate and verify an applicant’s employment history. The candidate provides the names and contact information for the references on their resume or application.

There are two main types of references: professional and personal. A professional reference is usually a previous (or current) employer, manager, business associate, or client. A professional reference provides information about work history and skills.

If an applicant is new to the workforce and has no professional contacts, they might provide a personal, or character, reference. A personal reference may be a teacher, professor, coach, member of the clergy, or supervisor at a non-profit.

Reference checks vary in the types of information obtained. The employer might simply verify dates of employment and the job title. With a more extensive inquiry, the employer seeks information about the applicant’s performance in previous job roles.

Reference checks are regulated at the federal and state level.  It’s important to understand how to conduct compliant reference checks.

How Can ApplicantStack Simplify Reference and Background Checks?

In ApplicantStack, you can trigger reference and background checks at any stage in the hiring process. The applicant provides the references on the questionnaire during the application process. Emails are sent directly to references. All feedback is imported into the candidate profile.

ApplicantStack Automation + Customization

Intelligent automation and the ability to customize prevents logjams. This is true for the background and reference checking stages as well as the other workflows in the hiring process.

  • Background screening
    • This workflow can be triggered at any stage in the hiring process
    • The applicant is automatically sent a screening email
  • Reference checks
    • This workflow can be triggered at any stage in the hiring process
    • Auto emails are sent to the applicant’s references
    • Responses are imported into the candidate feedback tab

Does ApplicantStack Integrate With Background Screening Companies?

ApplicantStack integrates with several background screening companies and we’re adding more all the time. Our current background screening partners are Accurate Now, Amerisearch, CareerBuilder Employment Screening, DISA, and Trak-1.

Select Your Next Employee

Based on the feedback during the previous steps, you can now make your selection of the top choice candidate. When this stage is finished, you are ready to offer the job to your top candidate!

Join us for the next post where we will teach you how to extend a job offer.

You can watch other videos in this series on our How to Hire Your Next Employee playlist.

Take a look at this entire series as an infographic!

How To Hire Your Next Employee Series: Offering a Job

How To Hire Your Next Employee Series: Offering a Job

Welcome to our series How To Hire Your Next Employee: The Ultimate Guide. In today’s post, we describe how to make a job offer to your top candidate.

Before we continue, let’s review where we are in the series:

Making an Offer to Your Next Employee

You’ve completed the assessment part of the hiring process and are ready to make an offer to your top candidate. ApplicantStack can help you make this final step quickly and effectively.

There are three main components in extending a job offer:

  1. Creating the offer letter
  2. Communicating the offer to the applicant via phone call and email
  3. Receiving their acceptance (hopefully!)

Don’t Delay!

When you’ve made a selection, don’t delay! If possible, telephone the same day they complete their final interview. Remember you have competition. Now that you have identified this person as the ideal candidate, you can be certain others have as well. The applicant could be waiting for job offers from several of your competitors.

How to Make a Job Offer Telephone Call

  • Be excited! You want your new hire to feel your enthusiasm.
  • Clearly tell them that you are formally extending the offer
    • Start date
    • Job title
    • Compensation/bonuses
  • Ask if they can accept over the phone
  • Notify them that you are sending an email with the formal job offer letter

What Do You Include In a Job Offer Letter?

The job offer letter initiates the employer-employee relationship. It’s a comprehensive document similar to a legal contract.

These are the basic elements in an offer letter. Your company may require additional information.

  • Position/Title
  • Name/Position of Supervisor
  • Reporting Structure
  • Work Schedule
    • Full-time or part-time
    • General work hours
    • Shift, if applicable
  • Employee Type
    • Overtime exempt/nonexempt
  • Job Duties
  • Base Salary/Wage
  • Equity, if applicable
  • Bonuses/Commissions
  • Wage Disclaimers, if applicable
  • Benefits and Eligibility
  • At-Will Employment

The HR professionals at Recruiting.com walk you through creating an offer letter in this article: How to Write an Offer Letter to Impress New Hires (9 Points + Template)

Important Documents to Accompany Offer Letter

Depending on the position, you may need to include other documents. These may include confidentiality and noncompete agreements. As well as invention assignment and intellectual property terms.

ApplicantStack Offer Letter Templates

Creating an offer letter template in your ApplicantStack document library is easy. Add as many merge fields as needed (see the previous list). A merge field imports information you have recorded elsewhere. In the video, we show you how to create a merge field for the job start date.

The candidate will receive an email including the offer letter and can sign the acceptance electronically. The offer letter will be available in the candidate profile record.

The Benefits of Using ApplicantStack For Extending Job Offers

  1. Create offer letter templates for each position—you will always be ready to extend an offer
  2. Merge fields in letter templates allow you to import information stored in the system
  3. Brand your offer letter with your company logo and colors to reflect your company brand
  4. Electronic signature allows your perfect candidate to accept the offer upon receipt of the email

Improve Recruiting to Take Advantage of a Favorable Business Climate

If you have a slow hiring process, you are at an extreme disadvantage. If you can’t find qualified people, you can’t implement your business goals. This is an unnecessary obstacle to success. There are growth opportunities in every industry. And a host of emerging industries as well! To take advantage of these opportunities, you need the right people to execute your vision.

ApplicantStack Was Created by Recruiting Professionals Using Best Practices

ApplicantStack hiring software helps you establish best practices to find quality employees in a timely manner. Regardless of the size of your company, follow our step-by-step How to Hire Your Next Employee guide. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel when it comes to recruiting workflows.

Brand New Employer?

If you are a start-up, congratulations! You can incorporate recruiting best practices from your first round of hiring. You will start out strong and continue that way. Plus, your hiring team will never become burned out with tedious manual processes.

Do You Have a Recruiting Mess on Your Hands?

If your hiring process is in trouble—no problem. Follow our guide to revamp your recruiting system. With the right software (ApplicantStack, of course!) it won’t take long to identify and remove process bottlenecks. Get started now and you will finish 2019 strong. Your hiring team will also appreciate using the best hiring tools for their critical job role.

ApplicantStack Helps You Create an Applicant-Centric Hiring Process

ApplicantStack also helps you create an outstanding applicant journey. It’s the only way you can hire competitively and establish a positive employer brand.

Join us for the next video where we will go over the last step in the process: Hire.

You can watch other videos in this series on our How to Hire Your Next Employee playlist or check out our brand-new How to Hire Your Next Employee infographic!

Constantly Hiring? 4 Ways To Streamline The New Hire Process Fast

Constantly Hiring? 4 Ways To Streamline The New Hire Process Fast

Do you need to streamline the new hire process? Are you a hiring manager with a mess on your hands?

In this Reddit forum, a hiring manager describes why her job is a nightmare.

  • No recruiting software
  • High turnover
  • Constant onboarding
    • Daily new hires to be processed
  • Always in panic mode
  • Bosses make unrealistic demands
  • Too many priorities to get anything done

Does this sound like your job?

Crisis Intervention For New Hire Chaos

  1. Evaluate current process (or lack thereof)
  2. Identify and prioritize problems
  3. Create plan to streamline workflows
  4. Use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Assess Current Hiring Practices

If your processes are manual, measuring outcomes is difficult. Where do you start? Right here:

Get feedback from:

  • Recruiters
  • Team leads

Calculate time-to-hire:

  • Measure time from job posting to acceptance
  • Break down total duration by each step
  • Identify bottlenecks

Calculate staff turnover rate

The turnover rate is defined as the number of employees you must replace in a specified time frame. Depending on the size of your staff, calculate by month, quarter, or year.

Compare your rate to the average for your industry and geographic area on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website. Hard numbers give you insight. If your industry has an especially high turnover rate, you can take comfort that others are fighting the same battle. If you are an outlier, it means your processes are making a bad situation worse.

If you have an ATS, look at your analytics. Run reports for everything. Even those that don’t seem directly related. You may learn something new.

Gather your information and figure out what’s going right or wrong. Create a plan for fixing the problems. These steps will help:

Improve Job Descriptions

If you aren’t getting qualified applicants, fix your job descriptions.

Start with the jobs that attract the most unqualified applicants. These job descriptions need to be better defined. Consult with the hiring team members listed in step one.

All job descriptions should have:

  1. Starting date range
  2. Salary range
  3. Benefits and perks
  4. Required skills and experience
  5. Ideal skills and experience
  6. Hiring manager contact information (a real person)
  7. What does the position require on a daily/weekly basis?
  8. Timeline for the hiring process

Many companies don’t include the last two. Add these to your descriptions and differentiate your company. The posting will start performing better.

Check References Before Scheduling Interviews

If you check references after interviewing, you are wasting time. Reference checks are an important filter. If checking references takes too long, make it easier for references to contact you. Give them several avenues: email, phone call, snail mail a letter of reference.

Filter Candidates Faster

You need technology to speed this up. Especially if your workload is ridiculous. Use an ATS to filter applications quickly. You won’t need to read any resumes until the applicant pool is narrowed down.

How you speed up filtering with an ATS:

  • Create a database of all applicants
  • Track where each applicant is in the process
  • Create tasks with reminders
  • Auto emails
    • Email templates
  • Store and manage job postings
  • Application filtering
    • Create questionnaires with knockout questions
  • Integrate with background check company (if you outsource background checks)
  • Structured interviewing questions

Onboarding

Applicant tracking systems with onboarding bring the same efficiency once the candidate accepts the job offer. Managing it with an ATS is called structured onboarding.

  • When hired—simply change status—no need to enter everything again
  • New hires fill out initial paperwork online
    • They can access it from a mobile device
    • They can do it before their first day (you have to pay them for their time)

How To Convince Your Boss That An ATS Is An Absolute Necessity

ApplicantStack recruiting solutions were designed to clean up the new hire mess. With ApplicantStack Recruit and Onboard, you can tame the chaos at your company. Plus, your new hires will stay with your company longer.

Help your boss understand how ApplicantStack Recruit works and how it will pay for itself:

ApplicantStack Recruit Product Walkthrough

Can My Company Afford an Applicant Tracking System?

 

 

6 Reasons Spreadsheets are Scary. Your Recruiting Software Shouldn’t Be.

6 Reasons Spreadsheets are Scary. Your Recruiting Software Shouldn’t Be.

Why do many internal hiring teams have to use spreadsheets? Forward-thinking companies leverage the best business management tools for everyone else.

I’m talking about best-in-class software products. The kind built for a specific purpose from the ground up. There are systems for CRM, project management, accounting, tech support—you name it.

Yet the hiring team struggles with old technology and ad hoc systems.

Spreadsheets may have been cutting-edge in 1985, but there is no reason to use them now.

Applicant tracking software is affordable and easy to implement. It improves recruiting so dramatically it’s a no-brainer for business owners. Yet the adoption rate is lower than for many other types of software.

Let’s look at 6 reasons that spreadsheets for recruiting are ridiculously scary.

1. Spreadsheets Don’t Meet The Needs of Recruitment

Spreadsheets are designed to store and organize data. Applicant tracking involves loads of data. But that’s only one piece of the puzzle. It also involves ongoing communication among all parties. This includes the applicant, hiring team, talent sourcing agencies, and managers. You have to log each separate interaction into the spreadsheet.

Spreadsheets aren’t integrated with your email system. This is a big drawback. But spreadsheet problems don’t stop with an inability to handle hiring communication.

Recruitment has a marketing component as well. Spreadsheets don’t sync with job boards or your careers site.

They can’t screen applications and advance potential hires through the process.

2. Spreadsheets Cripple Collaboration

Successful hiring requires real time collaboration. Spreadsheets don’t show where a candidate is in the hiring process. They don’t provide an easy way to enter interview notes or rate applicants.

Unless they are cloud-based like Google Docs, they don’t allow for centralized access. Do you need to improve collaboration to improve hiring outcomes? Spreadsheets aren’t going to cut it.

3. Spreadsheets Are Vulnerable to Human Error

Spreadsheets use manual data entry. As such, they are susceptible to human error. Their inability to detect and prevent errors is one of the scariest things about them.

Studies reveal that average spreadsheet error rates can be as high as 88%.

Companies of all sizes are at risk of spreadsheet errors. JPMorgan Chase, for example, suffered a $6 billion (yes, with a ‘B’) loss due to Excel errors.

4. Spreadsheets Take Too Much Time

Inaccuracy isn’t the only problem with spreadsheets. They’re also too dang slow. Entering each piece of data into the appropriate cell is painstaking.

If you are trying to shorten time-to-hire (and who isn’t?) you need a better option.

Companies who use spreadsheets are losing applicants because their process drags on. The fastest hirers are using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

5. Spreadsheets Don’t Create a Great Applicant Experience

If you want to cater to applicants, spreadsheets aren’t the way to go. They don’t allow you to respond immediately to applicants. You can’t trigger precisely-timed auto-emails. Applicants can slip through the cracks.

6. Spreadsheets Don’t Let Your Company Shine

Spreadsheets don’t let candidates see everything that’s awesome about your company. They don’t expand your company brand to your recruitment presence. An applicant’s first impression is of an outdated application process. Candidates aren’t wowed by a manual system.

If the hiring process turns them away, you can’t draw them in with a fat benefits package or any other perks. A cumbersome hiring process is a major liability if you are trying to attract top candidates.

Why use a system that is slow, tedious, and vulnerable to errors?

Smart Automation Designed For Recruitment

An applicant tracking system (ATS) solves each of the spreadsheet problems we’ve discussed. ATS automate each component of the hiring process. This provides a better experience for both the candidate and everyone on the hiring team.

Respond Quickly to Hiring Needs

When you have an opening, simply write a job posting and the system takes over. ATS post to multiple job boards with one click. Candidates see your posting the same day you create it. There’s no delay.

An ATS Does The Heavy Lifting

An ATS can track hundreds of applications and resumes. For multiple openings simultaneously. You don’t have to enter applications manually. Nobody falls through the cracks.

There are no economies of scale with spreadsheets. Entering one hundred applications takes one hundred times longer than entering one. It’s scary that so many business owners still use them!

Applicants Always Know Where They Stand

Improved communication makes the process better and faster. Customized auto-emails keep each applicant informed throughout the hiring journey.

ATS Weed Out Unqualified Candidates (Fast!)

An ATS stores resumes and provides an easy way to score them. You create personalized screening questionnaires for each position. Knockout questions eliminate unqualified candidates before you even look at their application.

Your ATS delivers a pool of qualified candidates soon after you receive the first bunch of applications. The system continues to add to the pool throughout the process.

The ATS handles everything that doesn’t require a human brain—all the busywork and data entry. You spend your time performing hiring tasks that require critical thinking. (You’re a brilliant hiring genius, aren’t you?)

Improved Collaboration = Improved Recruitment

Disparate recruiting systems hamper collaboration. With an ATS, every member of the team can share notes in a centralized location. This alone can shave days off the decision-making phase.

An ATS Makes You Look Good

You can’t excel with Excel. ATS create a professional applicant experience. This is becoming more and more important in today’s labor market. With an ATS, you won’t lose any candidates because of an unprofessional or confusing hiring process.

Customize your ATS with company branding. Your hiring and marketing presence will be seamless from the candidate’s point of view. Your organization shines from the very first ‘We’ve received your application’ email.

Your Company Needs A Mobile-Friendly System

When researching ATS, pay attention to whether they work on small screens. A mobile application process enlarges your pool of potential hires. According to Monster, U.S. job seekers perform one billion job searches from mobile devices each month.

Ready To Upgrade Your Hiring Process?

SwipeClock ApplicantStack meets the recruitment needs of small to mid-size businesses. 2500+ companies use ApplicantStack to achieve better hiring outcomes. Start a free trial today and learn how ApplicantStack can help your company with every component of the recruiting process.