What Can Your Company Do Differently?

There tends to be a specific order to recruitment. First, a job opens up, either because someone is leaving the company or there is a specific need that a new employee can address.

Then, there is some advertising. Some companies advertise on job boards, others advertise on their website, others advertise on LinkedIn, but no matter what you do, chances are you’re posting the job somewhere.

Then you collect applicants, followed by some review, an interview, and then the hire.

Every company goes through some variation of this process, and while some parts may change (for example, you may invite someone you met at a conference to a job interview rather than advertise), the basics are the same.

So for the company that has struggled to find employees that are truly difference members, you may be wondering: If everyone uses roughly the same recruitment process, how can you find better employees than your competitors?

How to Hire Better People

If your company recruits the same way as every other company, it’s unlikely that you’re going to find better people. That means that it’s up to you to see where you can improve and what you can change to make your recruitment process better. Luckily, there are many different opportunities out there, including:

  • Self-Selection – Add a requirement to your applications (extra work that helps you learn more about the applicant) to weed out those unwilling to put in extra work.
  • Employer Branding – If you brand yourself as a great employer, you’ll be more likely to attract better talent, including passive talent.
  • Measure Objectively – Find ways to measure how valuable specific questions are, specific strategies are, and more so that you can cut anything that isn’t helping you hire.
  • Use Dedicated Recruiters – It is a lot harder to manage recruitment when it is performed by those with other roles. Use in-house recruiters or recruitment companies with that expertise.
  • Plan Your Interviews – Much like measuring, you should know in advance what you’re looking for. It’s hard to find the ideal employee if you don’t know how to find them. Having a plan helps.
  • Train – Sometimes the problem isn’t who you hire. It’s what happens after. Have a strong onboarding/training program that ensures you get the most from each employee.
  • Write Better Job Ads – There are better ways to write job ads (and where you advertise them). Write in a way that appeals to the people you want, where they are.
  • Be Proactive – When you can’t find the applicants you want, go out there and try to find them on your own. Be active. Find ways to get noticed by the people you want to notice you.

There are always opportunities to improve your recruitment process, even if it seems like yours is the same as everyone else’s. Every opportunity to improve means that you’ll be more likely to find quality employees in the future.

5 Great Websites for Determining Average Salary for the Job/Industry

Part of the salary negotiation process involves arming yourself with knowledge. You, as the employer, want to make an offer that is fair to the skill level of the employee, but you also want to make sure that you’re spending as little as possible.

If you give a number, and the applicant comes back with another number, you need to know how fair that second number is before you counter, because if this is the employee you want, then you want to make sure you offer them a number that won’t cause them to walk away (now or in the future), but also isn’t more than you should be paying for someone of their calibre.

Learn the Salary Sweet Spot

Great applicants arm themselves with knowledge to address the salary negotiation process. They are going to do their research before they talk to you about salary. You should too because you need to know if you’re going to be able to offer them the right amount, when you may need to sell them on your other perks/benefits, and when you should walk away.

For that, you’ll want to look at salary websites – websites that give average salaries for the industry. While these should not be seen as gospel, and may not take into account all of the other reasons to work for your company or other factors that go into salary, they do provide you with a great starting point for your negotiations:

You may also want to do searches that are specifically related to competitors. Find out what your competitors are paying, so that you know how much you need to offer to keep this employee in your company, rather than lose them to the other.

Salary Isn’t Everything

Salary is only one part of negotiation. You can also negotiate vacation days, sick days, family care. You can also use your perks and benefits as a way to offset any salary issues. The websites above are also only estimates. You’ll still want to value the employee yourself by gauging how much they bring in and determining how much you can pay to get a strong ROI.

But arming yourself with knowledge before you negotiate is important, and the above websites will give you some assistance in the negotiation process.

Sample Email for Applicant Follow Up

As part of your recruitment process, you will want to consider following up with everyone that applies to your organisation. You never know who may be your next great contributor, or who may know someone that will be. It’s important to make sure that you follow up with each person that applied quickly, even if it’s simply a kind rejection letter.

Below, you’ll find an example of the type of email that you can write to follow up with a candidate when they are no longer in the running for the position:

Dear {{Name}},

Thank you again for sending in your application for the {{Job}} with {{Company}}. We know you have a choice in employers, and we’re so thankful that you were willing to take the time to {send in your application/attend the interview].

One of the challenges we have as employers is that we can only hire one person, even when we receive hundreds of great applicants. At this time, we have decided to move forward with other candidates. But we don’t want you to feel as though doing so reflects in any way on you or your abilities.

We encourage you to keep an eye out on our website for other positions that may meet your needs. We’ve also added you to our database, and will give you a call if we feel a job has opened that matches your abilities. If you would like to send an updated resume in the future, please feel free and email us back at any time at this email address and we’ll update it in our database.

We really do appreciate your interest, and we hope that a match opens up in the future.

Thank you again,

{{Name of HR Staff}}

There are also many ways to edit this type of email to support your recruitment process. For example, if you currently have a job newsletter that you’d like them to sign up for, you can link to it in the email. If you are planning to offer feedback to anyone that asks for it, you can mention that as well. If you have other jobs you think they’d already be a good fit for, you can mention them in the email.

No matter what type of follow up you decide to have, it’s important to consider following up with everyone that applies in some way, and to do so quick enough that they are not waiting for weeks without hearing back. This small amount of extra effort can help to take your recruitment to the next level.

Benefits and Weaknesses of Providing Applicant Feedback

You can only hire one person. You go through the recruitment process attracting hundreds of possible applicants. You call 50 or so for a phone interview. You call back anywhere from 2 to 10 for the job interview. You call a few more for the second interview, and then select 1 from the remaining talent pool.

In the end, hundreds of people end up getting rejected. Yet each and every one of those people could potentially be a contributor in the future for a different role (or at least may know someone that is). You don’t want those people to feel upset or disappointed that they didn’t get the job offer, nor do you want them telling others that you mistreated them in some way.

Applicant Follow Up

Companies hoping for positive employer branding should consider following up with at least every applicant that was interviewed, if not every person that applied. It shows each person that they matter, and it prevents them from waiting around for you to make a decision and possibly feeling discouraged in the process.

If you’re not already following up with your applicants, you could be creating some negativity about you as an employer, in a way that could affect your hiring in the future.

Following up is important. But how you follow up can vary. Some companies choose to provide each applicant with feedback about why they didn’t get the job. This strategy can have some advantages. But it also may have disadvantages. In the end, you’ll need to consider both the benefits and the risks before you decide whether giving feedback is right for you.

Benefits of Applicant Feedback

  • Giving Closure – One of the greatest benefits of this type of feedback is that it provides the individual with closure that many applicants crave. This is especially true of those that have gone through the interview process. Not getting the job, but not knowing why, can make it difficult to move on and feel comfortable about what happened. Feedback gives them information that makes it easy to understand.
  • Opens the Door for the Future – Once someone has received feedback, they can then take that information and decide what to do with it in the future. Some will move on to other jobs. But others, especially those that really want to work for your company, will take the feedback to heart and use it to get into your company in the future.
  • Shows Personalisation – Most forms of follow up are deeply impersonal. The willingness and ability to give the applicants useful feedback can be seen as you caring about their satisfaction, and showing them that they really were in consideration.

Weaknesses of Applicant Feedback

  • Unsolicited Could Be Offensive – The greatest risk to providing feedback is accidentally offending someone that did not want it. Providing appropriate feedback can be tricky, and it would be problematic if you accidentally offended someone that would have been happier simply not getting the job.
  • May Not Be Realistically Actionable – When you give someone feedback, you’re telling them what they need to improve. But the things they may need to improve either may not be possible, or may still not be enough to get them the job in the future. It is also problematic if you tell them what to change, and then after they change it you still do not want to hire them.
  • Could Be Received Multiple Times – Feedback is likely welcomed when the person has only applied once. But if they apply to work at your company more than once, then suddenly that feedback can be seen as multiple rejections. It can be disheartening for applicants to receive multiple reasons why they have been turned down for the job over and over again.
  • It’s Time Consuming – Giving real feedback can take time, especially if you have to edit the feedback and review it to ensure that it won’t hurt or offend the person receiving it. Not every company has that amount of time available to give each person detailed feedback.

How to Provide Feedback

Given these benefits and weaknesses, it’s difficult to know whether providing feedback is the best option. You may want to consider letting them know you’re willing to provide feedback without supplying it unsolicited, or you may want to limit the feedback to those that you may want at your company in the future.

Whatever you decide, it’s clear that giving applicants feedback can be beneficial. But you simply need to take the risks into consideration in the process.

How “Reverse Mentoring” Can Help You Get More from Millennial Recruitment

Within the recruitment world, there is a frequent debate about which is better: experience, or youth. Most of the time experience wins out. Although there are some companies that prioritise younger employees at the expense of more experienced employees, most companies still look at a resume/CV and, the more experience they see, the more they want to hire that person.

If your company is considering hiring younger employees, however, there are ways to get even more out of their employment. One such strategy that is becoming increasingly popular in business circles is known as “Reverse Mentoring.”

What is Reverse Mentoring?

We all know the idea of mentoring – an experienced employee takes a younger employee under their wing, and teaches them how to adapt to the business world. Mentoring has always been seen as a highly advantageous way to encourage a young employee’s professional growth. Indeed, some of the greatest minds in business today had mentors, including Richard Branson, Robert Herjavec, Mark Fields (CEO of Ford), and more.

But there is a new strategy that more businesses are starting to integrate: “Reverse Mentoring.” With reverse mentoring, the young employees that enter the company take on a mentorship role of their own. Part of their job involves training baby boomers, and other more experienced employees, on technology, social media, and new strategies/ways of thinking that can help them improve their business talents.

These days, more and more roles can benefit from things like:

  • Social Media – Sales, networking, marketing, customer management – social media can play a role in many different industries, and young employees tend to be particularly adept at using it correctly.
  • New Apps/Software – Young employees are more likely to be familiar with technology which can improve productivity. For example, Slack, Trello, Dropbox, and more, that experienced employees are unlikely to be aware of.
  • Latest in News/Strategies – Younger employees are more likely to be up to date in the latest advancements in the field. For example, the switch from direct mail marketing to inbound marketing is something that a millennial employees may be more aware of integrating.

These are all just some examples of the training and guidance that young employees can give to baby boomers.

Benefits of Reverse Mentoring

The primary advantage of reverse mentoring is its ability to train experienced employees on some of the strategies that are currently being used today in their industry. Whether it’s social media or some other type of service or software, training people with less experience in the newest techniques and strategies can be highly advantageous for both the employee and your company.

But there are other benefits of reverse mentoring as well, including:

  • Improve Communication – Reverse mentoring has the potential to improve communication between older staff members and younger staff members in a way that benefits both. The more they each understand what strategies they have been using and the mindset they bring into the work, the more likely they will be to find new and easy ways to communicate in the future.
  • Building Respect – Similarly, many experienced employees look down on massive change, and many young employees look down on “old concepts.” This can cause the two groups to see the other as a problem in their professional growth. Reverse mentoring helps to build respect between the two parties, and the merits of both strengths.
  • New Concept Integration – It’s one thing to start a new concept. It is another to integrate it into the existing framework. By having baby boomers and young employees connect, both can figure out how to effectively integrate it into what already exists within the workplace for a more seamless transition.

In addition, although the reverse mentoring relationship is designed to help the baby boomer, there is some evidence that it can also help the young employees as well, who learns from the person they’re mentoring while they’re teaching them the new programs.

Integrating Reverse Mentoring Into Your Business

Even if you don’t make an effort to hire young employees, or you already have a bunch of young employees on staff, reverse mentoring is still valuable. It gives you an opportunity to get more value out of your young employees, improve the strengths of your older employees, and create a culture in the office that can help everyone work better together.

If you’re interested in hiring young employees that could be the next great mentors in your business, or you simply need to find new staff, contact Recruit Shop today.

Why Employee Satisfaction is Especially Important for Entry Level Employees

Employee satisfaction is quickly becoming the secret to better recruitment. Finding the right talent is critical. But every person you hire has a range of possible outcomes. The more satisfied your employee is in the workplace, the more you will likely bring out the best out of their productivity levels. The less satisfied, the worse they are likely to be.

Employee satisfaction is important for those at all stages of the company. Even CEOs need to have some degree of satisfaction in order to remain productive. But the need for better satisfaction may be especially important for entry level employees.

Preventing a High Turnover – Improving Productivity

Turnover rates among young employees and entry-level employees are at all-time high. More and more people are finding jobs and quitting them right away when they find they’re not happy with the work.

As your business recruits, you should strongly consider the steps you take to improve employee satisfaction, especially among these new employees or those that are taking in entry level jobs. Consider the situation the employee is in:

  • New Employee – Some entry level workers have never worked before, or have minimal work experience. It takes a considerable investment of time and energy to learn how to adapt to the new working environment. If they are not satisfied with their job, their chances of wanting to put in that energy are low.
  • Little Pay – Entry level jobs, by definition, offer less in the way of pay and benefits than the jobs they will receive as they move up the ladder. There is an obvious justification for this lower pay: they have less experience, which means they’ll probably bring less revenue. But it also means that you, as a company, are offering less to keep them around and interested. Pay is a big motivator for reducing turnover. The less a worker relies on your for pay, and the more they feel like they can replace your pay easily, the more likely they will leave if they are unsatisfied.
  • The Factors of Satisfaction – If you look at what causes poor satisfaction in entry level workers, you’ll often find that they are issues that also affect productivity. For example, one of the leading causes of poor satisfaction is a lack of training/onboarding. This indicates that if you are not actively looking to create engaged, satisfied entry level employees, there may be other factors at play affecting their productivity as well.

In addition, your goal when you hire any entry level employee is to help them move up in the company, build word of mouth marketing, speak highly of you to other workers, and more. If they’re not satisfied early on, their chances of growing within your company are very low.

Prioritise Satisfaction at All Levels

Employee satisfaction is not just for employee longevity. It should be considered a part of recruitment, especially for entry level employee forming their first opinion of your company. If you want your new hires to succeed, and you want to attract more employees in the future, prioritise employee satisfaction.

How Do You Hire for Employee Satisfaction?

Quality recruitment does not end at the new hire. Onboarding – your ability to train the employee and help them integrate with your company – plays a huge role. So does employee engagement, where new hires that feel like they are really a part of the company are more likely to put work into helping it succeed.

Employee satisfaction is another factor that plays a role in your recruitment. When you hire someone, it’s important to prioritise their satisfaction in order to improve their productivity.

But employee satisfaction is unique, in that, if you know what you are looking for, you can actually make an effort to hire employees FOR employee satisfaction – bringing those on board that are more likely to bring satisfaction into the office.

Tips for Employee Satisfaction Recruitment

If you want to hire people that are more likely to be satisfied employees, consider the following tips and strategies:

  • Know the Job – One of the first mistakes you can make when it comes to hiring for satisfaction is hiring the wrong person. If you hire someone that is simply not right for the position, you can virtually guarantee that they will be unsatisfied in the job. Try to figure out who your ideal employee is – the one that will not only do the best work, but will also genuinely want to do that work. Find that employee, and satisfaction at the job is much more of a guarantee.
  • Find Your Fit – Every company has a culture. Understanding that culture can help you figure out who to hire. If you’re a more relaxed workplace that does a lot of charity work, you’ll want to find someone that fits that role. If you’re a quiet place where people tend to keep to themselves, you may want to find someone that fits there as well.
  • Do Your Research – You always want to do whatever you can to avoid bias, and unfortunately, it is not uncommon to have biases you don’t even realise. But at the same time, the person that applied to the job likely has social media accounts, an online footprint, and more. It is in your best interests to consider looking at what you can see about the applicant and checking if you think they’ll be a good fit. Just be careful not to avoid hiring someone because of any biases.
  • The Value of Personality – Personality matters. Given two equally skilled candidates, the one that seems to have more positive, happy qualities is probably the one that is going to feel better working at your company (assuming your culture supports these qualities). At a minimum, try to ask some personality/character questions at the job interview to learn more about their mindset, and don’t be afraid to contact references, people that know the candidate, etc.
  • Write a Description That Speaks to Them – Similar to knowing the job is writing the description. Speak to the type of workplace you are. Be descriptive about what makes unique and interesting, and try to be honest about your best strengths. If you speak to the right people, you’ll attract the right people.

Employee satisfaction is generally something that takes place in the workplace. But with the right recruitment process, you can find someone that is more likely to be someone that scores high in employee satisfaction once hired. Since that same satisfaction plays a strong role in productivity and retention, it is in your best interests to look at your current recruitment process, and see if there are ways to identify the candidates that are the most likely to be satisfied.

3 Reasons Employee Satisfaction IS Customer Satisfaction

For jobs that come face to face with a consumer, it’s not uncommon to try to focus your hiring efforts on those that seem like they offer the best customer service. Certainly, that is important, as customer service is a skill that not everybody has.

But you may also want to take a look at the candidates who are likely to enjoy working for you – those that are more likely to have greater levels of employee satisfaction.

How Employee and Customer Satisfaction Are Linked

Employee satisfaction is a distinct measurement, and it is often related to how you’ve developed your company culture, your pay, your services, the work itself, the people you’ve hired, and more. The customers play a role (especially if they have frequent contact with the employee), but most of employee satisfaction is dependent on you as a company.

Customer satisfaction, however, is dependent on essentially two things: the quality of your products/service, and the employees that handle their needs. There may be other, minor factors that play a role, but the primary drivers are your products/services, and your employees.

Now, hiring for skilled customer service staff members is a great start. But you should also pay attention to how likely the employee is to be satisfied in your workplace. That is because satisfied employees will be:

  • Happier – Customers want to buy from happier people. Employees that are satisfied with their job are more likely to be able to feel happy at work, and in turn, pass that happiness onto the customer in ways that improve their experience.
  • Harder Working – What many businesses forget is that, while customer service matters, so too does skill and talent. An employee with only moderate customer service skills that excels at getting their job done (for example, a cashier that is bad at small talk but gets people through the line quickly) is going to make for happier customers, who will find that they are better able to get what they need.
  • Stronger Relationships – Regular customers create relationships with staff members. They recognise them. In many ways, it is a part of branding. A satisfied employee is less likely to leave, which in turn means that they are able to create relationships with your customers that helps attract them back to your store.

These are just some of the many different direct and indirect ways that employee satisfaction is directly related to the satisfaction of your customers.

Hiring for Employee Satisfaction

You should already try to hire for customer service talents. But pay attention to who you think will be more satisfied in the workplace. A large component of customer service is employee satisfaction, so hiring someone that is more likely to love their job can help make up for some small deficiencies in customer service.

How Many Interviews are Too Many?

More and more companies are changing the process they use to identify who they want to hire out of the pool of applicants. Some have added questionnaires, which they use to pre-screen applicants before determining who to call. Others add IQ tests. Some have:

  • Phone interviews
  • Skype Interviews
  • Panel interviews
  • First Interviews
  • Second Interviews
  • Third interviews

In between, they may ask for samples of work completed, have follow up phone calls, and more…

At some point, it’s too much.

The Upper Limit of Interviews and Candidate Vetting

There are some companies that do not do enough. They have maybe one interview and if they like the person they hire them. That’s not the best way to find new hires because there are simply too many variables that go into determining who is the right fit for your company.

But some businesses go too far with the opposite approach. They make the applicant go through an almost unreasonable amount of work for a job they still may not get. They have interview after interview. Extra interviews because someone was sick. Phone screenings. Asking for the creation of samples. Personality tests – on and on and on.

Businesses need to respect their candidates’ time, even while balancing the need for proper vetting. Often candidates need to take sick days just to get to an interview, or are putting in hours upon hours of work and time only to find they did not get the job. This process is gruelling and, in many cases, does more to hurt your ability to find great talent than it does help your cause:

  • Great Talent May Not Have Time – Those that are working may eventually not be able to continue to attend the interviews, or may decide it is no longer worth their time to do so. The more extensive the process, the more you may force out some potential contributors.
  • Interest Can Fade Quickly – Those that genuinely want to work for an employer but do not get one job may still apply for another in the future. That’s something that you want as a company: people that are interested in you. But if your process to hire is too extensive, applicants may want to avoid being forced to go through that process, take time off work, etc., only to not get the job again.
  • Too Much Information – Scientists often talk about what happens if you have too much data. At some point, if you look at data from a wide variety of sources, you may eventually find correlations and relationships where none exist. Think of it this way – if you have an IQ test, sample work, reference checks, and 5 interviews, at some point the applicant may mess up. But if they passed 95% of the process, at what point does that 5% no longer matter?
  • Process Leaks – There is a word of mouth component of applying for jobs. If someone has a bad experience with your company, they are going to tell their friends, and their friends are less likely to be willing to apply for jobs at your company in the future. Your process should make sense to anyone that applies. Truly amazing career opportunities, like those that pay well for notoriously great companies, can get away with a bit more because people will always want to work there. But other companies are not so lucky.
  • Turning You Down – Even if you choose to hire them, the more extensive the interview process the less likely they will be to accept the job or be excited that they work there. This is especially true for jobs that do not offer competitive pay or benefits. There are countless examples of companies that put applicants through hours upon hours of vetting, only for the applicant to turn down the job once offered because of their frustration.

So there is no specific number of interviews that is too many. There is also no rule about what you can make the person do. It is helpful to have a thorough process in place to make sure that you’re hiring the right people.

Just remember to be respectful of their time. The more you decide to put them through to get the job, the more the job will need to be worth it for the applicant, and justifiable for getting the position.

Tips to Improve Candidate Engagement

Candidate engagement is becoming the newest trend in improving the recruitment talent pool. Companies that use candidate engagement strategies are more likely to attract great talent, more likely to keep them interested, more likely to recommend you to others, and much more.

Even without realising it, many companies have strategies in place to create more engagement. For example, if you have testimonials from your employees on your website, that’s a form of engagement. If you have a recruiter connect with candidates on LinkedIn after they apply, you are engaging.

But there are many different ways to engage, and many different ways to improve how you engage.

Consider the following candidate engagement improvement strategies:

  • Treat Every Applicant Like You Want Them On Board – Every single person that applies or shows interest to your company should be treated like they will be an employee someday, even if they are nowhere near being an employee yet. Keep in touch with them, add them to some type of newsletter, let them know about open jobs – maybe even tell them some things they can do to improve their candidacy to you in the future. The more each candidate feels like you want them someday, even if it’s not yet the right time, the more engaged they will be.
  • Create a Broad Recruitment Channel – Run and operate multiple social media channels, have an active role in industry forums, show up at industry events. Do what you can to give exposure to your brand, your recruiters, and more. Create as many avenues as possible for people to get exposed to your business, and make it possible for them to contact you and engage with you from multiple places.
  • Send Them Possible Jobs – We touched on this earlier, but sending them jobs that may fit their skillset is a great way to improve engagement. It is a better strategy with larger companies that are more likely to have positions available, but sending them personalized open positions that may be relevant to their skillset is a great way to show them they matter.
  • Have A Good Recruitment Process – Your recruitment process also plays a role in engagement. Balance your need to get great information with the need to make sure that you’re doing your part to make the candidate comfortable. For example, opening your office for a late interview so that they do not have to take time off work shows them you really care about their time.
  • Give Candidates More and More Reasons – Focus on yourself as a company as well. What can you do to be more attractive as a company to potential candidates? Companies like Google and LinkedIn became famous for the things they do for their employees – free concerts, free food, unlimited days off, and more. You don’t have to become famous for yours, but you should be finding more ways to give people a reason to seek you out as an employer.

Candidate engagement isn’t easy. It takes good ideas, time, and a commitment to find ways to engage current and future applicants. But the time you spend can be a great tool for finding better talent, and getting more people interested in your company.