The Number One Question Job Candidates Ask…

applicant tracking system

What is the number one question job candidates ask technical support after submitting an application?  According to the support team at this Applicant Tracking System (ATS) company, the top inquiry is: “Was my application received?  I didn’t get an email confirmation.”

Many job candidates are aware that Applicant Tracking software has now replaced the traditional paper resume; making some feel weary that their resumes will be missed or ignored.  When candidates are applying for open opportunities online, not receiving an email confirmation increases this doubt, despite the applicant receiving a “success” message.  In today’s modern tech world, email confirmations are standard for almost all online transactions as a courtesy.  Companies now using electronic applications need to ensure that this piece is included within the process to keep a positive experience and reputation.

One survey showed that there was an increasing amount of unhappy job applicants due to a lack of communication and responsiveness after they submitted their resumes.  This can be highly detrimental to a company’s reputation and result in them missing out on talented individuals.  When it comes to the U.S. top Fortune 500 companies, you’d think these giants would have all of their ducks in a row.  But one recent analysis from SmashFly graded 23% of corporations with “Ds” and “Fs” for recruitment due to shortcomings like not cultivating leads “with consistent, personalized communication.”

One easy way to solve this issue is to utilize an ATS software that allows recruiters to setup automatic email confirmations once a candidate submits an application.  These can be sent either immediately or delayed depending on the specific ATS capabilities available.  Not only will this confirm that their application was submitted, but candidates will be assured that an actual human will review their resume before selecting them for an interview or rejecting them.   This automatic process will not only help recruiters communicate with their entire talent pool, but also assist ATS support teams in tending to actual issues.

Looking for an Applicant Tracking System that includes this capability at no extra cost?  Check out this cloud-based ATS that has been assisting HR professionals for over 15 years!

 

 

 

 

Automation Is Key For Applicant Tracking Systems

applicant tracking systemSorting through candidate resumes can be a tedious task for HR professionals despite the fact many companies have now automated the process with software like an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).  Although recruiters who are using an ATS don’t have to worry about piles of paper on their desk, they do still have to toggle through electronic files which can be just as time consuming.  That’s why it is so important to use an applicant tracking solution that not only automates the apply process but also streamlines candidate review and automates disposition.

According to one study, an average corporate job posting attracts about 250 resumes.  Out of all of those submissions, only four to six candidates will be called for an interview and only one offered a job.  That’s a lot of applications to review for such a small minority that is likely to be deemed qualified.  Another report focusing on small businesses revealed that 48% cited their biggest obstacle to be few or no qualified applicants for their open positions.  In both cases, it seems companies are capable of sourcing resumes but struggle to find a qualified talent pool.  So how long does it take recruiters to sift through all of those resumes just to decide on a select few?  According to a 2015 study, it takes an average of two months to fill available positions.  Perhaps this is because recruiters are spending most of their time reviewing unqualified candidates-or maybe it’s because their ATS just isn’t innovative enough.  Either way, it is dire that businesses improve time-to-fill for the sake of their success, and luckily, there are ATS solutions that can do this and more…

A superior ATS makes job applications smarter and allows businesses to capture a candidate’s true essence and qualifications through customization.   For example, Pereless Systems ATS includes Prescreening Question capability that allows recruiters to build job specific questions that can be applied to applications and setup to “knock in” or “knock out” candidates into workflows based on their responses.  Setting these questions as required answers will ensure that applicants who are not qualified are not sourced into recruiter pipelines so they can instead spend more time focusing on applicants who qualify.

If your current ATS technology doesn’t make recruitment easier, it’s time to re-evaluate your system.  You need a solution that not only automates workflow but speeds up recruitment and gets top talent into open positions fast.

One Solution To What Job Candidates Hate The Most…

 

What is one of the top complaints job candidates have when it comes to online applications?  No communication or follow up from the employer once it is submitted. For smaller start up companies who lack the manpower or resources, this may be something that is unavoidable. But for companies utilizing an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), there should be standard tools that help to avoid this issue and in turn create a positive experience for candidates; whether they are hired or not.

In 2015, Talent Board conducted a survey that concluded an increasing trend of, “less personalization…less responsive trends overall,” in regards to online applications and employer feedback.  For example, candidates were less likely to receive confirmation messages once their application was submitted.  This can easily cause frustration and concern since the job seeker went through the entire apply process only to feel uncertain if it was actually received or if a human will actually review it.   This doesn’t mean you need to get rid of your current ATS but that simply you need to, “make it smarter,” as co-founder of Karen.ai Noel Webb said.  An ATS operating on “smart” mode will allow you to set up functions like automated letters that can be sent out to candidates once they apply.  This not only puts them at ease and confirms their application was received, but can also provide additional information on what to expect moving forward.   This is a great way to begin initial introductions, show consideration towards candidates, start off on a positive note, and begin building strong relationships with your talent pool.  After all, one study of 1,200 workers found that 1 in 4 applicants severed ties with a brand after having a negative experience during the apply process.  Not only that, 33% of candidates shared their negative experiences on social media.  That can get ugly for your brand fast.

The bottom line: make sure to communicate with job candidates and ensure you have an ATS that has all of the functionality to do it for you automatically.

“The way a company treats a candidate during the hiring process can either be a huge competitive advantage in a very hot market when trying to attract hard to find candidates, or it can be a major reason why candidates run from a particular company.” – Robert Byron – (Partner/Manager WinterWyman)

 

Need Applicant Tracking? Choose A Vendor That Does THIS…

If you were in the market for a new car, would you purchase one without test driving it? Of course you wouldn’t! The same goes for purchasing recruitment software such as an applicant tracking system (ATS).  Applicant tracking is a business software solution utilized by HR professionals to automate recruitment and hiring processes. It is estimated 75% of businesses currently use some form of applicant tracking software and spend thousands of dollars each year using it. That’s why it is so important the ATS vendor you are interested in offers a free trial allowing you to explore and review the system prior to making a financial commitment.

1. Free trials help determine ease of use: When buying a software product, one of the most important factors to consider is how easy it is to navigate the system.  Often times, several team members of a company spanning from all technological capability levels will be utilizing the ATS for everyday tasks.  If employees are frustrated or confused while using the system, they won’t use it, and money and time will be wasted!  A free trial will allow employees to try out the ATS and determine if it is user friendly for all and a good fit considering company needs.

2. Test system functionality & capability:  Speaking of company needs…what does your company need from an applicant tracking system?  Are you a small to mid-size company that requires only simple automation and record keeping?  Or do need more advanced recruitment and hiring tools?  A free trial can help ensure that you are purchase an ATS that does everything you need it to but also doesn’t overwhelm you with modules you don’t need.  Make sure that during the trial period you are granted full access to all of the essential tools expected and that all team members can participate in testing o each functionality for themselves.  You don’t want a product that will add work and frustration to your team’s effort–make sure the system relieves the pressure!

3. Discover the candidate perspective: An important part of sourcing the best talent is building company reputation.  One way to do that is to create a positive candidate experience that begins at the career page and continues beyond their hire date.  Incoming job applicants who have negative experiences (i.e. the apply process is too long, they experience technical issues, they don’t receive confirmation emails, no follow ups etc) are not likely to apply again.  In fact, according to this survey, 33% of candidates who had a bad experience share it with social media (NOT good for company brand)!! Other research suggests that 1 in 4 candidates will sever ties with the company altogether.  During a free trial, you can explore the candidate perspective and apply as a test candidate to ensure the apply process is seamless and won’t frustrate candidates that can cause them to quit the application altogether.  It is also super important that career sites and the apply process are mobile friendly.  When one of the world’s largest career boards CareerBuilder cites one-third of their traffic as mobile users, you can’t leave that massive chunk of candidates out of the running!

4. Make sure your team is happy: Engage your team before, during, and after the applicant tracking system trial period.  Ensure that the entire team agrees the ATS will be beneficial and provide value to their workflow in efforts to solve pain points.  Otherwise, you might end up purchasing a software that no one can use; resulting in a massive loss of time and money. As Josh Bersin from SHRM states in his article:

“I talk with HR software buyers all the time, and more and more they ask, “How useful will this be for employees or managers to get their jobs done?”  If the answer is “not very useful,” the chances are that the system won’t be utilized very much.”


An applicant tracking vendor willing to provide a free trial with full access is a great signal they are confident in their product.  Take the Pereless Systems Challenge and test drive the ATS for 30 days absolutely free!

Pereless Systems

 

Snag Quality Job Candidates With THIS ATS Feature…

referral

The success of a company depends on the people you hire.   That’s why the top priorities for job recruiters are finding and hiring top talent fast while having confidence they will remain long term.  Companies utilizing talent software like applicant tracking systems have an advantage because the recruitment process is automated and jobs are posted to career sites instantly.  But does the ATS go a step further by providing employees a referral portal so they can recommend professional colleagues and friends who would be perfect fit for an open position?  If your recruitment software lacks the ability to manage employee referrals, you are missing out on what 88% of employers say are the number one source for above-average applicants.

Here’s are 5 key data points

  1. Employee referrals make up a minority of incoming candidates:  According to a survey conducted by Jobvite, referrals make up only 6.9% of job applications versus 42% that were sourced via job boards.  Yet still…
  2. Employee referrals are more likely to be hired: Although the amount of employee referral applications were slim, about 40% of those candidates were hired.  Another source cites that the applicant-to-hire ratio for employee referrals is 1 to 3 compared to 1:10 for non-referrals.  
  3. referralEmployee referrals are more likely to stay long term:  HR professionals reported an annual average retention rate of 46% compared to 33% via career sites and 22% from third party job boards.
  4. Referrals can save the company money: The average cost for standard recruitment efforts range between $4,000 – $18,000 dollars.  Employee referrals can reduce those numbers massively to $1,000 or less.

      5. Despite the myth…Referrals do not have a negative impact on a diverse work culture.  According to this survey, 55% of respondents said employee referrals were “somewhat” to “very              productive” sources for diverse hires.

diversity

 

With all of this promising data, you can’t waste another minute or dollar on an applicant tracking system that lacks the ability to manage and track employee referrals and incentives.   For 30 days absolutely free, you can test drive our best-in-class ATS that includes a fully loaded Employee Referral Portal.

Pereless Systems

The Salary History Question: A Thing Of The Past?

New legislation passed in Massachusetts will change the hiring game for HR professionals in 2018.  On August 2016, Governor Charlie Baker signed the “Act to Establish Pay Equity,” making it illegal for employers within the state to inquire about job applicant’s previous compensation or ask salary-related questions prior to a job offer.  The law was enacted to end the gender gap while paying men and women equal wages for “comparable work.” The Massachusetts law was the first of its kind at the state level, however municipalities like New York City have already instituted similar legislation, and lawmakers are working to institute it nation-wide.

In NYC, a mandate banning federal agencies from asking job candidates about benefits, wages or other compensation prior to a job offer went into effect on December 4th 2016-signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio through executive action.  Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill are also working to make changes on the federal level, introducing a new bill to the House of Representatives titled, Pay Equity for All Act of 2016 (H.R. 6030). The authors of the bill also wrote a letter to President Obama asking him to sign an executive order preventing all employers, not just federal contractors, from asking about salary history.

“Even though employers may not intentionally discriminate against applicants or employees based on gender, race or ethnicity, setting wages based on salary history reinforces the wage gap.  Members of historically disadvantaged groups often start out their careers with unfair and artificially low wages compared to their white male counterparts, allowing any disparities to be compounded from job to job.” 

With Obama’s term ending in less than 2 weeks, it is unlikely he will sign the executive order into law.  However, if H.R. 6030 is signed into law through the legislative process, the U.S. Department of Labor could fine employers up to $10,000 who violate provisions that include asking job applicants about their wage history.  The bill is expected to be re-introduced during the upcoming congressional session starting January 2017.

The Truth About Video Interviewing & Discrimination

video interviewing

Is it true that video interviewing will open the door for discrimination? Companies looking to incorporate it into their hiring process will often pose this question.  The topic of virtual interviews and discrimination is nothing new, yet in recent times it has reemerged as businesses look for better recruitment strategies.   For those compliant to EEO-1 and OFCCP laws, it’s important to understand how video fits into the hiring equation without risking legal trouble.

In the 1960’s and 70’s, two federal agencies [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] (EEOC) and [Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs] (OFCCP) were founded to enforce employment discrimination laws and ensure workers were never denied opportunity to work based on things like race, religion, disability and gender.  In 2015, a study found that 11.7% of businesses based in certain states faced higher risk of lawsuit due to workplace discrimination.  New Mexico had the highest rate with a 66% chance compared to the national average and Washington D.C. was close behind with 65%.  The reason for these particular states having an increased risk is due to local state laws that build upon federal discrimination law.

“Many of the higher-risk states observed in the study have laws that go beyond U.S. federal guidelines, creating additional obligations and risks for employers. It is important for companies, especially those operating in these high-risk markets, to be keenly attuned to any legal developments that may affect their exposures.” – Bertrand Spunberg, practice leader for Executive Risks Hiscox, USA.

Understanding the importance of keeping up with state and federal law, businesses regulated by EEO and OFCCP standards must be vigilant when it comes to introducing new interview strategies like video.  In 2010, the EEOC was asked directly to respond to the inquiry. In response, an informal discussion letter was released to the public by Carol R. Miaskoff, an Assistant Legal Counsel representing EEOC:

“The EEO laws do not expressly prohibit the use of specific technologies or methods for selecting employees, and therefore do not prohibit the use of video resumes.  The key question under the EEO laws is how the selection tools are used.”

As with in-person meetings, employers were reminded of the usual EEO standards while using video such as restrictions on asking applicants about disabilities prior to employment offers and to be sure candidates are not rejected based on visible religious garb.  Some experts believe using video platforms actually reduces the risk for discrimination.  Video provides transparency and is a source of proof when it comes to compliance.   Content remains consistent and ensures that certain candidates are not asked different questions from others.  It can also remove any chance of having off-topic discussions with applicants that could possibly lead to claims of discrimination down the road.  For OFCCP compliant employers, video provides a great system of record keeping and is effective in managing the required 2 year limit of storing applicant interview data.

When it all boils down to it, if employees are properly trained and knowledgeable of state and federal law, you can prevent legal issues.  Employees should understand exactly what is and isn’t appropriate to ask while interviewing job candidates, whether in person or virtually, and is the responsibility of the employer to make sure everyone is on the same page.  As Bertrand Spunberg suggests:

“Prevention is the best defense against lawsuits…simple preventative and mitigation measures…are essential to minimizing risk and protecting your business.”

In conclusion, hiring teams using video interviewing can follow the same process just as they would if meeting applicants in person.  The only difference is that video adds innovation and even reduces the risk for discrimination.  With the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission confirming it is a safe practice, businesses looking to use video as a new way to interview have the green light!

Virtual Interviews: The Future Of Recruitment

With 2017 right around the corner and job opportunities at an all time high, hiring managers are looking for better ways to improve recruitment and fill jobs fast.  Virtual interviews, also known as video recruitment, is a new trend companies are beginning to use to streamline the interview process, cut costs and speed up time-to-fill rates.  Although not a new method, more businesses are seeing promising potential to incorporating it into the hiring process for the benefit of both applicants and employers.

Video Is King Of Internet Traffic – study conducted by Cisco in 2014 estimates that 70% of internet traffic comes from video streaming.  That number is estimated to skyrocket to 90% by the year 2020.   Another source reports that 500 million people watch Facebook videos per day, while a whopping 10 billion videos are watched on Snapchat each day.  Recruiters can take advantage by creating and posting videos to free platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and LinkedIn to reach that major source of traffic and get your videos noticed.  Video content can range from job opportunity promotion to fun and creative videos showcasing company culture and industry.  Regardless of the type of videos you choose to make, chances are high they will be viewed and shared among a world-wide audience, attracting job seekers who are best suited to work for the company.

Virtual Interviews

Source: QZ.com

 

Prerecorded & Live Video Interviews – There are two methods companies use to conduct interviews using video: Live and prerecorded.  Live interviews enable hiring teams to talk with job candidates in real time as if it were an in-person interview.   These sessions can be recorded and sent to team members to review at a later time and can be a convenient way to include busy coworkers who are a crucial element in the hiring process.  Prerecorded interviews allow applicants to answer questions posed by the employer on video and provides recruiters the flexibility to evaluate submissions on their own time.  Talent Acquisition analyst Kyle Lagunas of market research firm Brandon Hall Group commented on the benefits of incorporating video citing, “The amount of time recruiters spend scheduling and executing screening calls is exorbitant …when you automate that — especially with on-demand, so videos can be recorded and viewed at their leisure — it frees them up from spending time on the phone trying to chase candidates … [and] hiring managers [down] and get everybody’s calendar synced up just for that first call.”   

Save Money & Time – General Electric (GE) provides a great example of how virtual interviews can cut company costs and save time.  GE implemented video interviewing to their hiring process for hard to fill positions.  GE is stationed all around the U.S. and were spending a fortune on travel costs for candidates who lived far distances but were highly sought after.  Video gave them the ability to meet job candidates no matter where they were physically and hire top talent easier while saving money.  Virtual interviewing was initially implemented only for the healthcare headquarters,  but with the high demand for technology and promising results, they decided to make it a company-wide standard for interviewing new candidates. GE’s Global recruitment technology leader Shahbaz Alibaig said, “Getting the candidates and the hiring managers in one location can take weeks and months to schedule. So it [wasn’t] just the cost but [also] the cycle time of interviews which [was] a challenge.” 

Virtual Interviews can be great for businesses looking for cost-effective hiring strategies that also assist in sourcing top candidates for hard to fill positions.  Video adds innovation and forward-thinking aspects to the hiring process that will impress candidates and leave them with a lasting impression.  With video serving as the king of internet traffic and tons of free (and paid) platforms available, any company regardless of size and budget can take advantage of video and get noticed. With major companies like GE paving the way,  it is only a matter of time before competitors realize the benefits and jump on trend.  Stay one step ahead and become the first in your industry to implement video–because virtual interviews are the future of recruitment!

Yelp or Yikes?!

Reviews

 

Written By: Alex Goldfarb

They say word of mouth is the most efficient way to spread consumer opinion about a product, but in the digital age, this is slowly passing the torch. Now that we have a tiny box called a smartphone that can tell us anything and everything at the tap of a finger. There is no reason to shop at a boutique with bad sales people, eat mediocre food, or sleep in a hotel that has ever had bedbugs, right? People can easily read reviews to ensure that this does not happen.  Smartphone and website applications such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, Amazon, and even Facebook make it easy for both satisfied and displeased consumers to publish their opinions to the web, designed to inform and assist prospective consumers in choosing the best services and products. However, this can be a double edged sword for some businesses, as unlimited feedback can result in making or breaking a company’s reputation.

Review sites are a platforms that allow customers to express opinions about a particular restaurant, store, hotel, or other type of business for other internet users to see.  These are becoming increasingly easy to use, and therefore increasingly popular.  When ordering an item from Amazon, reading the reviews can be imperative to ordering the correct size or style to meet specific needs. When looking to try Indian Cuisine for the first time, reviews can be important to decide on an authentic restaurant with fair prices.  According to BrightLocal’s consumer survey, 74% of people believe that having positive reviews makes them trust a business, so if a particular place has shining reviews on their page, it is almost sure that business is booming. On the contrary, isolated incidents or small mistakes that angered a customer all the way to Yelp reviews can be the first step to a swift downfall.

When a smartphone user is traveling or looking for something new, sites like Trip Advisor can be key to searching for a business that is perfect for specific needs.  If a person is trying to be frugal, these sites can help them find the “best bang for their buck” within a few miles of their current location. Everyone is guilty of doing some research for “best chicken parm in New York City” and trying out the first menu that is shown on their iPhone screen, but there are extensive weaknesses that come with such a technology.

The major flaw in the concept of sites that allow free flow of reviews is that they ignore the fact that every person is entitled to their unique opinion. It is human nature to “judge a book by its cover” but when it comes to online reviews, consumers are surrendering to the influence of people they have never even met and according to BrightLocal, 84% of people trust them just as much as a personal recommendation.  A reader does not know the personality, mood or taste of the reviewer, therefore the reader could be influenced by misinformation stemming from an emotional customer, rather than legitimate experience that would have resulted in an opposite experience. For example, a person researching reviews for hotels could decide against one after reading a negative review about the indoor pool not being clean – but unbeknownst to the reader – the reviewer was a total germaphobe.

A company with a strong Marketing and Human Resources team can normally defend itself against unhappy clients. There will always be dissatisfied clients, but it’s about how the company reacts and attempts to fix things that keeps their image positive. With free flow of customer opinions over the internet, companies are at the mercy of accusations, negative reviews and unhappy customers. Firstly, they would have to go out of their way to view the negative connotation pertaining to their company.  Also, their arguing with consumers via internet comments could be looked upon as unprofessional and even nasty when it comes to the public eye.

On the contrary, companies can bribe customers to write positive reviews even if they had a bad or average experience. For example, at many restaurants, a customer must like the company Facebook page before they can access free wifi or waitresses will offer a free drink for anyone at the table that can present a positive Yelp review. 7 out of 10 people surveyed will leave a review when asked. This means that even some positive reviews are giving customers the wrong idea about a company and affecting business positively, when in reality, some changes may be necessary. Amazon recently banned customers from accepting money for reviews. The team at Amazon understands that people will write positive things for a bit of bribery, so they are stopping this problem in order to have raw, real reviews of their products.  Hopefully, other review sites will follow in these footsteps and control comments in order to save certain business reputations.

Consumer survey and review websites are changing the way consumers select who they do business with as a whole. Whether reviews are positive or negative, they will take part in the company’s public reputation and persuade them when it comes to where new customers will take their business. Review sites can be a double edged sword for businesses; a positive business review can generate unlimited business, but a negative review from an emotional customer can deter possible customers from ever trying something new.

When looking for a new place to visit, make sure to read carefully and weed out bogus comments on review websites. Read as many reviews as time allows and take note of whether they were all in a certain timespan.  Also, owners and employees change often (especially if customers are unsatisfied) so sometimes it is worth it to give a business a chance despite a few bad reviews. In conclusion, personal experience is the best indicator of how successful a business deserves to be; maybe even write a helpful and detailed review of your own!

Department Of Labor Overtime Law Delayed By Federal Judge

DOL

 

  • New Department of Labor’s overtime rule, set to go into effect on December 1st, 2016, has been delayed by a Texas Federal Judge’s ruling on November 22nd, 2016

In October we reported the legal obstacles facing the (DOL) Department of Labor’s new overtime rule, which was set to go into effect December 1st, 2016, and has now been delayed by a Texas Federal Judge.

21 U.S. states and dozens of business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a lawsuit to stop the new rule, which included an increase to the payment threshold of overtime for certain employers from $23,660 to $47,476 per year.  An automatic increase to the threshold would also occur every 3 years, beginning in 2020. Advocates pushing to stop the new change cited it would cost private employers millions of dollars and increase government costs by millions.

On November 22nd, 2016, Amos L. Mazzant III, a Federal Judge in the Eastern District of Texas, sided with the plaintiffs and issued a nationwide preliminary injunction, citing the DOL overstepped its authority by raising the threshold so high, and criticized the 3 year increase.  He also ruled the DOL, “exceeds its delegated authority and ignores Congress’s intent by raising the minimum salary level.”

“The DOL’s role is to carry out Congress’s intent. If Congress intended the salary requirement to supplant the duties test, then Congress, and not the DOL, should make that change.” 

The Federal Judge’s ruling delays the December 1st effective date indefinitely, and employers are not required to implement the changes as of yet.   It is unclear if the rule will be thrown out completely, or if certain parts will be salvaged and postponed to a later date.