Monthly Archives: December 2015

5 Ways to Get Your Candidate Experience Right

5 WaysThe acquisition and development of new skills is a key priority for most organizations. The effective recruitment of new employees and retention of existing talent in a labor market in which unemployment is falling, opportunities are increasing and salaries are starting to rise, provides challenges for all recruiters and HR teams.

For the public sector this challenge is intensified. The most sought after skills are needed by organizations in all sectors and at all levels, meaning that the public sector is competing with others for the same talent, and also fighting to keep the people it has from being tempted elsewhere.

The way that job seekers approach the market is also changing. More searching is done on mobile devices and at all times, not just core office hours. These searches aren’t just restricted to open vacancies but now include finding out what type of employer the hiring company is. There are sites where job seekers can rate their interview experience, sharing some of the questions asked, and also offer views on their employer. Rejected applicants can write about their experiences too. Social media platforms increase the range of channels through which hiring organizations can share the messages showing what type of business they are to work for.

In a competitive recruitment market, where skills are in demand and options available across sectors, first impressions count. The way that organizations go about attracting and recruiting new employees sets an expectation for the eventual employment experience. It can also be a differentiator for candidates with multiple options. Rejected candidates are now also part of the recruitment ecosystem. They are a source of referrals and whilst their background may have ruled them out at present, they could become relevant in the future, so the way we treat them is important. The candidate experience isn’t just about the people we hire but also the ones we reject, whether it’s at application stage or later in the process.

The benefits of a giving a good candidate experience definitely repay the investment in making it happen. It’s a differentiator for those who are in demand and creates advocates of those who aren’t an exact match. The private sector treats job applicants as consumers, knowing that those they reject still purchase their goods and services, so the public sector needs to treat them similarly or risk losing out on the talent it needs.

For public sector employers competing with private sector organizations for key staff, a positive candidate experience can create a real advantage. Here are five ways to make sure you get it right from the start…

Road test your recruitment process
Do you know what it’s like to be an applicant for one of your roles? Find out by applying. The key things here are ease of use and speed of communication. Most candidates are time pressed and want to give just the information necessary at the application stage. They need a quick acknowledgement and some idea of the length and make up of the process. If applications won’t be processed until a certain date make sure they know, and also communicate if they haven’t been successful. And above all else, remember that at least half will be applying from a mobile device, probably during a commute or another time when they may have patchy connectivity, so the process needs to be mobile friendly and concise. Ask them lots of questions, and they’ll probably drop the application.

Well-written job postings
Most job seekers, particularly those with sought after skills, want to know what’s in it for them. They don’t apply to a checklist of competencies and achievements but to an opportunity to be a part of an organization’s vision and values, in a role that will give them new experiences and challenges. Make it a job proposition and use the job posting to paint a picture, portray the scope of the role, how it fits in and what difference it will make. Make it realistic too – successful candidates who find the role not matching expectations may not stay around too long. A well-written advert should also cut down on the number of applicants, by attracting those who are most relevant.

Interview experience
In a competitive market the chances are that some organizations will reduce the number of interviews to get their person quickly meaning sought after candidates are unlikely to be available for three or four rounds of interviews. Hiring managers need to be aware of this and should be investing the same amount of time in preparation as the candidates. Do you know how the hiring manager interviews? Or how they sell the opportunity? Check by having them interview someone in HR or the recruitment team, or sit in on one of their interviews. Job applicants now rate their interviews online so stories of cancelled appointment slots, late starts or ill-prepared interviewers can put many off from applying. The time invested in finding the right person can be very indicative of decision making in the wider business.

Keep them informed
Candidates always want to know where they are in the process and have feedback on how they are performing. They may well be pursuing a few opportunities and will look positively on those that keep them informed, acknowledge correspondence, advise them on the length of the process and always give information on the next steps. Lack of communication, and feedback, is usually the number one reason why candidates think they have had a poor experience so everyone involved in the recruitment process needs to be comfortable communicating. Hiring managers in particular need to understand the importance of timely, constructive feedback and be prepared to offer it.

On-boarding
The process of on-boarding should start when the candidate applies for the role. It may be an email, or application through a third party site, but one of the applications received will be the hiring company’s next employee and possibly one that will be bringing some much needed new skills and experience into the organization. Problems in a new role usually occur within the first few months, and will almost certainly be down to an expectation mismatch regarding either the position or company culture. The best on-boarding processes offer a personal, high touch approach involving the hiring manager and any other employees involved in the recruitment process.

Simplicity, speed, transparency and communication are all crucial to a positive candidate experience that engages and attracts the best candidates.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with only qualified and verified professionals that we have vetted for each position you are looking to fill.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

Apple’s Interview Questions Revealed

Apple's Interview QuestionsWhat does it take to get a job at Apple? It might be a dream job for many but aside from the talent and experience required for the role, a candidate needs to keep a cool head in one of the highest-pressure interviews they’re likely to have.

Business Insider have gone through a number of questions, submitted to Glassdoor, that applicants have been asked at interviews at Apple. Some were practical, others technical, but there’s also a fair few esoteric ones in there too.

A sample of the questions can be seen below, alongside the roles they were related to:

“If you have 2 eggs, and you want to figure out what’s the highest floor from which you can drop the egg without breaking it, how would you do it? What’s the optimal solution?” — Software Engineer candidate

“Explain to an 8 year old what a modem/router is and its functions.” — At-Home Advisor candidate

“How many children are born every day?” — Global Supply Manager candidate

“There are three boxes, one contains only apples, one contains only oranges, and one contains both apples and oranges. The boxes have been incorrectly labeled such that no label identifies the actual contents of the box it labels. Opening just one box, and without looking in the box, you take out one piece of fruit. By looking at the fruit, how can you immediately label all of the boxes correctly?” — Software QA Engineer candidate

“How would you breakdown the cost of this pen?” — Global Supply Manager candidate

“Are you smart?” — Build Engineer candidate

“You put a glass of water on a record turntable and begin slowly increasing the speed. What happens first — does the glass slide off, tip over, or does the water splash out?” — Mechanical Engineer candidate

“Are you creative? What’s something creative that you can think of?” — Software Engineer candidate

“You seem pretty positive, what types of things bring you down?” — Family Room Specialist candidate

“If you’re given a jar with a mix of fair and unfair coins, and you pull one out and flip it 3 times, and get the specific sequence heads heads tails, what are the chances that you pulled out a fair or an unfair coin?” — Lead Analyst candidate

“What was your best day in the last 4 years? What was your worst?” —Engineering Project Manager candidate

“How would you test a toaster?” — Software QA Engineer candidate

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with only qualified and verified professionals that we have vetted for each position you are looking to fill.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

9 Employee Retention Statistics That Will Make You Sit Up and Pay Attention

Employee Retention StatisticsRetention in the workplace is in a predicament — the revolving door is circulating faster, and the organizations struggling with this are on the lookout for a solution.

They want to keep employees long after they’ve been hired and maintain high levels of productivity, but to do so, they need to examine some of the causes of poor retention.

Insights into the state of retention today

Let’s look at some statistics to keep in mind as you look to solve your retention concerns.

1. Some 73% of organizations revamp their on-boarding to improve their employee retention. It’s not the only reason companies update onboarding, but it’s an important one that should clue you into how important retention is at most companies. This is the time in which new hires connect with the company, so improving the correlation between their work and the organizational values will help boost employee longevity.

2. One third of new hires quit their job after about six (6) months. During the early stages of your employees’ careers, it’s critical to outline milestones for your new hires to accomplish. Without these goals to help attentively cultivate new employees, it’s easy for them to become under-challenged or overwhelmed. Both situations create an unnecessarily heavy burden on your recruiters and your employees.

3. Referred employees have a 45% retention rate after two years. As it turns out, most referred employees are more likely to stay in their new role. That 45% number is much lower than the average employee sourced from, say, a job board (80%), possibly because they’re working with people they already know in a position they’re more likely to functionally fit. Your referral program is invaluable to the success and tenure of your new employees, and like your on-boarding process, reassess it as needed to improve retention.

4. Nearly four out of five (78%) of business leaders rank employee retention as important or urgent. With the cost of employee turnover and the benefits of having retaining well-trained employees versed in company policies and procedures, making sure new hires don’t leave for avoidable reasons is one of leaders’ top concerns, and should be one of yours, too.

5. Remote workers are 50% less likely to quit. Employees who telecommute to work are typically more satisfied with their jobs, so it makes sense they’d be less likely to quit – they’re able to work at their own pace, in an environment they’re comfortable in. This makes remote work options a powerful way for companies to retain employees.

6. One third (33%) of employees knew whether they would stay with their company long-term after their first week. Only one-third of employees … that’s a pretty small number in terms of retention. Your company’s first impression is incredibly important. You simply can’t afford to let your new employees figure out their place in your company; you need to engage them early and often with a specific strategy and goal in mind.

7. Some 35% of employees will start looking for a job if they don’t receive a pay raise in the next 12 months. They may not be some of the most loyal employees, but you can expect to see some possible retention problems if the company can’t provide the team with raises. No matter how long your employees have been with your company, they expect a raise every year. But if you’ve on-boarded new hires well, created a connection between their role in the company and the overall values, this might not be as much of a problem as you’d expect.

8. One third (33%) of leaders at companies with 100 plus employees are currently looking for jobs. Even those in senior leadership roles aren’t immune to leaving. Don’t let your leadership fall prey to feeling undervalued at your organization; give them the reassurance they need to stay. Otherwise, they’ll likely head for greener pastures.

9. 32% of employers say they expect employees to job-hop. With the increasing number of employees who stay at a company no longer than three years, some companies have begun making it part of their hiring plan. It’s smart to keep trends like this in mind when building a hiring plan, but it’s also smart to figure out their root cause, and see if your company can’t do something to stop job-hopping from happening in the first place.

These statistics don’t paint a pretty picture about the state of employee retention. The good news is that you can use these statistics as a way to develop new strategies to retain employees for the long haul, and hopefully develop a new hiring process along the way.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with only qualified and verified professionals that we have vetted for each position you are looking to fill.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…