Category Archives: Employer Branding

The Top 3 Reasons Your Application Process Is Hurting Your Company

Application ProcessAs an industry, HR is experiencing a paradigm shift. Instead of focusing mostly on payroll, the department now weighs in on a range of strategic priorities.

To make time, HR professionals are trading their antiquated legacy software for new, shiny platforms that automate monotonous administrative work.

But this hasn’t always translated to the application process, because while new tech may help with administration, it doesn’t help attract premier talent — at least not on its own.

A twenty-page form that includes a personality test and background check may sync up with some sleek HR software, but the experience of filling it out is still terrible for the applicant.

Similarly, a poorly written (or even just boring) job advertisement may convince interested candidates to do a complete 180 and look elsewhere.

Each step in the application process must revolve around the candidate rather than the employer. Each task is an experience candidates have with your organization, and each step influences their opinion of your organization.

If your application process is tortuous, then you won’t attract high caliber employees, and you won’t be able to focus on other strategic initiatives. As marketing focuses on being customer-centric, so must human resources shift to a candidate-focused mindset.

If you want to make a great candidate impression, here’s a list of antiquated processes that must be weeded out of the application experience.

1. Unresponsive Hiring Managers

When a candidate applies for a job, it’s common courtesy to send them a thank you email and let them know what to expect — even if that expectation is simply you reviewing their CV. Further, even if a candidate doesn’t make it to the next leg of the hiring journey, you must still inform them.

As evidence, consider that 79% of job applicants ranked not receiving any follow-up information after applying as the biggest frustration when considering new jobs. 73% said the time it took for HR to respond was unacceptable.

Not responding to a candidate’s application isn’t only unprofessional, it’s damaging to your company’s reputation. Sites like Glassdoor are littered with poor reviews based mostly on the application process. It’ll be much harder to convince that hotshot developer to come on board when there are accusations of an apathetic HR department littering the Internet.

2. A Confusing, Outdated Application

There’s a disconnect between how candidates want to apply for jobs and how HR managers think potential employees should be vetted.

Some 50% of employers felt that a rigorous application experience weeds out low-quality applications. News flash: 60% of candidates will abandon the process if they feel applying for a job takes too long.

Implementing a “rigorous” application process to filter candidates is absurd. The high-quality candidates you’re looking for already have jobs, and they won’t be impressed by a company that purposely makes it difficult to apply for open positions.

A quick fix for this scenario is to implement one-click applies buttons on your careers website. These simple mechanisms allow candidates to upload their resume or apply with another profile, like one on LinkedIn.

Another best practice is to make sure your careers website is optimized for mobile interactions. A company’s career website is still the preferred destination to apply for open jobs, and when you factor in that 60% of all Internet traffic takes place on mobile, the importance of mobile optimization becomes crystal clear.

3. Not Using Data to Make Things Better

Nearly every aspect of business is a numbers game now, so it’s critical to start gathering and analyzing data around your application process.

Any applicant tracking system worth the cloud space it’s hosted on should offer you analytics for application times and conversion rates, so you’ll easily be able to see which sources provide the best candidates, the most completed applications, and eventually, the most hires.

This data should supply you with insight on everything from how the job opening should be written, to how long the application should be, to even the design of the careers website.

Using intuition alone can lead to flawed assumptions like making the application more difficult to fill out so you only get the highest quality candidates — it’s just not going to work very well.

If you’re wondering how HR is supposed to comply with these demands from applicants, then you probably need to upgrade your software. If you conduct a thorough recruitment software comparison, you’ll find that the best systems offer email templates which can be sent automatically after each candidate applies, analytics for tracking mobile engagement as well as desktop conversion rates on application submissions, and the ability to install one-click apply buttons.

Like many of the other changes in the HR universe, the application process is in dire need of a revamp. With the right strategy and the right software, you should be able to craft an experience that’s both engaging and efficient for all 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…

What Is Gravitational Recruiting and How Can You Use It?

Gravitational RecruitingUs recruiters need to put more thought into trying to create Gravitational Recruiting. That is, recruiting that pulls in applicants (active and passive) like matter in space to the Earth or the Sun.

Currently, we have more of a mindset of just get something out there to be seen. As if, someone just seeing that our company has a job opening is enough to get someone to apply.

But, we cannot get too salesy and pushy, because people do not like to be sold to or recruited when they are not really looking (fairly happy).

How do we create Gravitational Recruiting?

Firstly, we need to market to the people who would think (if they knew more about your company and job) – “I really want what you have to offer in the job.” We need to know what they want, what is missing in their current roles, what their challenges are, what their problems are, etc. We need multiple targets, because we might be resolving multiple problems and one size does not fit all.

Secondly, we need to create emotion engaging messages that resonate with our targeted applicants. We need to show that we have what they have always wanted and they could be living the dream by working for us.

Thirdly, we need to use the right media that our targeted groups are at.

If you had a food truck, you would go where you knew there were starving crowds. Starving crowds is the targeted group, the food truck and marketing on the truck would show how they would be filled and get a great new flavor or experience coming to them, and where they set up (where the crowd is at) would be the media/location. What kind of marketing or sales would you need? You show up and people are pulled to your truck because they are starving and crave what you have.

To create Gravitational Recruiting, you need to figure out who are your targeted applicants and what are they starving for. Obviously, that is why the active candidates are so easy to target. They are pulled to you because they are starving for work and an income. So they come without much more than a job post that just says what the company wants. That is all that is needed and they are pulled in (by the gravity of their need).

What about passive candidates? You know, the people that say they are happy where they are at and try to get off the phone as soon as possible when you call. What are they starving for? It does not necessarily have to be about more money.

Could be a shorter commute or telecommute opportunity. Many candidates say they are looking because they are tired of the drive in (unless they are unemployed, and then they are more open to driving farther).

Could be less travel. Many contractors are tired of the 75% or 100% travel and want to settle down.

Could be a cause that your company serves. Nonprofits have been using this for years to attract talent at lower wages. For profit companies could stand for something and have a cause as well. Think of Ford in the early days. Their cause was to make cars affordable and accessible to all. Some people wanted to make that happen. Startups also often have an advantage here, because they are often trying to change the world in some way.

Could be specific experience that would be gained. Perhaps you are offering a manager position and someone would like to get into management for the first time. Perhaps you are offering a position that will get exposure to a technology they always wanted to work with. Perhaps you are offering a position in an industry that they have always wanted to work in. It is always difficult getting your first job in a new area, because so many managers want people who have been there and done that. So if you have a position that will allow someone who does not yet have the experience get into the position, you have something to offer.

Could be a benefit that could not be had anywhere else (or very rarely). Perhaps you have a dog-friendly office and a group that could be targeted are people with the skill-set you are looking for who have always wanted to bring their dogs to work. Perhaps your company has on-site day care, laundry services, banking, barber, car shop, etc…or agreements with nearby services so that employees can get their tasks done while at work. Has your company ever thought about hiring a concierge to help the company’s employees and make their lives easier?

Ask your current employees – why did you accept the position and come to work here…why do continue to work here…why do you stay? They will let you know what things they were starving for and how you are keeping them fed. It may be the commute, experience, etc, etc. With this information, you can target groups and create messages that will pull in others who are starving for the same things.

If you do a lot of digging and you still can’t find things in your company that people are starving for, then that might be the problem why you might be having a hard time attracting talent (especially top talent who are more demanding because they are in demand). If that is the case, then you need to work with management and the executives to start creating some things that will fulfill the targeted group’s needs and desires.

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…

The Three Steps of Candidate Attraction

Candidate_AttractionImagine you own a retail store located well off the main road. Very few people drive by and as a result, you’re not selling much. You think if the store was more inviting, more customers would come. So you spend six figures on new shelving, better lighting and even hire a consultant to advise on traffic flow.

Not much changes.

So you decide to change your product signage making it easier for customer to understand and learn about the products you offer. You change the font and layout, and rewrite the product descriptions. You put an ad in the Penny Saver even though the only people who actually read it are retirees who don’t use your products.

The people who do wander into the store buy more so your head of Merchandising is convinced that you are spending money on the right things, but you are not so sure. Not enough people are coming into the store, and of the ones that do, most don’t have the resources to be serious buyers. Will spending more money on store signage really be the answer?

You don’t need a background in retail, or marketing or any other business discipline to understand that building customer traffic will require advertising. If customers don’t know the store is there, it doesn’t matter how well designed and stocked it is.

Now take this scenario to Talent Acquisition. You need more applicant flow so you spend the bulk of your budget on your career site adding videos and making it mobile friendly. That doesn’t seem to generate the quality candidates you want so you decide to rewrite your job descriptions and even post on several job boards.

When that doesn’t work, you seize on the data from Glassdoor and LinkedIn showing that candidates conduct job research on those sites. So you spend money on both of them.

Not much changes.

Generating candidates is a three-step process. When you break down the three steps, it becomes clear what outcome you will get from investments in each of the steps.

3 Steps of Candidate Acquisition

Step 1: Discovery

The first step is Discovery. Much like the retail store, candidates need to know your jobs exist. Right now there are approximately 5 million open jobs in the United States. Unemployment is at historical lows and very, very few qualified people are searching job boards looking for a job. Even fewer are randomly exploring corporate careers sites to see if they can find an appropriate job.

That doesn’t mean that a lot of job switching isn’t going on. People trade up their positions all the time. On average, 50 million people change jobs every year. If you want more of them to apply to you, you need to get your jobs in front of them. People discover jobs through a variety of channels: recruiters reach out to them, a friend calls or emails them, they see the job on social media, an employee refers them, or other serendipitous methods.

Once they discover a job that looks interesting and could be a good career move, they go to step 2.

Step 2: Research

Once their interest has been piqued, they want to know more about the job before they make the investment to apply. The Candidate Experience Research by The Talent Board shows that 76% of candidates conduct research before they apply. This is where the investment in your career site, Glassdoor and LinkedIn comes into play. Informative, interesting and positive information on these sites will keep candidates in your pipeline and advance them to step 3.

Step 3: Apply

The final step is Apply. For candidates who have maintained interest in the job, they are ready to invest the time and effort to apply. Having a streamlined, well-constructed and mobile friendly application will maximize your conversion from viewers to applicants.

If your goal is to increase your pool of applicants, spending money on the Research sites, including your own careers site, will only move the needle a little. Good research sites will keep interested candidates interested, but they do nothing to attract more candidates.

Moving the Needle

If you want to increase your candidate pool with more qualified candidates, you need to invest in the Discovery phase. Discovery requires outreach, advertising and promotion. Your content must be mobile friendly since candidates, especially Millennials, use their phones as their primary source of information. The information must be interesting and engaging since most candidates are not actively looking for a job and you need to entice them to consider yours. Video is the most effective medium for capturing candidates’ attention. And most importantly, you must make social sharing effortless for individuals. To put your job in front of the maximum number of qualified candidates, you must leverage the power of social media and make it easy for individuals to pass your jobs along to friends and colleagues.

If you want potential candidates to take action, your Discovery efforts must be job specific. General information about your company, culture and opportunities will not generate a response from individuals. The hook that prompts action is a specific job that is interesting and appealing to an individual. Potential candidates become aware of a job and immediately assess whether or not the job is a good career move and will advance their career. If the job looks promising, then the individual wants to know more about the hiring organization and they begin their Research phase. But without a specific job to focus the research, the process never advances.

Text-only job descriptions are yesterday’s technology and don’t interest today’s candidates. 

Best-in-class Discovery tools are:

  • Self-contained: candidates do not need to go to another source for basic information,
  • Engaging: include video welcoming message from the potential boss,
  • Sharable: social share buttons built in and
  • Compelling: highlight strengths of the job.

Understanding the three steps to candidate attraction, and the critical elements of each step, will help you assess your strengths and weaknesses, allocate your resources better and improve your results. With a well-disciplined approach, you can build an effective and consistent process that will generate the qualified candidates you need to achieve your recruiting goals.

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…

Improve Your HR Metrics by Harnessing the Power of Data

Word cloud for Employer BrandingCompanies like FitBit have made us addicted to data. If you want to lose weight, you can use data to better understand your sleep and activity habits, and then make changes to reach your goals. By simply wearing their product and choosing from an array of applications, you are provided with eye-opening data, and even a bit of fun in the process.

So why not use data to attract more of the right candidates and improve your bottom line?

Employer Branding and Your Bottom Line

The concept of Employer Branding is fairly new to many people, but the return for companies that invest in this area deserves consideration. Take a look at these statistics from a LinkedIn study on how a great Employer Brand can improve your company’s bottom line:

  • 28% reduction in the organization’s turnover
  • 50% cost per hire reduction
  • 50% more qualified applicants
  • 1-2x faster time to hire

Source: LinkedIn study.

Accurate data analytics with actionable insights provides the key to unlocking this kind of value.

Let’s go back to the FitBit example. Imagine having that experience with your Employer Brand. Insightful data about your strategies, your social influence, proof of your ROI; all of these things and more are possible when you harness the power of data analytics.

Recommendations for Getting Started with Employer Branding

Working along with the analytics, here are a few recommendations for measuring and improving your Employer Brand:

  1. Figure out what the ‘finish line’ looks like. There are general goals that can be achieved by managing a great EB, but it’s time to get specific. What type of candidate are you looking to attract? Is your EVP (Employer Value Proposition) clear and communicated effectively? Answer these questions first and then plan your strategies and tactics to support those goals.
  2. Choose, measure and track what matters. As you move forward, decide on KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) related to your people and culture goals, and then track them as you implement your changes.
  3. Implement changes based on your data and current research. Trends that appear in your data, or in relevant research in the field (eg. The LinkedIn study above) will bring opportunities for change, so it’s important to always be open to trying new things like employee generated content, videos that openly share who you are without too much production, and other ideas that may be outside of your norm
  4. Reap ALL the benefits of a great Employer Brand. After you’ve put in some serious work on points one through three, you’ll begin to see a return on your Employer Brand investment. Follow your key HR metrics (see examples from the LinkedIn list above) from start to finish and you’ll see the positive effects that a great Employer Brand has on your bottom line.

Start Small, Start Now

The concept of Employer Branding is gaining momentum all over the world, in companies of all types and sizes. Employers are quickly recognizing the return on investment here, in areas like employee retention, engagement, and ultimately, their bottom line. Whether you are a team of one or one-hundred, you can start small, but you should start today.

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…