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Behind the Screens: Understanding the Business Case for Mobile

Behind the Screens: Understanding the Business Case for Mobile

Talent Acquisition technology continues to undergo the same “mobile transformation” as the rest of the Internet. Today’s candidates not only search for jobs using mobile devices, they also look to apply for openings quickly and easily via mobile. In fact, there are more global candidates using hand-held devices than desktop computers (6.8 billion mobile users versus 2.5 billion desktop users), a number that is expected to increase in the near future.
With more and more candidates using mobile devices for everything – including reviewing career sites, searching for jobs, and applying to job postings – there is an obvious disconnect between candidates and potential employers. Talent Acquisition … we have a problem! While candidates fully expect the ability to apply online via mobile, a multitude of well-established companies still haven’t implemented mobile-enabled career sites.
Important facts to consider:
• In 2014, 50 percent of job applicants used their mobile phones to search and apply for jobs.
• 40 percent of mobile candidates abandon an application once they determine it is not mobile optimized.
• Applicant rates drop by a staggering 365 percent if an online application takes more than 15 minutes to complete.
The business case for improving the mobile candidate experience is compelling. The qualified candidate pool is at-risk of shrinking when not mobile-enabled due to increased applicant drop off rates and the cost-per-applicant rises for each additional minute the online application takes to complete.
As noted above, candidates expect mobile apply functionality to be fast, simple and easy to complete. When developing a mobile career site, companies should evaluate which details are truly critical for an applicant to complete on the first pass, versus the “nice to have” information. Mobile career sites should be simplified and convenient with clean layouts, single-column field displays, prominently displayed job search functionality and seamless navigation.
Implementing a mobile career site truly enhances the candidate experience, and thereby improves the candidates’ impression of the organizations to which they are applying. Mobile technology connects candidates to employers from anywhere and at any time. Now is the time for all companies to embrace this direction, and forge ahead by implementing mobile apply strategies and technologies.

Jibe – webinar “Mobile Recruitment: Only the Beginning” (January 13, 2015)
iMomentous – webinar “There Is No Such Thing as Mobile Recruiting” (January 15, 2015) – article “How to Improve Your Mobile Recruiting in 2015”

Onboarding: It Lasts More Than a Day

In an increasingly competitive hiring environment, employers spend a great deal of time and resources trying to find the right candidates and convince them that their company can provide the best career opportunity. As a result, many companies invest in recruiting technologies that offer a simple, streamlined and all-around less cumbersome application process in order to deliver a more positive and rewarding candidate experience. However, after such a smooth recruiting process and hearing nothing but great things about the company, new hires who accept offers of employment are often subsequently met with a less-than-ideal onboarding experience. Most of the time, new hires are simply greeted with a slew of paperwork on their first day and not much else.

Clearly, there exists a growing disconnect when it comes to transitioning individuals from candidates to employees. One of the biggest mistakes companies can make in this regard is to end the onboarding process after the new hire’s first day. Instead, it is more effective to view onboarding as a fluid process that lasts six months to a full year after the start date. This concept is backed up by recent research showing that the vast majority of organizations believe a new hire makes the decision about whether to stay with a company within their first year of employment. However, very few companies have onboarding processes that last a year, let alone the first six months.

Rather than wowing new talent with a high-level recruiting process aided by advanced technology and followed by delivery of a flawed – and often manual – onboarding experience, companies can benefit from integrating technology into their onboarding process, too. However, technology is only part of the solution. True success will depend on using the technology to define and drive the process in a consistent manner, all the while retaining a human touch. Remember, people are the most important resource you have for guaranteeing a successful onboarding experience.

To ensure an effective, people-focused onboarding process, and build loyalty with your new hires, consider the following strategies:

  • Ensure the work station is ready to go on the new hire’s first day. This may sound silly but it’s an important and often overlooked component of the onboarding process.
  • Socialize the employee by introducing him or her to new colleagues. Or better yet, implement a mentoring or buddy system for new hires to help them become acclimated with the workplace.
  • Set clear expectations and discuss how their role is critical to the success of the entire organization.
  • Ensure managers are actively involved in the experience to make new hires feel valued as important additions to the team.
  • Discuss advancement opportunities up front so new hires can feel they have a future with the organization.
  • Ensure that learning and development are part of the onboarding process.
  • The process should be consistent for all employees
  • And lastly, understand that the onboarding process should last at least the first 90 days, but it will be much more effective at six months to a year.

>> Five Steps Toward Successful Onboarding Technology Implementation <<

Onboarding technology is one of the most misunderstood and undervalued solutions available, and most of that confusion stems from the fact that employers rarely extend the onboarding process beyond an employee’s first day. Onboarding needs to be viewed as more than just filling out paperwork, but rather as welcoming a new member onto the team. Understanding that onboarding is a people-focused process that requires an investment of time, and recognizing how technology can help to facilitate – but not substitute for it – is necessary. Once that happens, the company will benefit from a successful onboarding process that engages employees from their very first day.

Talent Acquisition Full Life Cycle Technology Options

Talent Acquisition Full Life Cycle Technology Options

From Branding to Onboarding, Is It Possible to Implement Only One Solution?

As the true definition of talent acquisition technology has emerged, it is no longer confined to “ATS.” What we now understand is that talent acquisition extends to include branding and marketing, sourcing, networking, and assessments, just to name a few. In order to effectively engage top talent prior to starting the traditional recruiting process via an ATS, employers must have the right solutions in place. And with more organizations focused on implementing solutions to support these critical areas of the talent acquisition process, there is a new challenge facing the marketplace. Many are struggling with how to manage multiple vendors and technology solutions through various integrations, created in response to market trends including employment branding and leveraging CRM technology to manage sourcing and networking.

The question is what happens after you have implemented several different solutions to support these various functions and have integrated them with one another. Some would say that you have a robust solution in place to attract talent, network with passive candidates, manage active candidates, and select and hire top talent. While this may be true in the short term, will this be efficient in the long run? Or have you created “Frankenstein?”

Your talent acquisition, HR and IT teams are now responsible for maintaining several solutions at once, and as new releases are required, these teams will have to accommodate the updates into their routine and respond to each vendor. Depending on the size of the organization, you might need to create a separate team just to manage the changes of 5-6 different technology solutions. Another option is to ignore the new releases, and in less than a year, have systems that no longer communicate or meet the needs of the organization. A third option, switching from one solution to another, also poses a significant risk, not to mention the effort involved in dismantling the various solutions in order to implement a new one.

The good news is that there are talent acquisition solutions on the rise that specifically respond to this problematic long term issue. These particular vendors are cutting edge and have identified the need for organizations to have that “one stop shop” for all things talent acquisition. Such solutions already include features for branding, marketing, talent communities, CRM, ATS and onboarding, offering an easier implementation, post launch support and improved efficiencies for upgrading to new versions. While this option is available now, look to 2015 and 2016 for more technology partners in this arena. As you assess your organization’s current technology landscape, keep this trend in mind to ensure all talent acquisition operations are set up for lasting success.


Solving the Talent Acquisition Technology Mystery

Solving the Talent Acquisition Technology Mystery

As the Talent Acquisition technology market grows more competitive, it seems that the latest and greatest solutions get pushed at you from all sides, with flashy ad campaigns and slick marketing. When trying to cut through the noise, it can be difficult to see past the big promises and select the right solution to suit your needs. And with so many to choose from, only so many of the promises will come true, leaving some organizations feeling like they’ve been had.

Much like trying to find the way to your final destination with no map to guide you, finding the right Talent Acquisition technology can be tricky, but fortunately there are ways around the entanglement. However, to make it happen, you’ll need to don your detective cap to select the right solution to fit your needs.

Assess the situation. Consider your organization’s current state and future state goals, where your Talent Acquisition is now and where it needs to be 1, 3 or 5 years. Consider what your organization needs to do to attract and engage top talent while offering a positive candidate experience.

Consider the suspects. Candidate experience is a key ingredient in the talent acquisition process. That means you need to account for who you are hiring and how you will be connecting with these candidates. New platforms are being introduced at a rapid rate to help increase productivity for on the go management of talent acquisition efforts. Social, mobile and digital channels are all part of the equation, unlike 5 years ago, and can’t be ignored. Make sure to investigate how each will resonate with your audience and develop a strategy accordingly.

List the evidence. Take stock of what you already have and what you are looking to gain. Which features will be most beneficial to your organization? Have stakeholders from across your organization weigh in. Select 3-5 benefits that are an absolute must have and work through the market from there. This will ensure that your topline goals are met. After that is accomplished, you can move forward knowing that your basic needs will be met.

Go to trial. With a few solutions in mind, complete trials to become familiar with the technologies in action. This will ensure that a given solution works with any existing system, fits your processes and completes your overall Talent Acquisition strategy. If it doesn’t, try again. At this stage, it is important to take your time. Benefits may need to be reconsidered, processes rearranged and developing a change management plan may come into play.

Like any good mystery, selecting the right Talent Acquisition solution requires laying the groundwork and working through the details step by step. When in doubt, plot your path and stop to ask for help before continuing on.

Diet and Exercise to Optimize Talent Acquisition

Diet and Exercise to Optimize Talent Acquisition

Much like consistent diet and exercise is a process we follow to help us stay fit, so too is the talent acquisition optimization process. When we set out to optimize our talent acquisition technology and process, we must implement consistent procedures to make certain the system and activities function as effectively and efficiently as possible. But how do we know if our talent acquisition needs a dose of “diet and exercise,” and better yet, how do we begin? Maybe it’s obvious that it’s not as healthy and fit as it once was – or perhaps like many of us – it was never actually that fit, but just seemed to have retained “the body it was born with.” In any case, much like our bodies change– often becoming higher maintenance and more injury-prone – over time, our talent acquisition process and systems can become sluggish, less agile, and suffer from years of workarounds.

While implementing a diet and exercise plan is the framework needed to help us get back in shape, the real goal is to take a new approach to eating that will satisfy our daily nutritional requirements at minimum cost and calories and to engage in activities that burn off the calories we consume as quickly and efficiently as possible. In similar fashion, we should create a framework to ensure that our talent acquisition systems take in the minimum amount of data required to satisfy both organizational and compliance requirements and design related processes and activities for minimum cost and effort in order to maintain top performance and provide a pleasant experience.

Here are 3 steps to get your talent acquisition process and systems back in shape:

1) Get on the Scale. Weigh-in and even take a “picture” of your current talent acquisition process and systems and assess what you see. Keep in mind that you should evaluate: where you are, how you got to that point and what worked well (or didn’t). Document your current state processes, workflows, work activities, inputs and outputs, including communications and roles and responsibilities. Gather first-hand insights and input from a diverse and representative group of recruiters and sourcers in order to develop a comprehensive view of the current state.

2) Set Health and Fitness Goals. Identify where you want to go. Leverage the information gained through the assessment to identify your goal “weight” and what you need to do to get there. Consult your team and identify best practices for recruiting process workflows, the technology platforms, key decisions and strategic direction. Develop a detailed future state process focused on the resources, activities, workflows, systems integration, transactional data model and user roles associated with the optimized talent acquisition plan. Identify requirements and conduct fit/gap analysis to build out functional and technical requirements for the technology that will support the optimized future state process.

3) Get in Motion. Once you have defined the optimized end-state talent acquisition process model and identified the technology changes needed to drive greater efficiency and accountability and improve overall experience, it’s time to start your diet and exercise plan. Make the process changes, reconfigure the systems, all the while driving effective change management.

Needless to say, we are all likely to feel healthier overall when we eat right and exercise regularly, but getting started and staying the course is easier said than done. If this seems too challenging, it’s wise to consider hiring a “nutritionist” or “personal trainer,” who has helped a multitude of others reach their fitness goals. The same holds true for renovating your talent acquisition systems and processes. In the end, undertaking an optimization effort can help keep you and your team members stay motivated, and help your organization feel healthier overall.

How to Foolproof Your CRM Implementation

How to Foolproof Your CRM Implementation

Over the last several years, CRM systems that support sourcing and talent pipelining have become very popular – and it’s easy to see why. Many companies face the same challenges when it comes to recruiting, but it really all comes down to this: with the sheer volume of people looking for jobs, how do we find the right candidate faster?

Implementing a CRM seems like a small investment if the end result is the ability to organize candidate contacts company wide, allow opt-in segmentation of talent, streamline targeted passive and active communications and access a massive database of rich talent to search when you’re ready to hire quickly. It’s tempting to jump into the implementation of the CRM before the ink is dry on the contract, and too many companies have taken this approach only to find the system didn’t hit the mark. But even with a great system in place, you still have the challenge of user adoption. What happens if you miss the mark, and make the system difficult to use or obsolete out of the gate? You guarantee that the time and money spent will be for nothing because sourcers and recruiters will not use a system that doesn’t make it worth their while.

So, how can you develop a foolproof approach? There are three areas any company should focus on and plan for before they even start the design and implementation of their CRM.

1. Strategy: What is the strategy and its impact on the business?

Often times, defining a sourcing strategy is part of the business case to purchase a CRM. But does it go deep enough? Understanding the objectives up front is critical to designing a system that will meet the needs of the company long term. Do you have a current sourcing team? If so, how will this new system change their roles? Do you have defined and enforceable processes that outline each use case? Well thought out future process documentation that has been reviewed and bought off on by your team is invaluable. Knowing where you want to go and how you can measurably define your success is a critical first step.

2. Data: What’s really important?

We see companies migrating way more data to their CRM then they should. There is a tendency to believe that if they could just search their current Talent Acquisition system more efficiently, then they wouldn’t even need a CRM. In reality, all that data just makes it more difficult to find the diamond in the rough.

Spend time realistically reviewing the candidate data available in current systems as well as on spreadsheets located on recruiter’s desktops. How old is the data? Candidate data stales quickly in the average database. Phone numbers, addresses, current positions, degrees… they change and change regularly. There is nothing more frustrating to a sourcer than finding the perfect candidate but having no way to contact them. By migrating only candidate data that is 2-3 years old, you’ll minimize stale contacts.

Look deeper at that 2-3 years of data and determine what can be left behind. Can criteria be applied to ensure you’re pulling quality candidates to populate your CRM? Examples are candidates that meet minimum qualifications, candidates that passed hiring manager screening, candidates that made it to first round interviews, and “silver medalists” candidates who just missed being hired for another position in the company.

If users can’t trust the quality of the data, it’s worthless. Your sourcer will be much better served with fewer search results, but accurate candidate data within the result.

3. Integration: When and to what existing systems?

When planning your implementation timeline prior to kick off, build in time to complete all critical integrations in phase 1. One of the biggest errors when rolling out a CRM is to not have it integrated to your other recruiting systems (particularly the Talent Acquisition system). We often see clients push back integrations to their other talent acquisition systems until phase 2 (or sometimes not at all). Their thought process is to get the system live and users actively working in it and then decide if you need to integrate to other systems. It’s tempting, but a huge mistake.

The purpose of a CRM is to ensure sourcers can tap into crucial candidate information quickly. If the CRM isn’t able to “speak” to the other systems, it’s basically worthless to a sourcer, and most of them will abandon using the CRM rather than limp by until phase 2 to have data flowing easily between the two systems. If adoption is the key to a successful CRM, then integrate it to other key recruiting systems prior to rollout.

Just like any other system, in the end, the CRM is only as good as the people using it. But following these steps in preparation for an implementation will help set your users up for success.




Digital Interviewing: The Voice of the Candidate

Digital Interviewing: The Voice of the Candidate

HireVue recently joined forces with The Talent Board and Talent Function to share their research on how digital interviewing influences the candidate experience.


HireVue improves the recruiting process by promoting meaningful human interaction through its Talent Interaction Platform™, a web-based software solution that creates a digitally enhanced, connected experience for recruiters, candidates, and hiring managers. The Talent Board is a non-profit research organization dedicated to improving the candidate experience; it produces the CandE Awards, which recognize organizations that create exceptional candidate experiences. Talent Function focuses their efforts on reinventing talent acquisition for leading organizations.

The research in this report is based on the results of 64,675 HireVue candidate surveys and 46,806 Talent Board CandE Awards surveys completed in 2013.

Janine Woodworth Co-author, Talent Function

Jake Bauer Co-author, HireVue

Denni Oravec Content Provider, The Talent Board

The Complexity in Reassigning Recruiting Teams to Optimize Performance

The Complexity in Reassigning Recruiting Teams to Optimize Performance

Many organizations have multiple recruiting teams supporting their business goals. And while these teams have the best of intentions, over time they may adopt their own workflow, and contribute to organizational obstacles such as the duplication of roles, diluted resources, inconsistent job duties, ineffective technologies, compensation inequities and disparate processes.

When this happens, it becomes challenging for recruiting organizations to implement the change needed to regain control and improve performance. Even relatively small process changes become difficult to administer.

To overcome these obstacles, recruiting organizations should seek to reinvent themselves and align their resources and processes and finally, their technologies. This starts off by determining who is doing what and why. There are many ways to accomplish this, including interviews with team members or time studies. These organizations can also distribute a matrix to recruiting leaders asking them to identify their employees by name, job title and the percentage of time they work on core recruiting and secondary activities (i.e. college recruiting). Analysis of these activities will help spot inconsistent job duties and processes being performed across the organization. The completed matrix can be used also to investigate role realignment and recognize inequities in team member workloads, for example.

If the individual recruiting teams adopted different target metrics, the organization should seek enterprise-wide recruiting metrics and service level expectations agreed upon by company leadership. These metrics may include: number of open positions assigned per team member, recruiting manager span of control, staffing specialist to recruiter ratios and average time to fill. Once these target metrics and service level expectations are established, recruiting organizations can adjust their modeling and realign the recruiting teams accordingly. In addition, the organizations may consider revising their recruiting teams’ job descriptions before they communicate new target metrics and then manage each team based on the revised expectations.

A large Fortune 100 company with some 250,000 employees worldwide was recently in this situation. With several lines of business, each recruiting team operated its own unique practices, processes, roles and technology solutions to meet the individual line requirements. Due to the complexities outlined above, the company chose to reinvent their over-arching recruiting processes before finalizing a new Applicant Tracking System (ATS) design. In order to accomplish this, they had to first, understand their current state, accomplished by completing time studies of their recruiters and staffing specialists. Later, leadership realigned the future state recruiting processes and roles for the recruiting teams across the enterprise. Finally, they devised a recruiting resource matrix to help them obtain the details needed to understand what each individual person on the team and the alignment (or lack thereof) of job duties. By taking these steps, the company was empowered to meet its goals and able to design a new system based on the most efficient, streamlined future state for optimized recruiting.

Once realigned, recruiting organizations will be positioned to better leverage their existing technology or seek new solutions to meet future needs. If organizations choose to update their technology without paying attention to the best practices outlined above, they run the risk of over designing the system to meet the disparate processes. An overly complex configuration will be equally difficult to maintain and only lead to more chaos amongst the teams. Avoid these problems by taking the time to reevaluate and realign recruiting teams to reduce ineffective and inefficient processes and then seek to optimize technology to empower success.

Waiting in line…

Waiting in line…

Greetings from 37,000 feet! This morning at 7:45 a.m., while waiting in line to take my seat for my secondflight of the day, I realized just how much I had already been performing this mundane and mindless task:

  • Waiting in line to present my boarding pass and ID to the TSA Agent
  • Waiting in line to place my bags and myself through the X-ray machine
  • Waiting in line to present my boarding pass to the gate agent
  • Waiting in line to stow my bags and take my seat onboard the plane
  • Waiting in line to retrieve my bags and get off the plane
  • Waiting in line to get a bagel and coffee during my brief layover

And my day was just getting started!

As I stood there observing the jet bridge full of passengers who were slowly shuffling toward the plane, it occurred to me how amazing – and yet discouraging – it is that we spend so much of our precious time waiting in line. Mind you, I’m an A-type personality so whenever I’m traveling, I prefer not to simply stand quietly in line and wait to move forward. I’ve determined that I enjoy the experience much more when I engage those around me in casual conversation. I find that it not only helps to pass the time, but to create potential opportunities. Therefore, I look for common ground with other passengers and speak with them about any number of topics (i.e. what they do for a living, where they work, where they went to college, etc.).

Then I got to thinking, this must be exactly how candidates feel after submitting their profile/résumé to a potential employer’s career site. Every candidate in the system is essentially doing the same thing: waiting in line. They’re all waiting for an email, a phone call, an interview, an offer, let alone a job. Perhaps those candidates – like me – would enjoy the experience much more if they had the option to engage those around them in casual conversation. Wouldn’t it help them to not only pass the time, but to create potential opportunities? They too could then look for common ground with employees and/or candidates and speak with them about any number of topics (i.e. what they do for a living, where they work, where they went to college, etc.).

Nowadays, we would typically call this type of arrangement a “Talent Network.” At Talent Function, we generally define a Talent Network as:

An opt-in, interactive forum where individuals with particular skill sets and interests can interact in a personal and meaningful way with employees – and in some cases other candidates – in order to better understand and be a part of the company to which they’ve applied, and all that it has to offer from an employment perspective.

There are a number of ways to implement a Talent Network solution, likely using your company’s existing CRM and/or ATS technologies. However, Talent Networks aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. They must be supported not only by a technology and strategy that align with the business needs, but by one or more individuals who are willing to provide personal attention to candidates – assuming that meaningful relationships are to be developed. And isn’t that the real goal – to develop meaningful relationships with candidates?!?

So, the next time you’re traveling – or managing candidates in your pipeline – I encourage you to look for ways to engage those who are standing in line in casual conversation. I have no doubt that both you – and they – will feel better about the experience – and create potential opportunities in the process.

Learn more about talent networks by reviewing our criteria matrix.

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