The Recruiting Blog of KG Workforce Solutions.

Are Poor Candidate Communications Sabotaging Your Recruiting?

by KG Workforce Solutions

Are your recruiting efforts being sabotaged from within your organization because of poor candidate communication? If so, you are not alone!

A company’s reputation for hiring and on-boarding is vital to its success, especially when competing for talent in a tight job market. In today’s technologically advanced society, detailed job applicant experiences are readily available on blogs, employer rating websites, and social media. In fact 83% of job seekers research a company’s reputation as part of the decision process to work, or not work, for a firm.

One of the number one complaints from job applicants is a lack of feedback. Not only does this leave a candidate with a bad taste about a company, it often leads that candidate to let the social world know about his/her bad experience.

A lack of candidate communication is just unacceptable these days. The expected amount of communication is somewhat subjective, but below are our recommendations based on research and candidate feedback.

5 Tips to Enhance Your Recruiting through Positive Candidate Communication

  • Send a recognition email confirming receipt of a job applicant’s resume. Set clear expectations in this communication for what the candidate should expect (29% of job seekers consider a lack of acknowledgement as a bad candidate experience).
  • If you contact a candidate to schedule an interview, send a reminder or follow up email confirming the interview details and your contact information.
  • Within 72 hours after a candidate interviews, update the candidate. Even if a hiring decision has not been made, a considerate acknowledgement of such is greatly appreciated by candidates. A quick email only takes a few seconds, but it means a lot to a job seeker.
  • As soon as you have eliminated a candidate from consideration, let him/her know. Relieve the candidate of the anxiety and anticipation he/she has been carrying around since the interview. While a candidate may be disappointed about not getting the job, he/she will respect your company for providing closure (60% of candidates believe that never hearing a decision about their candidacy constitutes a bad experience with a company, which will impact a company’s online reputation).
  • If a candidate is still viable, touch base once a week until a hiring decision is made. This may be a quick email or phone call, but this not only keeps the candidate “warm”, it gives you additional opportunities to interact and further assess written and verbal communication skills, interpersonal skills, etc. This additional communication might help your company make a decision on who the right candidate is.

Regardless of the outcome, all candidates should be notified when the position is filled or closed. Leaving candidates hanging indefinitely is a great way to land a negative review on social media or the Internet.

Educate your hiring managers on the importance of giving timely feedback on candidates. They may be swamped, and it may not be easy, but having a good reputation as an employer will make filling positions easier. Getting a bad hiring process reputation will only make filling positions harder.

For more tips on employer best practices, subscribe to our blog or check out our other employer articles.

Wellness Programs Improve Employee Retention, Recruitment, and Morale

by KG Workforce Solutions

With the unemployment rate below 4%, many employers are looking for ways to increase employee retention and improve recruiting efforts. The incorporation of wellness programs is one trend employers are using to achieve these goals.

According to a recent study by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), the majority of employers who increased their benefit offerings in the past 12 months, did so in response to employee feedback and a need to improve employee retention. Benefits are important to employees and wellness programs are steadily becoming an expected and important benefit to offer.

There are a lot of advantages to having an employee wellness program. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention believes that a well-designed wellness program will promote better health, reduce injury and exposure to hazardous substances, and positively influence culture. While these are great benefits, we all know that wellness programs are tough to implement without executive and management support. How can you get their buy-in? By focusing on the value and return on investment of implementing a wellness program.

Below are some common benefits employers reap from having an effective wellness program.  

Cost Savings

Most companies are looking for ways to spend less money on employee health insurance without having to sacrifice the quality of health benefits. The most common ways wellness programs help achieve this goal are the following:

  • Reduced premiums offered by insurance carriers for employers who offer wellness programs and/or employees who participate in wellness programs.
  • Since premiums have been on the rise, many employers are offering high deductible plans which can offer significant savings on premiums. However, to minimize employees’ risk for out-of-pocket medical expenses, many employers have started offering a partial deductible contribution for their employees who are on high deductible plans (the theory is that the money saved in premiums will be more than the money spent towards deductibles). Since wellness programs often improve the health of employees, companies can expect to see fewer medical costs for employees who participate in wellness programs.

Fewer Sick Days Can Improve Retention

Wellness programs can improve employee health, which means fewer sick days and therefore more productivity. However, a less obvious benefit to employees taking fewer sick days is how that ties into employee retention. When an employee is absent, typically another employee must cover his/her work. That adds extra pressure and stress to staff, which can hurt retention (not to mention the cost to pay that employee overtime if he/she is non-exempt and racks up additional hours covering for an absent employee). Incorporating an unused sick day component into your wellness plan can add an additional mechanism to improve retention.

Employee Recruitment and Retention

By 2020, Millennials will account for approximately 50% of the workforce. Millennials want benefits packages that meet their expectations and wellness programs are an important benefit for many Millennials. According to Forbes, 58% of Millennials consider a company’s wellness program as important or extremely important in deciding where they will accept a job. So, if you want to recruit Millennials and compete for their talents, you need a competitive benefits package inclusive of a wellness program.

In addition to the interest Millennials have in wellness programs, more and more employees are reporting that, regardless of their generation, they are more likely to stay with an employer who has a robust benefits package, including a wellness program. So, whether your goal is to improve retention, recruitment, or both, a wellness program can be an advantage in reaching those goals.

Increased Collaboration and Employee Morale

Wellness programs can foster collaboration and group engagement in unexpected ways. Whether staff start walking together during lunch, supporting one another in their weight loss challenges, or decreasing the unhealthy snacks that so frequently clutter every break room, the awareness and promotion of a wellness program can have great benefits on employee morale. Employees who encourage each other to be healthier are more likely to encourage one another in other areas as well, such as with work tasks.

If your company does not have a wellness program, perhaps it is time to get one! We all know wellness programs can lead to healthier employees. We also know healthy employees are more productive. Now we also know there are many more reasons to support our employees and encourage their wellness!

For more tips on employer best practices, subscribe to our blog or check out our other employer articles.

Building Effective Teams that Maximize Collaboration

by KG Workforce Solutions

Jobs are more collaborative and require more teamwork than ever! So how you do build effective and collaborative teams?

Many companies just expect teams to work well together, communicate effectively, and be productive. In most cases, wanting effective teams is not enough to actually have effective teams. Like most goals, building effective teams requires planning, strategy, monitoring, and expectations. Let’s look at some of the key factors for building effective teams.

Ensure Diversity

The most effective teams are diverse teams. One of the benefits to collaboration is the ability to bring in different perspectives, strengths, and experiences. Effective teams have diversity in these areas and members openly discuss their strengths, weaknesses, and differences. These discussions help team members understand one another and make the collaboration process easier. Allow some time for team members to get to know one another and their backgrounds, and they will embrace their diversity more instead of fighting it.

Pick the Right Team Leader

The most successful teams are built on accountability, trust, and commitment to success. Picking the right team leader is essential! Team leads need to lead by example, set clear expectations, support the team, and foster trust amongst team members. A great team can easily fail under the wrong leader, while a great leader can steer virtually any team towards success.

Set Behavioral Expectations

This is so important! Many teams’ expectations are solely focused on outcomes and not on how those outcomes are derived. Effective teams understand the behavioral expectations as well as the production expectations. Some key behaviors of effective teams are:

  • Members demonstrate support towards their teammates
  • Open communication is encouraged and exhibited
  • Everyone on the team participates and there is no tolerance for a “one-man show”
  • Individual strengths are leveraged, and peers are respected for offering their individual expertise
  • Members do not tolerate disrespect, gossiping, or obstructing teammates abilities to express their opinions
  • Team members expect conflict upon occasion and are committed and trained on resolving their own conflicts
  • Team members encourage questions and challenge ideas, after all, having a diverse thought-pool is one of the biggest benefits of team collaboration
  • Team members understand they are accountable for their behavior and contributions to the project outcomes
  • Members trust their leader and their teammates

It is not enough to assume teams will operate as described above. The behavioral expectations need to be discussed and documented and reviewed throughout teams’ projects as needed.

Have a Defined Purpose

Ensure teams not only understand what the company wants them to do, but also why. Task leadership with educating their teams not only on what they are expected to produce, but why and what value the company expects to gain from their outcomes. The more value the team members see in the work they are doing, the more pride they will take in doing the work, and the better the results.

Monitor for Failures and Respond

Leaders and team members need to recognize the signs of dysfunction and be proactive in ensuring the teams’ functionality. If members of the team are not actively participating, members don’t trust one another, no one is taking accountability or the “blame game” is a regular event at meetings, or if significant conflict is frequently arising, those are signs that the team has an issue. A good leader will see those signs and address them. A poor leader will miss the signs, or even worse, see the signs but do nothing about them. Many leaders only measure the success of a team by the product it produces. However, effective teams are measured by much more. Remember, you are building collaborative and effective teams, not just making sure a widget is assembled!

So, you may be asking, “as long as they get the job done, why do I care how they do it”? There are many reasons, but the shortest answer is employee morale. A low employee morale leads to higher turnover, lower employee loyalty, and higher stress. Creating a healthy work environment is not only a good business practice, but it is an expectation for most employees in today’s workforce. Building effective teams is just one factor that contributes to a healthy work environment.

For more tips on employer best practices, subscribe to our blog or check out our other employer articles.

Hiring and Competing for Top Talent

by KG Workforce Solutions

hiring top talent

Hiring and competing for talent is always a challenge, but it is getting even harder as the candidate market tightens. In order to be competitive, many employers need to step up their game in recruiting and retention. Is it time to change your recruiting efforts?

There are several cost effective ways to help attract and retain employees.

Good Job Postings

Job postings are a great way to attract job applicants. However, with so many jobs posted online, it is important to have a complete job posting that not only explains the skills and requirements for the job, but also sells the company. Include information about your company’s perks, culture, turn-over rates (if they are good), and other unique information. Keep posting dates fresh. Job applicants are deterred by jobs that have been open for months! Job postings are a marketing tool and can help do the hiring for you.

Incorporate a Complete Branding Strategy

Many companies have great social media and branding strategies. However, there are still those who only use their marketing and social media to attract customers. Leverage these media resources to also attract employees for hire. Many job applicants research companies on social media before applying to a job. Some applicants only use social media to apply for jobs. Make sure that your marketing team and your human resources team are working in tandem to promote your business to customers and prospective employees. A passive candidate following your company page today might just be an active candidate tomorrow!

Retain Your Staff

Focus on Retaining Your Existing Staff

One of the easiest ways to limit your hiring needs (outside of growth needs), is to retain your existing staff and decrease your turnover. Market research expects average salary increases to be between 2.5 and 4 % in 2016, depending on the source. Salary increases alone are not enough to retain talent in the high demand markets. There are many retention strategies that don’t cost a lot of money. The key is to engage employees. Increase communication and encourage employee feedback. Try creating a wellness program or initiating one-on-one employee sessions. Communicating with employees regularly and making them feel like their opinions matter goes a long way toward retention. And don’t forget to have a little fun! Happy employees who enjoy going to work are not only more productive but more likely to stick around.

Make Applying Easy for Job Applicants

I can’t tell you how many job candidates complain to us about the online application process. Hours of time spent filling out online applications, uploading resumes that don’t populate the fields, and connectivity issues that require applicants to start the process over and over again. While it is convenient to have as much information about a job applicant as possible, a time-consuming application process can deter some job seekers from applying. Make applying to a job as easy as possible for the candidate and DEFINITELY make applying on mobile available. Whether you have a formal mobile app or just an email address available to accept resumes, don’t let a complicated application process cost you a good candidate. If your application process takes longer than 5 minutes, you are likely deterring some of the most qualified job applicants.

Leverage Your Existing Staff

Make it easy for your employees to view company job openings and send referrals. You don’t have to have an expensive employee referral program, though those are nice too. Most employees who are happy with their jobs are more than willing to send referrals. However, don’t solicit employee referrals if you don’t plan to follow up with them. Even if the referral is not a fit for a current job, it will send an unfavorable message to your employees if no one follows up with their referrals!

Look Outside For Hiring Help

The market is tight and finding qualified talent is not easy. If you have a lot of openings, hard-to-find skillsets, unexpected growth, or don’t have enough staff to conduct a successful candidate search, it may be time to contact an external recruiter. Working with a good external recruiter can actually save you money when hiring. They have strong networks of passive candidates, teams to share the work, and only one job— TO RECRUIT! Quicker time-to-fill, fewer applicants to review, guarantee on placement success, and vast knowledge of current industry sourcing strategies all make using an external recruiter an easy decision.

Be Responsive

Be Responsive

Top talent goes fast. Whether you are using an external recruiter or managing the hiring process yourself, being responsive is essential. Providing feedback to qualified applicants in a timely fashion will reduce your recruiting costs and increase the likelihood of securing that highly sought after resource. Most candidates expect feedback within 72 hours after an interview. Make it a priority to be responsive and communicate with candidates throughout the interview and hiring process in a timely fashion.

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