Have your interviews become a little one sided?
The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing businesses to juggle a lot more than just delivering their products and services. Over the past few months, businesses have faced unique challenges that have left employees both mentally and physically exhausted.
Day to day business has become increasingly complex throughout the pandemic as businesses balance worker safety and customer satisfaction, while also ensuring their company stays solvent. One of the pandemic’s reoccurring challenges has been the struggle to attract and hire new employees. Despite historically high unemployment, many businesses have had job openings go unfilled for extended periods of time and have even struggled to get candidates in for interviews.
While some industries have had more success than others, any business hiring hourly workers has been on the so called “hiring hamster wheel”. Across all verticals, no shows to phone interviews, video interviews, and face-to-face meetings have skyrocketed leaving organizations scratching their heads.
When hiring is tough, most of the blame tends to fall on the candidates and the general feeling that they are the problem. In reality, this is not the case. Candidates are in short supply and have more options than before. Candidates are making conscious decisions to show up to the interviews that align most with their employment goals.
We want to provide you with a few insights on WHY this is happening and WHAT we recommend to help you find candidates who show up for their interviews.
Why Are You Being Ghosted?
You’re Moving Too Slow
Most hourly candidates searching the job boards for their next position want to start working quickly. Since there is overwhelmingly more demand than supply, quality candidates have a lot of options. Any lag in responding to their applications will give someone else the opportunity to hook them first.
We recommend blocking off time each day to handle application review, candidate calls, and interviews. When you have job openings it is important that you make filling them a priority. Candidate relations should be an appointment on your calendar until you get your openings filled. Candidate applications should be reviewed within 24 hours of receipt.
Your Process is Complicated
In today’s job market, candidates are interested in starting quickly. When candidates are submitting applications they are drawn to key phrases like “Immediate Openings”, “Start Tomorrow”, & “Immediate Hire”. Make sure if you have an immediate need that your process aligns with that posting. If you tell an applicant during their initial phone screen that the process will involve 2 interviews, a ride-along, and a reference check, there is a good chance they will not show up for the interview. Firms need to simplify their process or candidates will give up and move on before you have a chance to meet them.
Take a few minutes to review your hiring process with your team and see if there is anything that can be eliminated simplify your process. We also recommend interviewing some of your current employees to see if they have any ideas or feedback regarding the onboarding process. Overall, try to be flexible with candidates so that you do not lose a potential all-star.
You Aren’t Engaging
Your number one goal during the initial phone screen is to engage the candidate and get them excited about the position you have available. In this scenario the employer is the sales team trying to sell the candidate on why they should come to the interview. Since employers generally call candidates that they want to schedule for an interview it is important that you are prepared before speaking to them. If you fail to engage the candidate and sell them on the position the probability of them showing up for the interview will plummet.
During the phone screen it is important that you take the time to dig deep with your candidate and learn more about what they are looking for in their next position. This is your opportunity to engage with the candidate and begin to build a relationship with them. Think about the feeling you got the last time a sales person really sold you on a product or service. It is your turn to make your candidate feel that way about your job opening .
Scheduling a candidate’s interview can be challenging, but it is important that you find a time that works for both of you. If a candidate tells you they can’t interview at a particular time don’t attempt to twist their arm and get them to agree. This is a recipe for a no show and an empty slot on your calendar. Furthermore, it is important that your interview time is within 48 hours of your phone screen. If you push the interview too far out you are giving competitors the opportunity to swoop in and steal your candidate.
Ask your candidates when they are available to interview and then build your schedule around them. The sooner you are able to fill your job openings the sooner you will be able to focus on other priorities. There is no benefit to pushing interviews out over a 3-5 day period because no shows will increase and your productivity will suffer.
We realize that hiring in today’s environment is no easy task. If you have any questions about the current job market, or how to improve your specific process, we are always here to help.
President & CEO
Unemployment Has Skyrocketed, But Where Are The Applicants?
The past 60 days have been unprecedented, and have presented the business community with unique challenges. Across all industries, businesses have had to adapt and make changes to their day to day processes. While some businesses were forced to close due to government orders, others saw their sales skyrocket due to increased demand. For businesses who have seen an increase in demand, many have had to add new employees to their organization. Typically, this wouldn’t be an issue, but application traffic has plummeted during the pandemic. As communities across America begin to reopen, businesses will be even more desperate for employees. Despite record unemployment, businesses will have to fight over the limited number of applicants or be left with open job slots.
During past recessions, higher unemployment rates have resulted in a significant increase in applications. Unfortunately, the pandemic has created a unique recession and applications have actually decreased over the last few months.
Below we will investigate some of the major reasons for this unique challenge and offer some insight into potential solutions as you navigate the candidate marketplace.
Expanded Unemployment Benefits
- In the state of Virginia, unemployed workers across all industries can qualify for almost double their working salary. This is due to the CARES Act that provides unemployed workers with an additional $600 in weekly benefits.
- Since many unemployed workers are being paid more to stay home, there is no motivation to jump back into the workforce
- In some instances, our team has spoken to employees who are now earning almost $750 per week in unemployment benefits. These are employees who, prior to the pandemic, were working part time earning $125 per week.
- COVID-19 is a very real threat, and for many, the risk of infection is not worth the risk.
- Many workers are at a high risk or have family members who are at a high risk.
- Workers are scared to be around other co-workers or customers.
Employees Aren’t Hunting
- Many employees who managed to keep their jobs during the pandemic are not on the hunt for a new job. Employees are grateful to have a job and do not want to take a chance of messing up what they already have.
- Until consumer confidence begins to return we anticipate that currently employed candidates will stay put.
- With schools closed, many workers have had to resign from their jobs in order to stay home with their children. Most blue collar jobs do not offer “work from home” options and employees do not have the financial means to afford costly child care services.
Tools To Help Fill Your Openings
When the economy fully reopens, businesses will not have the luxury of time and will need to begin earning revenue immediately. Due to the above factors, many employees will choose not to reenter the workforce and prioritizing candidate acquisition will be pivotal to a company’s post-pandemic success.
Below are a few insights and recommendations that we hope will help your hiring team as they work to attract candidates today, tomorrow, & into the future:
Create Effective Job Ads
- It is critical that the job ads you place on your website, job board, and social media account are designed correctly. Your #1 goal is to get a potential candidate to click apply. If they are not a good fit, you can make that call, don’t let a potential candidate talk themselves out of the job before they even apply.
- Check out our blog post on writing effective job ads https://rentthehelp.com/creating-job-ads-that-work/
- Many candidates choose not to apply for positions because they lack experience despite the fact that they may be a perfect fit for the position. By reaching out to candidates you can educate them on your openings and why they may be perfect for the job.
- Career changes are extremely common during economic downturns as employees begin to look for positions that may offer more security than the position they just left.
- Just like selling a potential customer on your product or service, selling a candidate on your company can be just as rewarding
- Utilize your current employees to recruit for you. We recommend rolling out a robust referral program that will incentivize your team. To ensure that you design a referral program that your employees want, we recommend surveying your current workforce and asking them what type of incentives would motivate them to refer candidates. If you are worried about what they will say, offer 4-6 different options and see what they prefer. You may be surprised.
- On the other side of the coin, we also recommend offering a creative hiring bonus. Instead of a chunk of cash, we encourage you to be creative and think outside the box. Consider offering a “Welcome Aboard Package” that gives new employees a few choices. From a gift card to a nice restaurant, to 4 passes to Busch Gardens, the goal is to make them feel appreciated and thoughtfulness goes a long way. Offering cash is impersonal and doesn’t create any type of memory.
Hire A Staffing Firm
- To ensure your positions do not go unfilled, it is critical that you have more than one vehicle for attracting candidates to your business. Staffing firms will recruit candidates specifically for your business and work on your behalf to sell them on your company. The best part is you don’t pay anything unless they find you someone and fill one of your positions
- Staffing firms also offer you and your team a flexible workforce. If you are uncertain about demand and how long it will last, you can bring on employees temporarily without any long term commitment. This will allow you to meet customer demand without jeopardizing the company’s future.
Demonstrate Appreciation & Gratefulness
- For the employees who stuck it out during the pandemic we suggest doing something to show them how much you appreciate them. We have listed a few ideas that we have seen implemented by different firms in our community:
- Buy lunch and/or dinner every Friday
- Offer bonuses or pay raises
- Hazard pay
- Loosen the dress code
- Remember that many employees may be working full time and earning less than one of their friends who is sitting at home on unemployment. That can be extremely discouraging.
Adjust Hiring Requirements
- Since unemployment was at historic lows prior to the pandemic, many businesses had already begun to loosen hiring requirements. We recommend doubling down on this effort.
- Meet with your managers and identify what skills are:
- Absolutely essential
Understanding Temp-To-Hire Strategies
If done correctly, a temp-to-hire recruiting strategy can be a powerful tool for your business. In order to take full advantage of temp-to-hire relationships, and experience their unique benefits, you must first understand how they work. We want to share some insights on the fundamentals and some tips on things you can do to increase your success rate.
As you onboard new associates your team will have a front row seat to evaluate the associate’s work ethic and overall skill set. In addition to an associate’s skills, your team will have the opportunity to evaluate a candidate’s soft skills and their ability to fit into the overall culture of your company. At it’s core, a temp-to-hire arrangement is a working interview that will give your company an in-depth look at the type of employee your candidate will become.
It is important to remember that temp-to-hire arrangements are a two-way street. While your business will have a front row seat, your candidates will as well. The initial contract period will give candidates a look into your company’s operation, types of growth opportunities, culture, & other employees. Candidates will use contract periods to learn more about your company and decide whether or not your company is somewhere they want to call home. We like to think of the contract period as the dating stage for both parties ?
Kicking Off A Successful Relationship
From day one, you want to ensure your temp-to-hire associates feel welcome. In the workplace, first impressions are critical and can dictate the overall direction of the relationship. As you onboard new temp-to-hire professionals you want to do everything you can to make them feel valued while also putting a plan in place that sets them up for success. Do not forget that this is a “trial” for both parties and it is your responsibility to create a workplace that will attract high-quality candidates.
We have outlined some of our keys to successful temp-to-hire relationships:
Where to Start on Day 1?
- An employee’s first day can be extremely stressful and it is important that you make all new associates feel welcome. We recommend creating a “first day plan” that you can share with your staffing partner before an associates first day. Things we recommend including are:
- Where to park
- Who to report too
- What to expect
- Break room or locker notes?
- One page orientation reviewing a training plan
- While this may seem simple, it presents a picture to new temp-to-hire associates that they are valued and you are excited to have them join your team.
- While some jobs seem easy and should not require much training, it is important that new associates feel “trained”. We have heard stories from candidates over the years where they were shown a short video and then expected to meet a daily quota. While there may not be anything wrong with this scenario, it presents a picture to new associates that their success is not important and the best training you can provide is a 15 minute, pre-recorded video.
- We recommend identifying trainers who new associates can shadow for their first week. During the first week they will have daily check in meetings to ensure they are comfortable and do not have questions about their position. After the first week we recommend moving to a weekly check-in.
- Investing this type of training for all new candidates will go a long way with the type of candidates your company is eager to attract
Provide Positive Feedback
- Encourage your trainers and managers to provide your temp-to-hire associates with feedback and be quick to offer positive feedback. When you start a new job you are always curious how you are performing, especially if it is a “contract” position.
Tips To Increase Your Conversion Rate
Just like an employee you hire directly, it is important that you have an onboarding process for temp-to-hire associates. While some employees turn out to be a bad fit for one reason or another, your staffing partner wants to do everything they can to ensure temp-to-hire associates are converted successfully. Successful conversions are a win for all parties.
Below we have listed a few tips that we have seen increase conversion rates and make a significant difference in associate morale. While these may not make a difference to some new hires, high-quality associates are looking for organizations that check all of their boxes.
- Many companies wait up to 6 months (double the typical conversion period) to convert a temp-to-hire associate. For an employee who is interested in a long term opportunity this can be extremely frustrating (especially if they see your team hiring new associates directly).
- Our team is extremely passionate about our clients converting temp-to-hire associates which is why we offer our clients extremely affordable terms and quicker conversion periods. We want to encourage our clients to convert as soon as they are ready. While this may cost us money up front, we are interested in building long term relationships that are fruitful for our clients, employees, & candidates.
Be Honest & Transparent
- From the beginning, communicate honest timelines with your staffing partner. If you know you plan to keep temp-to-hire associates as a contract employee for longer than their original term, you should be upfront. This will allow your staffing partner to communicate accurate timelines with candidates and ensure they are prepared before accepting the position. This will go a long way and give candidates a good first impression
- Converting employees early, or even on time, will boost the morale of your other temp-to-hire associates. This will paint a picture that your company is serious about offering long term opportunities and will keep your associates engaged.
- One of our clients, who has 15 temp-to-hire associates, offers a monthly “Employee of the Month” award just for their temporary associates. This has been a huge hit and has created competition between the associates. Deep down, associates know that if they are being honored with the EOM award they are close to becoming a full time member of the company’s team.
Everyone Wants to Feel Included
- One of our distribution clients offers their full time employees a monthly attendance bonus. To ensure their temp-to-hire associates feel included, they offer the same bonus to them as well. This helps them feel apart of the team and allows them to begin to experience the types of benefits they will have once they are converted.
- Since your ultimate goal is to convert your temp-to-hire associates into full time members of your team, we recommend doing everything you can to help them feel included. Something as simple as a badge (that doesn’t say temp) can go a long way to helping them feel included.
- If you have a holiday party or other celebration we recommend including temp-to-hire associates in the celebration. These are small, inexpensive gestures that go a long way.
When executed properly, temp-to-hire arrangements can be an extremely effective recruiting tool for your business. Like any vendor relationship, it is important that you partner with a staffing vendor who not only has a good reputation, but who is honest with their candidates. Since your staffing partner will be in the trenches, selling your company to potential candidates, it is important that you believe in them and have faith in their processes.
If you have any questions about selecting a staffing vendor we are here to help. We would be happy to include our selection playbook free of charge. Email me at email@example.com
Stand Out From The Crowd
Searching for a new job can be overwhelming and sometimes feels like a full time job in itself. That is why it is important that you have all of the right “job hunt” tools when beginning your search. A handyman doesn’t go to work without his tool box and you shouldn’t start your job search without an effective resume.
As you begin your journey to find your dream job, you will need to start by creating or updating your resume. Since it is one of your biggest tools, creating an effective resume will be a game changer for you as you navigate the job market. Whether you are just making a few updates, or creating a new resume altogether, you should make it a priority. As you sit at your kitchen table, sip your favorite beverage, and mentally juggle your work history, join me as I answer some of the most common resume questions our team receives from our candidates.
- Should my resume really be one page?
- What information should I include?
- Any new resume trends I should consider?
- But really, what info should I include about my last job?
- Should I seriously list all my jobs?
- What is most important to employers when reviewing my resume?
- Is there anything I should not include?
Keep it Simple
- Use a modern font such as Arial, Comic Sans, or Times New Roman
- Standard black and white is safe. No need to use other colors
- Be smart with your font sizes. Increase font for your name, contact info, and headers.
- Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for hiring managers to read your resume. Don’t overthink it.
- Everything should be aligned on the left side of the page. We do not recommend centering anything. Your goal is to make it easy for hiring managers to quickly review your info. You can cause confusion if key information is centered or aligned differently than the rest of your resume.
- You should be able to fold your resume into segments based on how your jobs, dates, and sections are aligned
Painting Your Picture
Make Sure It’s Easy To Reach You
- Your contact number needs to be active. Make sure your voicemail sounds professional and is cleared out so you can receive voicemails
- Use an email address that you check regularly and make sure your email notifications are set on your mobile device.
- Only use professional email addresses that are built around your name. If you do not have one we recommend creating a new one for job hunting
No Need For Unnecessary Info
- If the information you are sharing is not unique, we recommend eliminating it from your resume. Stay away from objective statements that do nothing more than take up 1-2 lines on the top of the resume. Telling a Hiring Manager that you are “looking to utilize your skills for a successful company” is better left on the sidelines.
- The only time we recommend an objective statement is if you are switching careers or industries and need to explain in 1-2 sentences. This will be unique and thus deemed necessary ?
One Page Please
- Your resume is not a book about every job you have ever had, it is a tool to give hiring managers a snapshot of your experience and why they should consider calling you. While it is a frequently debated subject, we recommend keeping your resume to one page. Since hiring managers spend an average of 6-8 seconds on any given resume, they do not have time to read multiple pages.
- To keep it to one page, we recommend playing with the margins, being smart with your font sizes, and only including your highlights. No need to add any information that does not highlight you.
Sharing Your Work History
Which Jobs Do I List?
- We recommend listing your 3 most recent positions along with 3 bullets for each one. If you have more than 3 jobs we recommend listing them but only including your Title, Company Name, & Employment Dates. If one of your older jobs is relevant to the position you are applying for, we recommend adding 1-2 bullets to highlight your experience.
What Should I Include In My Bullets?
- Your bullets should highlight the experience you gained while working in that role. Do not list job duties or obvious details pertaining to your job (If you worked at Subway do not list “made sandwiches”). This will only waste valuable space on your resume and will add limited value.
- Instead, focus on accomplishments, awards, or other recognition you received while working in that role.
- We recommend adding numbers whenever possible. Numbers will stand out to hiring managers reviewing your resume.
- Below are a couple examples to jog your memory:
- Were you responsible for training new employees? How many did you train while there?
- If you were a forklift operator or order picker how many orders did you pull per shift?
- If you worked in a call center, how many calls did you answer per shift?
- Did you ever receive Employee of the Month or another company award?
- Is there a situation that stands out where you made a significant impact for the company?
Stay Away From The Usual
- It seems that every resume we review has at least one or two common resume terms – Team player, leader, hard worker, dependable, punctual, or quick learner. We recommend eliminating these phrases from your resume and instead trying to prove these through your bullets and work experience. Remember, you are just trying to get a hiring manager to call you. You can highlight a lot of these common terms during your interview when talking in depth about your experience
Your Education & Skills
- Always list your highest level of education. If you are currently enrolled in any type of higher education we recommend adding this as well.
- Stay away from including your GPA and instead include any honors that you received: Deans List, Honors Club, etc.
- If you have received any certifications you should list and include any relevant dates that your hiring manager may be interested in reviewing.
- Review the job ad you are responding too and see which of your skills align with the position. We recommend listing these on your resume.
- If you can speak more than one language we recommend highlighting and listing as your first skill. You may also consider listing under education.
Experience First, Then Education
- Unless you have limited work history, we recommend keeping the education section at the end of your resume. Hiring Managers are interested in what you can add to their organization today and will skip to your work experience first.
Other Stay Aways
Remove Short Term Jobs
- If you only held a job for a few months, we recommend removing it from your resume. You do not want to paint a picture that you have commitment issues. With that being said, you need to be prepared to discuss any potential gaps in your resume during an interview.
- If you have had a few short term jobs throughout your career we recommend removing months (January 2018-March 2020) from your jobs and instead recommend only using years (2018-2020).
- If you took a period of time off work we recommend adding details regarding your time away from the workplace. The best way to do this is to list the leave as it’s own job. For Example: Caring for sick family member – December 2018-May 2019
- Be honest, and be prepared to discuss with the hiring manager, if they ask any clarifying questions.
What About References?
- Never list “References Available Upon Request”. The only time you need to worry about references is if a hiring manager specifically asks you for them.
- If you have any killer recommendation letters, we recommend bringing these to your interview ?
How To Create Job Ads That WORK!
Regardless of what industry you are in, online job boards are an important source of applicants. Since job boards are extremely competitive, ensuring your job ad stands out is critical to your success. While each job board caters to a certain type of candidate, their main goal is to get you as many applicants as possible. In today’s job market companies need a steady flow of candidates to ensure they can make enough calls to schedule enough interviews to fill their current openings. In order to ensure this pipeline is healthy companies need to have AWESOME job ads. Many people think all they need to do is post a job description and people will start applying. This mindset couldn’t be more incorrect. While these companies will definitely get responses they will not get enough to support a healthy pipeline.
Over the years our team at Candidate Source has posted over 250 different positions in a variety of industries. This experience has taught us a lot about having a healthy pipeline and we want to share our insights with you. Our hope is that these insights will help your recruiting team create an even healthier pipeline of candidates for today, tomorrow, and next month.
Things To Remember When Creating Your Job Ads:
- Think of your job ad as a billboard, your goal is to get them to click apply or pick up the phone and call you
- 90% of candidates use a mobile device when searching for a job. Think of your job ad as a text message. We all hate when people text us long paragraphs.
- Make sure it is mobile friendly. Search your job ad and see how it looks on your phone.
- Only mission critical elements of the job. No need to share every requirement and detail.
- The goal of a job ad is to get candidates to respond. The worst thing you can do is have a qualified candidate skip over your ad. Once they apply, you have the CHOICE to contact them. If they don’t apply you are out of luck
- The reality is that most candidates do not even read the job ad. Many candidates apply with one click based on the first 2 sentences.
- Be HONEST and transparent….Share your pay rate/pay range
- Consider running one position in a variety of ways. Try different job titles
No, No’s….Things to stay away from:
- Too Many Words….PARAGRAPHS – be direct and only communicate critical information pertaining to the job
- Listing All Requirements– if you add too many requirements candidates may talk themselves out of the job.
- The Obvious Stuff: Stay away from phrases you see in every job advertisement. Candidates don’t take them seriously and will still apply. All they do is take up valuable space
- Depending on the position, you may need to stay away from industry specific terms. What are your candidates searching on the job board
Constructing Your Next Job Ad
When constructing job ads we recommend breaking them down into 4 short sections:
Below we have provided a breakdown of these 4 steps as well as a few notes about each step.
- Introduction: 1-2 sentences sharing what is most important about the position
- Take this opportunity to sell your position. Why should they work for your company? What do your current employees love about the position?
- Job Details: 3-5 bullets that describe the key duties of the job.
- Keep it simple, but share a few key elements. What type of equipment will they be operating? What will their core duties be?
- Think about the key words candidates are looking for and what will stand out to them.
- Be transparent and share the position’s pay rate. This shows that you are honest and not hiding anything
- Job Requirements: 3-5 bullets that embody the core requirements.
- Be specific, but brief. Equipment experience? Is your warehouse in a freezer?
- Always share your available shifts. Being able to work a certain shift is a requirement.
- Closing Statement: 1-2 sentences trying to grab their attention.
- Why should a candidate want to accept a job with your company?
- Is there anything that your current employees always say? Maybe they love the PTO or shift hours.
Finding the right candidates is no easy task and we hope this serves as a resource as you and your team take on the candidate marketplace. If you have any further questions regarding job ads we are here to help.
I’m here to help if you have any questions. Don’t hesitate to shoot me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org