“Hire the right people by making your job enticing” was originally published for the OKSPA. See the full blog at the link below:

My company is based on this premise: Every job deserves the right person. We help businesses improve their chances of making good hires.

The first thing we discover with most of our clients is that they need help getting ready to hire, which I believe is the most important part of the hiring process. If you don’t do it well, you’re going to end up hiring somebody, but it’s not likely to be the right person.

I’m going to focus on what I consider the two most important parts of getting ready to hire—the employee value proposition and the job description.

Read more about those two most important parts here.

You’ve probably heard something lately about Google and the job search market. I don’t know what passes for excitement in your world. In ours, Google for Jobs is all the rage.  Here’s what we know so far:

  • Google has launched a job-specific search engine. Jobseekers search for jobs on Google just as anyone would do any search, directly from the search bar
  • Jobs advertised through NewHire are already available in to this new search engine (through our partnerships with Glassdoor and Ziprecruiter)
  • NewHire is actively working on a direct integration

Google has applied its latest in Artificial Intelligence technology to do a better job matching people to jobs… we will see. Early results are promising. Google’s move into job search will have a huge impact on the job search and job board market:

  • Players including LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Ziprecruiter, Monster and Careerbuilder are aligning with and sharing jobs with Google
  • Many other jobsites will follow
  • We believe that Google and all of these other players are looking to compete against Indeed, which for the moment does not appear to be participating
  • Google has not, to date, offered a paid advertising model to advertise jobs directly on Google

At NewHire, we consider it our responsibility to you to stay up-to-date and keep you informed of changes in the candidate sourcing marketplace. We remain committed to our core principle of source independence when it comes to attracting candidates and building your candidate pool. This means that we will continue seek out and use multiple sourcing strategies to attract the best available talent for your open positions.

Please reach out to us with your questions, thoughts and suggestions!

Here are a few links for further reading:

Millennials are the conundrum of the employment market today. The US economy spends millions researching, reporting, and trying to solve the puzzle of the millennial worker. How do we attract and retain the precious millennial, who will be over half of the workforce very soon? It’s a question that’s on everyone’s mind.

The problem? Millennials aren’t any different than any generation before them (and here’s the IBM study to prove it.) The players haven’t changed. It’s the game that has changed.

Think back to 25 years ago. You might have gotten a job by walking into a building with a “Help Wanted” sign in the front of it. If you happened to catch the boss after lunch, you were hired. Or maybe you typed out your resume on a typewriter and responded to classified ads in the newspaper. Regardless, there was very little information in the marketplace about the experience of working at a given company. Workers were just happy to have a job that paid well and was relatively steady.

What has changed since those days? Everything.

The way we find jobs has changed.

If you thought your job was kind of boring, and maybe it’s not going anywhere, what would you do? Well, you might look around and see what else is out there. And now, in the new age of employment, you would find a ton of options. You could type in your job title online and find 500 listings within 100 miles of you looking for someone like you.

Data from Indeed says that 58% of adults in or looking to enter the labor force are looking at online job listings monthly. Not only are there more options available to the workforce, but the workforce is increasingly aware of those options.

The way we change jobs has changed.

What’s more? The internet tells you what it’s like to work at any company you’re interested in. From former employees to on-demand Q&A’s with employers, there are tons of places to find out how green that grass is on the other side of the fence. The players haven’t changed, but the game has. People don’t want to leave jobs any more or less than they used to. But other companies certainly want your most talented employees to leave their jobs in search of greener pastures. And the competition for talent gives companies incentives to employ more creative tools to get people interested in working for them. From dedicated candidate webpages to video content, changing jobs has never looked more enticing.

The way we create jobs has changed.

Alongside the internet and all the advances in the way we communicate with people has come more opportunity for entrepreneurs. According to the US Small Business Administration, the number of small businesses has increased by almost 50% in the United States since the 1980s. If you walked out of an advertising agency 50 years ago, it would be career suicide to start your own agency with no other employees. Today, that type of “I’ll do it myself” attitude is commonplace, because resources are available for any person to start their own business with a cell phone and an internet connection. It’s much easier to get your name out there, market and advertise products or services, and start making money on your own than it once was. Again, the players haven’t changed. The game has.

The way we do jobs has changed.

Cold calling, door-to-door sales, even print-mail marketing all had their chance in the sun for decades. The way people bought and sold has changed a little bit over time, but employees could pretty much rely on the company’s plan to attack the market. Since the rise of the internet, we have gone through pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, blog marketing, and social media marketing in pretty short order. Where once a boss could compel her sales representative to just make more phone calls in order to get more sales, today’s world requires a company to be more nimble and willing to embark on different methods for acquiring business.

With that comes a different kind of stress. Where before employees might complain that they were being forced to hit their head against the wall with little to no result, now they might complain because they are being forced to hit their head against the wall AND the company won’t let them finish their ladder.

The market for ideas is competitive one, and often represents a more equal playing field than the market for experience. A company that doesn’t keep it’s eyes and ears open, especially when it’s their own employees shouting and waving their arms, runs the risk of losing business and talent in one fell swoop.

millennial game changer

So what can we do?

You know now that it’s not the people who have changed. It’s the market around them that has changed. The first thing you can do to improve the way you attract talent, retain talent, and improve your business is to stop trying to change those things about people that can’t be changed.

You can’t hire someone who just doesn’t like leaving.

If you can’t get employees to stop leaving after 5 years, then build a recruiting process that allows you to replace the ones who leave with other employees who have the same training and skills. Become consistent in your recruiting and hiring efforts. Make the process by which you find people repeatable. That magic headhunter might get you the person with 10 years of experience once, but it will be less expensive and more reliable for you to build a business that doesn’t have to rely on that magic.

The players haven’t changed, but the game has. Now is the time to start reacting to those changes in the game. Look at the way people find jobs, and make the path to your company the easiest and most promising one. Look at the way people change jobs, and make your company the hardest one to leave. Look at the way we create jobs, and find a way to profit off all of you old employees who will leave and start their own thing. It will take time. It will be difficult. But it will be a heck of a lot more effective than complaining about the next generation of employees and how different they are.

 

broadcastWith all of those potential employees out there looking at job ads every month, an attractive job advertisement just might be your ticket to hiring the next superstar employee at your company. Request our Crafting Effective Recruitment Advertising Guide to learn more about how to get ahead of your competition for talent. 

A solid interview plan is one crucial step in hiring. Sometimes even with the best planning, interviews can cause hiring headaches! Sure, we worry about and guard against the big issues – like someone asking illegal questions. And sure, we are disappointed by poor interviews with candidates who seemed well qualified on paper. I want to share another scenario that can cause internal conflict: derailing, delaying or scuttling a hire entirely.

Consider this story, maybe it sounds familiar? After a full day of interviews, conducted by three teams, it’s time for us to compare notes and decide whether or not to hire the candidate. As the debriefing conversation proceeds it seems like we didn’t interview the same person! Each person presents a unique perspective on the candidate, and has a different take on their ability to bring value to the company as a new employee. Wait, wait, how can that be? I’m quite sure we all met with the same applicant.

My recent visit to The Heard Museum in Phoenix AZ provided me with a new understanding of this challenging phenomena. The special exhibit featuring works of the famous artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo (on exhibit through August 20, 2017) seems like a surprising place to find inspiration for understanding the challenges of interviews.

Check out these paintings (click for a full-size image). Three portraits, three artists, one model. The woman in each (think of her as the candidate you just interviewed) is Natasha Gelman. She and her husband Jacques were famous collectors of 20th century art. The Gelman’s were also friends with Diego Rivera and his wife Frida Kahlo.

Natasha Gelman by Diego Rivera

Natasha Gelman, by Diego Rivera, 1942

Natasha Gelman by Frida Kahlo

Natasha Gelman, by Frida Kahlo, 1943

 

 

 

 

 

Natasha Gelman by Ángel Zárraga

Natasha Gelman by Ángel Zárraga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wow. It doesn’t take a an art critic or rocket scientist to see that there is something going on here. Three interviews, three perspectives, three opinions, and no consensus.

If we asked each  artist (interviewer) for their input on hiring this candidate you would NOT be surprised if they were unable to come to consensus. Each artist (interviewer) clearly has a unique point of view.  Maybe they aren’t even interviewing her with the same job description in mind!

Diego is portraying a gorgeous woman in a most flattering light – perhaps influenced by his benefactor, Natasha’s husband, who commissioned the work. In contrast, Frida’s portrait makes Natasha seem severe, distant, demanding and a bit sad. (Could Frida be expressing her own worries about all that time Diego and Natasha have been spending together?). And Ángel Zárraga’s Natasha, seems to be waiting, lacking motivation or self-determination. In the Zárraga portrait Natasha appears almost cherubic. It is impossible to tell if his description of Natasha is a reflection of his lesser artistic skill or his impression of the woman.

Are these portraits the result of personal perspective or is this implicit (unconscious) bias* at work? Or maybe both? When we are talking about a work of art, we typically expect to see the subject through the artist’s eyes, bias and all.  But when we are interviewing, and a candidate’s career, and the company’s ability to thrive, all hang in the balance, we might be more concerned about being inappropriately influenced by one interviewer’s point of view, or bias, whether it is implicit or explicit.

When it comes to hiring, we start worrying that implicit bias might lead us astray, causing us to miss an opportunity for a great hire. It can also lead to bitter arguments and political wrangling among team members about the appropriateness of one candidate over another. However, when we are talking about art we might call this bias artistic license, and enjoy the result.

We can protect ourselves and our company from hiring mistakes caused by bias during interviews by collecting and considering a variety of non-subjective information about the candidate. It is imperative to get a multi-faceted picture of the candidate, before we make a hiring decision. Effective hiring starts long before the interview and requires a thoughtful, well executed, multi-step process.

It’s safe to say that we’ve learned about interviewing from two famous artist Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo!

Notes and Links:

  1. *Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
  2. For more reading on implicit or unconscious bias: http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/ai-reduce-unconscious-bias/
  3. Frida Kahlo web site
  4. Diego Rivera web site
  5. Ángel Zárraga on Wikipedia

 

“Back In My Day – I put an ad in the paper and someone came and applied to my job!”
Advertising was simpler back then – you paid some money, usually a flat fee, and ran an ad for a week or two in your newspaper.  And resumes came pouring in.

Now – clicks are king, the internet has taken over as the new source for news and jobs, and figuring out where and how to post your job has become much more complicated and costly.

When people began transitioning to internet advertising, they left the old business model in place.  You paid a flat rate for the ad (usually charged by the word), and you job ad ran for a set amount of time. a As new markets were opened up by the internet, people started bidding and paying for clicks, or views to their ad.

Now, there’s an even newer model for advertising your job. Bidding and paying for Applicants directly.  This new market is the newest model  and is proving volatile to say the least.

The upside of using a Cost Per Applicant is  that you only pay when someone actually applies for the job.   The downside, though, is that it will probably take longer and overall be more expensive per applicant, as the marketplace is still small for CPA and the number of sites offering this option is still limited.

At NewHire, we keep an eye on the job board market so our clients get their best candidates, and we’ve been looking at CPA data for the last year to see how to make use of this.  We’ve found a few distinct tiers of  Applicant cost.  Jobs that have a large number of applicants, like Administrative and Food Services jobs, have a relatively low CPA (under $20 per applicant), Jobs in Sales and Management have a higher CPA (between $20 and $40 per applicant), perhaps because they need more seasoned or specialized applicants.  Jobs in the Insurance and Medical industries, and Engineers of all sorts, have the highest CPA (Over $40 per applicant).  This is probably due to the small supply of qualified applicants vs. the demand.

Here is a graph of CPA by Job Category:CPA By Job Category 2015-2016We also analyzed the Cost Per Applicant by job board. We wanted to know if there is a noticeable difference in the cost of acquiring candidates from various job boards that charge on a pay per click basis.

We estimated this by taking the number of applicants we received from each job board (based on Google Analytics) and comparing that number with the spend on the job board for last year.   In the graph below, you can see that the more general job boards, Indeed, Careerbuilder, and Craigslist. have a lower CPA.  Specialty job boards like Bevforce and CPA exclusive boards like AppCast are more expensive, as they are targeting a smaller set of possible applicants and therefore generating less overall traffic.  At the highest end, our Passive candidate search is the most expensive, and coincidentally the most specialized and targeted.2016 CPA By Source EstimatedLike the stock market, CPA costs are constantly changing, as job boards enter and leave the marketplace. Additionally,fluctuations occur in what’s considered a hot job, or a desired location. We keep our eyes on the market to help our clients get the best candidates for their jobs, whatever the source!

For many people, finding and navigating this unfamiliar territory of niche sites can be like traveling to a galaxy far far away. But don’t panic – there is a hitchhiker’s guide to understanding niche job boards at your fingertips.

If your open position is not drawing the quality or quantity of candidates on the major job boards you were hoping for, then it’s time to diversify your advertising options. When you’ve exhausted all your major player resources, who do you turn to?

This is where niche job boards and networks can become valuable assets in filling those gaps. Niche job boards are industry specific and cater to job seekers who have a more unique skills set for particular job types. For instance, you’ll find that Salesjobs.com is beneficial for finding candidates who are solely visiting the site because they have had a career in sales or are in pursuit of a career in sales. When you’re looking for someone with an extensive background in sales, within a unique industry, and the ability to perform certain tasks, posting your job on Salesjobs.com might be useful to you.

Niche job boards

As an Advertising Coordinator, I recognize it can be difficult to wrap your head around what to do on these sites when exploring for the first time. So I’ve written a brief overview guide to help you get started.

Find a niche site that is relevant to your job.

It’s tempting to find a free niche site and post every job title you have on it. But don’t do it. It’s confusing for candidates who are meeting a certain skill set for that site. The only way it’s acceptable is if it’s a general employment site that accepts all industries and job types, which is quickly becoming more rare to find for free. Some job sites might even require that your job undergo an approval process before it goes live, so it’s only in your best interest to do so.

Confirm with a company representative that you can re-direct to an outside ATS.

One of the biggest pains in recruiting during the screening stage is having all of your candidates in different places. Because most niche sites require you to create an account to build your posting, it’s important before purchasing to check with a representative that they will allow you to re-direct candidates to an outside ATS so that your candidates can be in one place. If you’re using NewHire, you can have all of your candidates directed back to your landing page which will consolidate all of your applicants into one place.

Pricing & Payment

Pricing methods vary widely across niche sites – you’ll see everything from pay-per-click sponsorship and pay-per-applicant advertising, to 30-day postings and subscriptions. You’ll likely have to pay with a credit card so have one handy that you can use for payment. Pay attention to what you’re buying – if you’re not careful, you could be getting yourself into a subscription that charges monthly. Try to stick to 30 day postings to start with while you’re getting your feet wet, and when you find job sites that work for you, you can expand to purchasing other advertising methods.

Pricing varies by job board but keep in mind each board you invest in is a risk and you could potentially be left with no candidates. Be cautious of niche sites who charge a high price with no refund or free trial run.

Niche job board tips
So the answer to everything is not 42; there are a lot of different things to consider when navigating niche job boards. The moral of the story here is that you should be using them when you can. They are great for filling in those gaps in your candidate pool that major job boards are not able to reach, and you can’t go wrong when some of them are free! Keep your eye out for the minor details when posting for the first time on new sites, and in little to no time you will be a less of a hitchhiker and more like a navigator!

Machine learning in recruitingIf you haven’t heard about how machine learning is changing the entire landscape of recruiting, it might be time to call your real estate agent and get them to put “For Sale” sign on the rock you’ve been living under the past three months. Just kidding, but seriously: everyone is talking about it. If you want to do some catching up, here are a few good places to start:

How Machine Learning is Revolutionizing Recruiting: “Recruiters can start to recognize pure data points of candidates’ contact information, their profile, their work history, etc. and be able to match those with opportunities. Machine learning does not automatically select the best candidate, instead it narrows the field of search and allows us to focus on analyzing the intangibles.”

What Machine Learning Can Bring to Corporate Recruiting: “So using historical data to predict what a human being will do or like isn’t that new but it is only now that the world’s HR departments are realizing how valuable it can be. Combining employee and candidate data in the right way can help companies get more out of their most important assets: human capital.”

With to all of the hysteria surrounding the topic, I considered titling this blog “This Millennial just used Machine Learning to destroy the Fake News about Recruiting.” I surely would have had more clicks. Machine Learning is the buzzword flying around in the recruiting world today. It’s the mystical, magical solution to all of your problems. The fact of the matter is, like all buzzwords, the idea behind machine learning in recruiting comes from a place of relative truth and good science. Using a computer to analyze the processes and outcomes of recruiting will allow you to make better recruiting decision, given a quality dataset and a well-engineered analysis.

Unfortunately (you knew a “but” was coming), the blog-o-sphere got a hold of this idea, and now you need a facial recognition software, a Google-sized recruiting budget, and an in-depth understanding of quantum mechanics in order to have a shot at hiring the right person for a job. While one of those things was a joke that no blogger has ever recommended for hiring better, all three are equally unnecessary for success in recruiting. Recruiting and hiring is hard, and any blog claiming that a robot is going to make it less hard is peddling you the same rubbish that applicant tracking systems have been pushing for years.

How you can replicate machine learning in your recruiting process

The fundamental idea behind machine learning in recruiting is a rock solid one. Instead of relying on your shortcuts – reading resumes, throwing out the ones with goofy names, throwing out the ones who misspelled something, keeping all of the ones who went to the same college as you – you are forced to rely on a computer’s analysis of a candidate. The computer has a quality dataset with information about the candidates who have already been successful at your company. Essentially, it is benchmarking your set of candidates against the criteria it thinks has led to success in the past.

A computer’s benchmarking, given a quality data set and a complex algorithm, will be better than your resume search. That’s a given. But it will never be without mistakes. If you learn nothing else from this blog post, learn this: recruiting is hard. There is no magic pill.

There is, however, good process. Take anybody at your company who has been in the position you are trying to hire for and had success and ask them as many questions as you can think of. Ask them things you might ask a candidate who is coming to work at your company. How many years of experience did you have when you started? What skills did you come to us with? What work behaviors do you possess that you think lead to successful outcomes for yourself and for our business? What motivates you?

Once you have their answers, figure out which ones you can identify during your recruiting process. If your best sales representatives came into the company with zero sales experience, you’ve just learned something about what makes a person successful at your company. If your best customer service representatives are motivated by the positive feedback they receive from your clients, you know how your best future CSR’s ought to be motivated.

Here’s the important part: once you’ve got some criteria set aside, ask your candidates these questions while they apply. Don’t sort through your candidate pool using their resumes. Don’t sort through them based on who submitted a .pdf resume and who submitted a .doc resume (trust me, it has happened.) Ask them the questions that you asked your current employees and use their answers to decide who to talk to. If all of your best sales reps are motivated by money, you should be molding your recruiting process around hiring candidates who love making money. Ask a multiple choice question about what motivates them to be successful in sales, and interview the ones who chose “Money!”

There! You did it. You’re a recruiting machine. Again, this is not the magic pill. In order to reap the benefits of this system, you have to commit to it. Contact everyone who answered your questions the right way. No shortcuts. By setting up our process this way, you will be eliminating 90% of the fluff – those candidates who answer every employment ad and aren’t qualified for your position; they won’t answer your questions the way you want them to. The rest is up to you. Happy hiring.

Today’s Wall Street Journal lead editorial focuses on “America’s Growing Labor Shortage.” The text is 14 paragraphs long, 13 of which detail the problems – construction and farm labor shortages – and one paragraph recommending somebody do something about it.

Every word of the editorial is true, yet stunningly insufficient. The recommendation? “… the U.S. will need to improve education and skills in manufacturing and IT.” The “U.S.” doesn’t “do” anything! Business leaders, state and federal leaders, academic leaders all need to “do” a number of specific actions to start to solve these shortages.

For instance, Hands-On CNC Training, a program in northern Illinois run by the TMA (Tooling and Manufacturing Association) is matching entry level candidates to CNC manufacturing jobs, providing an hourly wage, on-the-job and classroom training and the promise of a full time job on graduation. Funding comes from multiple sources (including the businesses that will benefit most from the investment).

Labor shortageI know that “union” is a dirty word for the WSJ. However, looking backward, it seems obvious today that union busting has had the negative consequence of reducing the pool of trained construction (and other) workers. Yes, unions may create additional expense for employers, but at least some of that expense paid for unions to train new members. This ensured the perpetuation of union and the availability of skilled workers to business. No institution has stepped forward to replace this training function, hence a shortage of workers. Companies that work collaboratively with unions to ensure a trained workforce suffer fewer labor shortages.

Another type of failure we see is a failure of imagination. Whether the open positions are in agriculture, manufacturing, construction, high-tech, or healthcare, employers do a poor job of helping potential employees picture what a career in their industry will be like. When employers spend time and money looking for “experienced” workers in fields that have shortages, they waste effort. Spend time and money educating future employees on the benefits of a career in their field. Spend effort identifying the work behaviors, motivations and skills required for the jobs and then find matching people regardless of experience. Then hire, train, and help new employees grow. Waiting for others to train your workers is a recipe for shortages.

And finally, in agreement with the WSJ editorial, bring in more, not fewer foreign workers for skilled and unskilled positions. Don’t restrict work visas.

At NewHire we believe “Every Job Deserves the Right Person,” and we work hard every day with employers all over the U.S. to help them hire better!

I recently sold my home of almost 25 years. It was a heart wrenching, game changing, long time coming event. It also gave me a new perspective on recruiting.  I know that sounds nerdy, but it’s true (it’s also probably why my house has an eclectic, even eccentric, look. Maybe I should be thinking about decorating instead?). Recruiting & hiring a new employee and selling a home have so many similarities – and some HUGE differences.

Recruiting & hiring and selling house

Image credit: Mark Moz

Both recruiting and selling a home are lengthy, multi-step processes that have an uncertain outcome. The impact of this uncertainty should not be underestimated. The uncertain outcome can cause surprising and sometimes disruptive emotions at various stages of the process – from elation and excitement to disappointment and despair – the emotional journey can be a bit of a roller coaster. We might even delay project launch or needlessly draw out some aspects of the project as a result of that roller coaster ride. Additionally, the need for high cost outside expertise can seem like a roadblock. But where there is great risk there is often opportunity for great return. I invite you to come with me on this journey. Continue Reading…

A new “salary estimator” feature Indeed is currently testing and rolling-out for mobile jobseekers may have significant impact on the effectiveness of your Indeed advertising campaigns. For some time, Indeed has listed applications that include compensation information with a brief blurb on how they are displayed. Recently, Indeed expanded that feature to include an estimated compensation for mobile users. This salary estimate is displayed both for positions that list the compensation in the ad and for postings that do not explicitly list a compensation range.

Salary estimator

This is an example of the new feature in action. Notice the grey text indicating “$30,000 – $33,000 a year estimated by Indeed”.

How does it affect applications with no compensation figures listed?

If Indeed’s salary estimation is exactly accurate, the worst that can happen is that candidates find out your role’s compensation earlier in the process than you wanted. More likely, the estimated range will be higher or lower than your actual ideal range. This will be particularly true as they continue to refine their estimates (it’s only in beta and will presumably get more accurate over time) and if your position has a broad title. Each of these bring clear negative ramifications for your recruiting process. If their estimate is lower than your actual range, it’s possible that highly qualified candidates that would seek a higher compensation will be deterred. If Indeed’s estimate is higher than your range you will receive more candidates than you would otherwise, but when it comes to negotiation, candidates may have unrealistic expectations of what your offer will be. It is worth reiterating that this is currently in beta and is only being tested; it will not effect every job or every market.

Why is Indeed doing this?

Based on data Indeed collects, candidates are more likely to engage with job postings when salary figures are available. Ultimately, Indeed’s goal is to increase the likelihood that candidates click postings and to improve the candidate experience when job searching by giving them additional information.

What can you do?

Our best practice continues to be to list compensation figures in your application when you can. This change to Indeed is just one more reason why it is better to list a competitive compensation and to remain in control of how candidates perceive your jobs.