Archives For Hire Better

list-a-salaryIn advertising an open position, it’s important to be as transparent as possible about the job at hand. A field’s top candidates have their pick of positions, and most applicants don’t consider guessing potential income to be a game worth playing. At NewHire we found that the number of applicants increases significantly when employers list a salary range, a dollar amount. This indicates that salary is a top factor when it comes to deciding whether to apply.

Some business owners and human resources professionals have concerns about posting salaries. But for the benefit of your recruiting efforts, consider changing your thinking when it comes to these concerns.

Here are three of hiring managers’ common concerns/questions when it comes to whether to list a salary range—and reasons to consider adjusting your strategy.

I don’t want my other employees knowing how much this position is paying.

It can be uncomfortable for employees to discover that a position is available within their company that is paying significantly more than they’re making, especially if they haven’t received an increase in their own wages. But employees may perceive salary information differently, especially if it’s for a different position than their own. They understand that each function in the company comes with a correlated pay. Also, with the accessibility compensation websites like Salary.com, most people are no longer in the dark about what positions are paying.

To attract top candidates and keep your employees happy, be prepared to handle internal inquires about why a certain position commands more pay than another. Revealing salaries could also motivate employees to work toward higher-level positions, which could eliminate recruitment for those roles in the future.

What if I want to pay depending on their experience?

It’s common to receive a variety of resumes with varied experience levels when you have an open position. You may locate a standout candidate with little experience, or you may have a 10-year, seasoned expert. If you are open to both extremes, it is best to settle upon a salary range that would make sense for the respective candidates.

What if I absolutely cannot list a salary range under any circumstance?

There are instances where it would be out of the question for you to list a salary range in your advertisement. In these circumstances, it’s best to state that you are paying a competitive wage. Then, if you are using a NewHire application, create a customized question asking what salary the applicant would be expecting in your open position.

For budgeting purposes, it’s important for you to know what salary the applicant is looking for, and if you move forward with the candidate, they will know you have noted their requirements.

These are a few suggestions to get you moving toward advertising a compensation for your open positions. Do you have any other situations that you feel are preventing you from listing a salary range? Do you have any additional reasons why consistently advertising salary is a great idea?

This is the third of a three-part series that’s designed to help you answer the question “why is it so hard to hire an employee?” 

We’ve addressed what may be the problem if no one is applying for your job and why qualified applicants aren’t applying, but what if you have plenty of qualified candidates applying? You might be thinking, “what’s the problem?” The obvious answer is: There is no problem with having plenty of qualified candidates. The problem comes when you have no follow up.

What do I do if I have plenty of applicants but no follow up?

Don’t kick yourself for not following up. It happens. There are many reasons why you may find yourself lacking in this department.

no time to hire an employeeMost small- and mid-sized employers wait to hire an employee when there is enough business to support a new employee. That means that everyone in your office is currently working at capacity. Everyone is slammed handling customers, orders and other immediate tasks. That doesn’t leave anyone with the time needed to properly hire an employee.

Other times, we find ourselves hiring in “emergency mode.” When people take new jobs, retire or get fired suddenly, you need someone quick. But you also need to get their work done. No wonder you don’t have time to follow up; you’re currently doing two jobs!

Maybe you’re not slammed for time but there is no clear delegation of work responsibility for following-up with the top candidates. The President, Owner or manager got the ball rolling, but is too busy to see to the details. Who takes it from there?

Or perhaps it’s just too much to handle in additional to the regular work load. That’s possible. Especially in the case of smaller companies that might not have a dedicated HR staff or recruiter.

It takes a lot of time to hire an employee, so it’s certainly not something you can “just squeeze in.”

hire an employee phone interviewConsider this: It takes 30 to 45 minutes to conduct a phone interview. Let’s say you want to conduct 10 or 12 phone interviews so you can have 3 or 4 quality candidates for face-to-face interviews. That’s 540 minutes or 9 hours just to do the phone interviews. Wow! No wonder you don’t have time.

That 9 hours doesn’t include the time it takes to identify the best applicants, or the time it takes to send emails, set appointments, leave voicemails, or deal with the interruptions when the candidates call back. And all of those steps must be taken. That’s a lot of time!

So what do you do? You either work crazy hours, shift priorities or you can ask for help. There is nothing wrong with reaching out for help, but it’s best not to wait too long to do that. The best candidates don’t stay on the market for long.

As soon as you recognize that you don’t have the necessary time required to hire an employee, take action to remedy it. Either shift priorities or reach out to someone that can help bear some of the burden. We don’t recommend the ‘work crazy hours’ option.

For more information read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

If you are having this problem now, feel free to reach out to us. We’re pros at helping you find the right person for your job.

 

This is the second of a three-part series that’s designed to help you answer the question “why is it so hard to hire an employee?” 

Last week, we addressed why no one was applying for your position, but that’s not everyone’s issue when it comes time to hire an employee. Perhaps people are applying, but you’re simply not getting well-qualified applicants. Or maybe you’re being inundated with entirely too many applicants. Let’s dive into why you might be experiencing these problems when hiring.

Why isn’t anyone well-qualified applying for the position?

You’ve been advertising the open position in all the right places, and candidates are responding. But when you review the resumes, none look attractive.  None of applicants meet all the qualifications and requirements you set.

Unqualified Concept

You don’t want to waste time on interviews with people who are unqualified, overqualified, or don’t look like a good match for the company, so you don’t follow up with anyone. That’s understandable, but it’s not going to help you hire an employee.

It is reasonable (and advisable) to be worried when none of the candidates who apply appear to be a good fit.

Why does this happen? Here are a few possibilities:

  • Your job description doesn’t accurately reflect the work or qualifications you expect. Candidates only know what you tell them so give them the information they need to know if they are well-qualified for the job.
  • The expectations for the job changed between the time you advertised and the time you start screening. If this is the case, you need to revise the job advertisement and accept new applications. Changing expectations during the hiring process will lead to frustration for both potential employee and employer.
  • You are looking for a flying mermaid; a rare creature indeed, and likely one you will not find. The combination of experience and knowledge, duties and responsibilities you set are not realistic. To be attractive, the job must be doable. Just because the founder or owner did all that stuff at some point – doesn’t mean an employee can or will.

It is hard to admit it when we’ve experienced any of these problems. It could feel like a personal failing. Admitting to a mistake is hard.

The first step in solving the problem is pinpointing the issue. If you think you’ve experienced one of these challenges, take a step back, take a deep breath and remember there is a solution. In many of these cases a little research or competitive intelligence can go a long way to solving the problem and moving forward with a fresh start.

Why are so many people are applying for this position?

Some employers find themselves overwhelmed by the candidate response. When you have too many candidates to review, it’s overwhelming, and hard to figure out how to identify the best candidates. When that happens, you may find yourself procrastinating reviewing any at all because it’s human nature to put off things that seem daunting.

Before we figure out how to eliminate this problem, let’s figure out how you got to it in the first place.

hard to hire an employee

There are a few circumstances that typically lead to a barrage of resumes.

  • If the position you are hiring for is entry-level or lower skill level, you will inevitably get more applicants than when you are hiring a more senior-level employee.
  • If the position is very attractive – the employer has a great reputation, competitive wages and benefits, and an excellent employment value proposition — you’re going to get a lot of applicants. Pat yourself on the back. You deserve congratulations as that is no easy task and deserves recognition.

If either of those are the case, you need to be prepared to see a lot of applicants. If you’re not prepared, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and start procrastinating. That is absolutely not how you want to feel when trying to hire an employee. If there is no screening system, plan of action, or objective hiring criteria in place, you’re probably going to feel that pain. But don’t worry. There are things you can do.

If you’re feeling the pain from either of these problems, you might need some tools and coaching to get you over the hump. You also may need a system that allows you to quickly identify the best qualified talent, without reading every application because we know the pain of reviewing applicants. 

If you want to learn more read Part 1 or Part 3 of this series.

Mad computer

In the digital age, consumers have more information available than ever before. One increasingly popular source for such information is opinion and review platforms with non-professional/user-generated content. Whether it’s ranking a restaurant (Yelp), movie (IMDb), book (Goodreads), or even college professor (RateMyProfessor), it has become more and more frequent for everything and everyone to fall under anonymous Internet raters’ scrutiny.

And while much has been written about employers’ ability to use social media to check candidates’ backgrounds, the web has also enabled job seekers to research prospective employers based on past and current employees’ reviews. These employer reviews can play a major impact on the recruiting process, whether positive or negative, and are becoming increasingly important to track when looking to a make a hire.

Where are jobseekers going for Employer Reviews?

The two largest employer review websites currently are Glassdoor and Indeed. While smaller employers could have zero to a few dozen reviews, large employers, such as Coca-Cola, have over a thousand. On both sites, current and former employees rate companies on a 1 to 5 star scale.

Glassdoor allows reviewers to get a little more specific and asks reviewers to rate companies’ Culture & Values, Work/Life Balance, Senior Management, Compensation & Benefits, and Career Opportunities. Both sites allow reviewers to leave comments to accompany their rating, which is frequently where the most insightful information resides.

When a possible applicant uses these sites to research an employer and sees an overwhelming number of negative comments, their desire to spend time applying for that position shrinks. No one wants to work for a bad employer.

Do these reviews really have an effect on recruiting?

How frequently have you seen a restaurant proudly displaying their high Yelp or TripAdvisor rank? Some service sites put enough credence in user reviews that they use them for quality assurance.

For example, Uber, an increasingly popular transportation start-up does not allow drivers who fall below 4.7 stars to continue to drive under the company name. While goods and services providers have known for a while that online review sites affect business, when it comes to recruiting, many small- to mid-sized companies may overlook online reviews’ influence on attracting applicants and hiring people to fill positions.

When consumers turn into candidates, they don’t stop utilizing the web for information gathering. Time Magazine reported that nearly half of employees polled in 2013 said that a company’s online reputation matters as much as the job offer.  For personal evidence- all three of the most recent employees at NewHire (myself included) looked at online employer reviews during our job hunt. Finally, one possible extra perk keeping high reviews: saving money. Most candidates are willing to accept a lower salary if company reviews are favorable.

In their 2013 Candidate Behavior Study, CareerBuilder discovered that 67% of the over 5,500 job seekers polled said they would take a lower salary at an exceptionally reviewed employer online. That’s a lot of people.

Employer reviews are key to making good hires at the rate you want. So now that you know how important they are, what can you do about poor reviews? Stay tuned for part 2 and I’ll let you know.

blog post

 

Searching for a job is a lot of give and take. Especially if you are brand new to the workforce (see: the author of this post), it can be a lot more giving than taking. After all, you are leveraging a limited amount of experience against high ambitions.

“What’s your expected salary?” they ask, and you mumble back something about how your roommate with the same level of education and skills is making enough money to pay rent and buy a venti mocha every day, but you might settle for just the rent.

You apply, apply, apply and for every 30 applications, you hear back once. And if you are lucky enough to make it through a phone screening and two interviews, you have to wait. Whether two hours or two days, that wait can be nerve wracking. But if all goes well, you are hired.

Truth be told, the entire process is daunting and long. Not to mention, if you are anything like me, you may have jumped the gun on signing a lease and moving out of mom’s house before you had a job locked up.

Luckily, there are a few steps you can take that make finding the right job — and helping the right job find you — easier.

 

Let them see you:

A lot of job applications offer questions that are meant to weed out unqualified candidates. These screening questions allow hiring managers to see only the applicants who have the characteristics they find most important. They save both parties — employer and candidate — time and money. When faced with such questions, it is important not to sell yourself short. If you are applying to be a reporter for a newspaper and they ask for years of reporting experience, don’t leave out those four years in college you spent on the school newspaper. Experience is experience.

That being said, be honest. In the same way that you feel you deserve the right job, the companies with which you are interviewing deserve the right employee. If you aren’t qualified for a position, don’t waste your time or the time of the company by exaggerating or embellishing your skills.

 

Let them hear you:

If you have been invited for a phone interview, or better yet an in-person interview, wake up at a reasonable hour and prepare your mind and body for the day. Speak loudly and clearly. Be confident. I am certain I was screened out of the first job I received a phone interview for because I woke up just as they were calling and sounded groggy and slow. After that, I started to treat my job search as if it were my current job. I woke up early each day, got the coffee brewing, and went to work searching for a job.

 

Let them know you care:

If you’re unemployed or working a part-time job, but you are looking for a full-time position, use your downtime wisely. Prepare for common interview questions like:
What are some of your strengths and weaknesses? What was something you liked or disliked about your last job? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Also, take some time to research the companies you have applied to. How do they serve their clients? How do they make money? Do they do any philanthropy?

This allows you to give thoughtful responses that might set you apart from your competition. When you get an interview, make sure to follow up afterward and let the company know your level of interest.

If you find that you have a lot of downtime, take some online tutorials on different skills that might be useful at the jobs for which you are applying. While I was job searching, I learned HTML programming and Microsoft Access for free on the Internet. Through those tutorials, I was able to put new skills to use in my job at NewHire.

 

Know what you’re looking for:

This is perhaps the most important thing to consider. When I was looking for a job, I started out not really knowing what I was looking for. I was thinking that I needed a high-paying position at a huge company, because I was a college graduate, darn it. As I continued searching and considered my past employment, I realized that the best thing for me would be an entry-level position where I wanted to live (Chicago) at a company that would let me express my passions for writing, interacting with the people around me, and maybe even telling a joke or two along the way. I wanted the room and freedom to grow at a company that valued growth.

When I started thinking about what I wanted to be doing each day, my job search narrowed significantly. Enter NewHire, who screened me, called me, interviewed me, and hired me after a few days of nervous wait time. Now I’m talking with people from all over the United States, writing blog posts, working on a team, and, yes, even cracking a joke or two. How’s that for a job search?

If you think you are ready to put yourself out on the employment market, check out our job board. We update it constantly with new positions available all over North America. If you are more of a social media guru, check out our Twitter and Facebook pages for frequent #hiring updates.

what to listen for when phone screeningPhone screening candidates is an underrated piece of the recruiting and hiring process. In many cases, you hear about resume stacks and interviews but nothing in between. In reality, phone screening bridges the gap between deciding who catches your eye and who you want to actually interview in person. But what does a phone screen actually entail and how do you know if it’s a good one? How do you know what to listen for when phone screening?

As I said, phone screens serve as an intermediate step, helping you determine who is worth interviewing on-site. Those on-site interviews are long and often take time out of several schedules in order to run smoothly. Phone screens, on the other hand, are quick and painless. A typical screen should last 10 minutes and be a handful of thought-provoking, open-ended questions.

You can ask all kinds of questions (within the realm of legal questions, of course, and there are plenty of illegal questions you can ask) as long as you’re asking the same questions to everyone. You should have a template pre-made and use it for each of your phone interviews.

Once you have that template of questions, you know what you’re going to be asking. But how do you know what to listen for when phone screening?

What to Listen for when Phone Screening

The one thing that should always be on your radar when conducting a phone screen is confidence. The type of confidence will vary based on position – think charismatic confidence for a sales representative vs. knowledge-based confidence for an accountant – but it remains important that the person makes you believe that they know what they’re doing. A candidate who can’t make you believe that they’ll succeed is one that you probably don’t want to hire.

Of course, some people just get nervous over the phone or in interviews. It happens. That’s okay, too.

Bear in mind that your perception will be influenced by what position you’re trying to fill. A customer service rep will need to be friendly, outgoing, and some level of cheerful in their job so it stands to reason that they must come off that way during an interview. If you’re speaking with someone who doesn’t exude confidence and it’s for a position that requires hard skills more than it does personality traits, you can find out what you need to know by asking knowledge-based questions.

Does your applicant know how to use Quickbooks? Can they explain how they would handle a certain software malfunction? Can they tell you about a project they’ve led in the past?

Each of those answers will present you with an impression of their confidence (or lack thereof).

But be warned; confidence is best in moderation. A phone screen candidate who picks up the phone and says, “Cancel the rest of your calls – I’m getting this job!” might be a bit overbearing. Phone screen candidates who ignore your questions to tell you how great they are have a way of finding themselves in the “thanks but no thanks” pile real fast.

Be sure to consult your original job advertisement and look back at what your key accountabilities are for the job. Set up your phone screen to ask about those things and take notes as the candidate talks. You might not remember everything they say, but your notes will fill in the blanks and you’ll have a strong understanding of the kinds of people you’re seeing.