Human Performance Deserves More Than a Review

Campaign/FTC disclosure: This is a sponsored blog post. I will or have received compensation for this post. I only work with companies I feel have great products, services, and offerings. In accordance with my blog disclosure statement, I will only work with and showcase products, events and/or companies I believe my readers will benefit from.  I am not formally employed by Trakstar. All thoughts and viewpoints are created and written by me. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Of the many dynamics or tasks that have to be executed between employee and employer, performance reviews are probably the most hated. Over the past few years, there have been extreme calls to get rid of the performance evaluation. For this argument, there are two camps. The first camp is comprised of those who never saw a purpose for a once-a-year process that is labor-intensive as well as challenging. The second camp is made up of people who see it as a necessary evil that perhaps needs some reinvention. There are viable arguments on both ends and yet they all miss one important factor, we are dealing with humans.

It amazes me how often we forget the human factor whether we are talking about a new HR Technology or the discipline of HR on the whole. We serve humans and they serve us. When we design and develop policies, procedures, processes or technology based on the day-to-day needs and realities of our employees we garner compliance, trust, and a willingness to be a part of the solution. People are not merely a cog in the wheel or a means to an end for your company. They have shared their talents with you in an effort to:

  • Progress a specific career trajectory.
  • Sustain them financially, so they can live and provide for themselves and their families.
  • Test out the kind of work they are good at and also like to do.

Just for a moment, let us assume that everyone who you employ shows up with the intention to do their best daily. You expect productivity, engagement, and a genuine interest in the work being done at your company, but what is the emotional and physical ROI for those expressions? If I am diligently churning out quality work daily, I want to be able to connect the dots between my contributions and the effect they have on the employer’s mission and/or goals. Conversely, if I’m not performing to standards or am executing a task in a way that isn’t helpful or wanted, I would appreciate open dialogue about that concern rather than to find out a year later that I am being put on a performance improvement plan for an issue that could have been solved with direct communication.

Communication is a core challenge when we speak about everything from performance evaluations to succession planning. If I understand what is expected of me and there will be multiple checkpoints throughout the year for me to revise goals or have a discussion with my boss to discuss progress, there is absolutely nothing that could blind-side me during the performance process. Continuous communication makes it so that everyone is on the same page about goals, execution, and outcomes alleviating serendipitous and uneasy performance conversations later in the year. If I am made aware that I am being slated as a top performer for future leadership opportunities, I may reconsider looking elsewhere for the opportunities I seek. People can’t plan their lives let alone their careers when leaders neglect to communicate on a regular basis. Increasingly, your employees want their power back. By power I mean the ability to have a say about what they accomplished through their efforts, to be heard and acknowledged as someone who has contributed either individually or as part of the team to the success of your company.

How can you start to empower your employees from a performance perspective?

Here are a few tips:

  • Be upfront about how success will be measured. As mentioned before, no one deserves to be blindsided because you failed to communicate what is expected.
  • Where possible, give your employees the ability to craft their own goals in collaboration with you. If I am setting my goals, I will be a lot more inclined to rise to the challenge than if goals are forced upon me.
  • Start to review performance as a continuous cycle of learning and development for both you and your employee. No one is perfect. In fact, leaders aren’t perfect. We need to start assuming that people want to do the right thing as opposed to the wrong thing. Use continuous feedback and performance discussions to help people improve rather than to penalize them.

Pardon my next statement, but it needs to be said. There is no excuse to struggle through performance evaluations when various approaches to managing it are available such as technology. I recently had the opportunity to give a new performance management solution called Trakstar a try. What I loved about the solution was the ability to set clear and individual goals whether to assess the overall performance of an employee or to have a basis for evaluating project-based contributions that too often fly under-the-radar from a recognition standpoint. The entire solution encourages companies to get out of the mode of the once per year review and instead set up several touchpoints throughout the cycle so that no employee is ever left behind or lost in the abyss of the workforce. The most tedious aspect of performance is keeping up with the documentation of it. Trakstar makes this a completely online process and provides for user-friendly scheduling of performance discussions, check-ins, and authentic dialogue around productivity and performance.

Your employees have a purpose in mind and a voice they wish they could express more at work. Implementing technology in lieu of genuine face-to-face dialogue is a step in the right direction of ensuring that you are in regular dialogue with your people even as you get caught up in the day-to-day.

To get some insight on how you can improve your own performance and feedback process, sign up for Trakstar’s live demo to see it in action and assess whether it is right for your organization.

Five Questions That Will Lead You to the Best ATS

Campaign/FTC disclosure: This is a sponsored guest post. I will receive compensation for this post. I only work with companies I feel have great products, services, and offerings. In accordance with my blog disclosure statement, I will only work with and showcase products, thought leadership, events and/or companies I believe my readers will benefit from.  I am not formally employed by Recruitee.  All thoughts and viewpoints are created and written by Perry Oostdam of Recruitee. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

 

Image courtesy of Recruitee

Image courtesy of Recruitee

What works for one company may not work for another. This goes for the budget, policies, and recruitment software! With the abundance of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) available, it’s worth it to shop around and get the best fit for your specific needs. There are comparison tools that are handy, like Capterra’s list of the best ATS. Side-by-side features and ratings are a great research tool! However, it may seem like a daunting task to sift through the options if you don’t know what you are looking for. Read on to find out the questions you need to be answering in order to determine the right ATS.

1—Is it user-friendly?

Collaboration in the hiring process is crucial. Decide with your whole team if an ATS will work for your particular situation. You must find one that even the least tech-savvy of employees can use and interact with! This will increase the level of inclusion and employee engagement, as well as the quality of hires. It’s a win-win situation.

How to find the answer:

Pin down what it means to your team to be user-friendly. A great place to start is a resource or article that explains how and why recruitment software can benefit teams when it’s easy to navigate and use. When listing these requirements out, remember to include criteria that benefit both a) the users and b) the potential applicants. Here are some quick ideas to give you and your team some inspiration:

  •  Simple application process with no redundancy
  • Application form can be completed on mobile
  • Sourcing extension for auto-fill of candidate data
  • Email inbox right in the platform
  • Live support

2—Is it mobile optimized? (Bonus if it has an associated mobile app!)

In the first question’s details, I mentioned mobile application forms as a possible must-have. This isn’t something to take lightly! Even if you don’t tangibly see the results of your mobile-optimized application form, candidates and your hiring results will thank you for it. A whopping 78% of job seekers reported that they would apply for a position via a mobile device. This is a huge chunk of your talent pool! Some applicants will bypass applying for a job if it can’t be completed when they are viewing it on their mobile device. Why miss out on top talent this way?

Speaking of missing out, the hiring arena is fast-paced. You don’t want to lose a potentially great fit for your company because you are out of the office. I’m not saying stay connected 24/7. However, your team will benefit from an ATS app that allows custom notifications. This way, your ATS is essentially in your pocket, allowing you to pick up on important, time-sensitive opportunities. Candidates will appreciate the responsiveness, and your competitors will be left wondering how you nabbed top talent so quickly!

How to find the answer: Test it out on your phone! Does the application form hold up on a mobile device? Also, go to the app store and see if there is an associated app with the ATS at hand. Download it, and try it for yourself.

3—Is it customizable?

Not only should notifications from your ATS be customized, but the whole platform should be able to be tweaked to fit your exact needs. Extra features that aren’t necessary just waste space and junk up the interface. Find an ATS that is intuitive and allows for customization. This will not only benefit your hiring workflow, but it will improve the candidate experience.

For instance, mass emails can appear cold and impersonal. When you are already dealing with a sensitive situation such as rejection of a candidate, this can leave them feeling jaded, confused, and, worst of all, ready to retaliate. The candidate experience can have a large impact on employer brand and the way your company is perceived. Tweaking bits of the hiring process to show candidates that you care will work wonders.

How to find the answer: Look for options to customize your workflow, from interview setups to team management. Furthermore, look for the ability to personalize candidate interaction, such as emails with placeholders.

4—Does it track recruitment data?

With the pressures of recruitment to-do lists, analysis sometimes gets pushed to the backburner. However, constant optimizations can result in a genius hiring process! It’s worth it to track the right data and analyze your findings. Practical application throughout different stages of your company’s lifetime will get you better hires in less time. Not only do companies differ in their hiring needs, but hiring needs change and fluctuate as an individual organization ebbs and flows.

How to find the answer: If you think you don’t have time to track data and/or don’t know what metrics to include, find an ATS that offers data tracking and automated reports!

5—Is your data secure on the platform?

Recruitment software is making the right move: to the cloud. ATS, in particular, are best when cloud-based. This keeps sensitive candidate and user information safe and secure from hackers, viruses, and the like. Think of the cloud as an intangible file cabinet that doesn’t run the risk of catching fire, losing documents, or being broken into! Pick an ATS that has proper security procedures in place.

How to find the answer:  Make sure your ATS is outside of the jurisdiction of the Patriot Act. Cloud-based software can be used globally. Additionally, in the terms and conditions, look for adherence to security protocols.

Ask these questions, but play around with them to ensure that they are right for your company. What works for a similar company may be way off when it comes to your needs! Sit down with your team and decide the make-or-break features that will fill in the gaps where your recruitment is lacking. Try out the free trials of a few ATS and use your experiences to make an informed decision. Your hires will be better for it.

Recruitee square logo

Author bio:

Image courtesy of Recruitee

Image courtesy of Recruitee

Perry Oostdam is the co-founder and CEO of Recruitee, a collaborative hiring platform for teams of all sizes. Recruitee helps optimize the entire hiring process, from candidate relationship management, employer branding, and job posting to candidate sourcing and applicant tracking. The company has offices in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Poznań, Poland and works with companies around the world.

For more information on Recruitee and its features email them at sales@recruitee.com.

 

Giving a voice to the voiceless with technology

Image courtesy of Ultimate Software.

Image courtesy of Ultimate Software.

Campaign/FTC disclosure: This is a sponsored product review. I will receive compensation for this post. I only work with companies I feel have great products, services and offerings. In accordance with my blog disclosure statement, I will only work with and showcase products, events and/or companies I believe my readers will benefit from.  I am not formally employed by Ultimate Software. All thoughts and viewpoints are created and written by me. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

In the HR industry, we spend a lot of time talking about the best ways to engage the people that work tirelessly for us. The thing that we often overlook in the engagement conversation is: “communication.” While that may seem broad, let’s explore a bit. How likely do you think your employees are to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns at work? You may be thinking: “I have an open-door policy” or “we periodically send out employee surveys.” All of this is a great start, but I would argue that between your open-door policy, employee surveys, town halls, and overall company culture lays a tremendous gap between what you think you know and what your employees truly feel.

Why the gap?

Understanding employee voice requires that you understand the various inputs and ways in which employees communicate. Encouraging your employees to speak up is admirable, but not nearly enough. If asked, many employees will describe a sense of fear around offering up ideas, thoughts, and concerns, whether solicited or unsolicited. While this sentiment is often based on unfounded perceptions of the consequences of communicating freely, it is just as often rooted in experiences where feedback led to negative outcomes such as low performance ratings, indifferent behavior by management, isolation, and even termination as illustrated in an HBR article, “Can Your Employees Really Speak Freely.”

Case and point, employees are fearful of speaking up. In turn, that fear presents a challenge for organizations that are desperate to thwart turnover and other organizational maladies to better retain their workforce. According to a 2016 survey by Xerox, 53% of employers cite retention of top talent as an “organizational priority” for 2017. In order to retain your people, you need to have some insight into their ideas, intentions, and behaviors. The pathway to rounding-up that information isn’t exactly a simple science without some heavy lifting by technology. The reason for this is: Much of your intelligence around what motivates your employees is likely lying dormant as unstructured data fueled by performance evaluations, pulse surveys, exit interviews, internal communication tools, etc.

While all of this information is lying dormant, organizations are left vulnerable and in a state of inaction. Without visibility for situations and actions brewing under your nose, many organizations will continue to wonder why they can’t get ahead where employee engagement and retention is concerned.

Luckily for the HR industry, one of my favorite HR Technology companies, Ultimate Software, has gotten into the data game specifically to assist companies illuminating the true feelings and emotions behind employee responses.

Ultimate Software has a new solution called UltiPro Perception™. They were kind enough to allow me to ask them some questions about their solution and how it can help you. Here’s the scoop:

Help me understand how UltiPro Perception captures employee sentiment.

UltiPro Perception uses advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms to analyze open-ended responses within employee surveys. The solution’s sophisticated technology interprets text-based feedback to uncover the feelings and emotions behind employees’ responses. Leaders and managers can then assess the overall sentiment for individual employees, teams, or the organization as a whole. The solution also looks for repeated keywords to identify more than 70 workplace themes or topics, and over 100 emotions beneath the surface of employee answers.

Why is UltiPro Perception better than any other tool out there using sentiment analysis?

UltiPro Perception is uniquely built to analyze unstructured data and uncover not only what employees are saying, but also how they feel, about things like work environment, culture, and leadership. UltiPro provides managers with easy-to-understand, actionable insights that will have a true impact on improving employee retention and engagement.

Another key differentiator is that UltiPro Perception is part of UltiPro’s comprehensive HCM suite. Organizations can easily collect feedback from the right groups of employees based on location, supervisor, tenure, and more—essentially any data element within UltiPro. Most competitive tools have no or limited HRIS/HCM integration and lack enterprise-level requirements such as configurability options and proper role-based security. Other employee survey solutions typically require costly, manual processes or they rely solely on quantitative analytics, and therefore can’t give organizations a true understanding of employee sentiment before it’s too late to take meaningful action.

How does UltiPro Perception arm managers and organizations in being able to manage the Talent Management life cycle better (i.e. Recruitment through Succession)?

UltiPro Perception offers built-in survey templates to gather feedback throughout the employee lifecycle—from candidate, to new hire, engagement, post-learning, exit, and more. Surveys can be configured to automatically be sent once a specific work event occurs, such as a promotion or performance review.

Key driver analysis provides real-time, actionable metrics to help guide managers towards the most effective next steps. Combining these results with UltiPro’s predictive analytics tools and Leadership Actions, managers have powerful resources to support, coach, and retain their employees.

Regarding data and reporting, how simple is UltiPro Perception for HR practitioners new to sentiment analysis?

With UltiPro Perception, data collection, management, analysis, and the delivery of insights are all automated, with both standard and configurable reports available. Report-quality insights are delivered in plain English—no training required. UltiPro Perception’s easy-to-read, interactive reports are delivered immediately upon closing surveys, including the analysis of free-text responses. Reports are distributed based on the employee directory and can be tailored to individual managers or areas of the organization.

What are the long-term and short-term wins new customers can expect using this tool?

Short term—Organizations can immediately get a sense of how their employees currently feel about their work environment, leadership, and more. UltiPro Perception can uncover the organization’s strengths and key areas for improvement.

Long term—Organizations can utilize UltiPro’s workforce intelligence solutions, including UltiPro Perception, to uncover people challenges, predict outcomes, and recommend actions to drive better business results. Additionally, leaders can use historical benchmarking to assess how engagement scores are changing over time, in order to identify trends or patterns and determine long-term strategies to improve workplace culture and make better business and people decisions.

When will UltiPro Perception be available?

UltiPro Perception is currently available for purchase.

What is the approximate cost of the product?

UltiPro solutions are priced on a per employee, per month basis and costs various depending on a variety of factors, including company size.

Is there training or train-the-trainer opportunities available for organizations that need more?

Ultimate’s activation team guides all new customers through setup and configuration and Ultimate’s experts will also guide customers through executing and analyzing their first survey. UltiPro Perception is simple to configure and use, but if customers would like additional assistance Ultimate’s Services team will provide additional support to ensure customers are getting the most out of UltiPro Perception’s powerful survey and analytics capabilities. Ultimate also offers free learning resources for all organizations and their employees, including on-demand online training, webcasts, and more. Through Ultimate’s unique “People First” approach to customer service, all Ultimate’s customers have instant access to customer service experts, including a dedicated account manager and phone and online support.

You may be asking how you give a voice to the voiceless utilizing technology like UltiPro Perception. Here’s how you begin:

  • Audit your company culture to uncover both intended and unintended practices that may deter employees from openly sharing their feelings and thoughts.
  • Continue to find ways to include employees and their input in all aspects of your company’s operations
  • Ensure that there are simple and varied ways for your employees to connect and communicate with you.
  • Utilize sentiment analysis and machine learning technologies like UltiPro Perception to help you properly synthesize the valuable feedback you collect from your employees on a regular basis.
  • Make sure you are prepared to act upon the information you receive and make sure all levels of management do the same. It isn’t just about acquiring a solution like UltiPro Perception to help uncover this information. You actually have to be willing to make the necessary changes as needed to ensure your employees feel heard.

Organizations can no longer afford to ignore all of the data points available to them. Employees are communicating in a myriad of ways all the time. It’s time we start to listen to them.

Get a sneak peek of Perception via UltiPro’s product tour .

Also, Ultimate Software will be hosting a free webcast on April 25th for you to learn more about this product. To register, click here.

HR Technology Solution Provides Customers with More Options: A Look Inside Lanteria HR

Image courtesy of Lanteria HR.

Image courtesy of Lanteria HR.

Campaign/FTC disclosure: This is a sponsored product review. I will receive compensation for this post. I only work with companies I feel have great products, services and offerings. In accordance with my blog disclosure statement, I will only work with and showcase products, events and/or companies I believe my readers will benefit from.  I am not formally employed by Lanteria HR. All thoughts and viewpoints are created and written by me. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

One of the things that has bothered me from the very beginning with certain HR Technology solutions is the lack of flexibility. Sure, they all preach about how flexible their solutions are; but analysts who have been through their share of implementations can attest to a different reality.

We have been able to convince most of the HR industry that having technology to streamline and/or facilitate their internal processes has some substantial wins where both productivity and consistency are concerned. Now that we have their attention, it would seem that we need to meet them where their customer journey begins.

As someone who has worked in HR previously, I know that the customer journey towards purchasing HR Technology isn’t often a proactive decision; but rather a reactive decision that commonly results from several, separate, yet connected pain points with processes and/or home-grown systems. There are usually work-arounds for the work-arounds and systems that don’t speak to one another which causes inefficiency and frustration for those doing the work. When your solution arrives on the scene to save the day, the single, most impactful thing you can provide is a flexible solution.

Although there is plenty variation in customer needs, most HR professionals will agree there are some basic needs that can be extrapolated across our industry.

Here are a few of them:

  • HR professionals prefer a solution that is has the capacity to scale accordingly with business as it continues to grow.
  • HR professionals prefer a solution that is intuitive, can incorporate their company lexicon and doesn’t require a lot advanced training or thinking to utilize it.
  • HR professionals expect the solution to make their jobs easier.

Recently, I had the pleasure of getting an inside look into a solution I was unfamiliar with called: Lanteria HR. Lanteria HR is a global HR Management (HRM) solution best suited for mid-sized to large companies. They currently service companies with as little as 50 employees up to 20,000 employees.  If you are an Office 365 customer/fan, you will love the way Lanteria HR integrates with SharePoint and the Office 365 product. Lanteria HR is a SharePoint-based system which means you will enjoy the personalization of roles as it integrates well with Microsoft Office. Lanteria HR prides itself on their ability to meet their customers’ configurations needs without expensive software customization.

Lanteria HR has 9 functional areas that you can utilize via the various modules delivered via the solution.

The functional areas Lanteria HR covers are: Core HR, Time & Attendance, Compensation, Recruiting, Onboarding, Performance Management, Learning, Succession Planning and Reports.  You will find that each of the five modules in the solution allow for easy toggling back and forth without issue.

When it comes to user roles there are three within the solution. There are the Core HR users better known as “Super Users”.  Then, there are the roles of “manager” and “employee”. Lanteria’s team can also create custom roles depending on your organizational structure needs. During my testing, it was great to simply change existing organizational charts; but also to be able to create new departmental and group-specific hierarchies as your organization changes and scales.

Learning & Development has a special place in my heart

With a natural focus on retention being prevalent in the HR sphere, technology that can facilitate the ongoing process as well as the roll-out of programs to a large number of people will become important.

In Lanteria HR’s Learning Development module, every employee has a development plan and profile. They have delivered reports that track L&D milestones. In addition, you have the ability to deliver and L&D training directly from the solution.

Types of training that you can have in this system are: E-Learning SCORM courses, Video, Homegrown Training Programs, MP4 files and/or links to training hosted on the internet (i.e. Vimeo or YouTube).

Where Succession Planning is concerned, I like that they focus heavily on career pathing, internal talent pools and delivering career goals at all three role levels through their dashboards within the module.

What does implementation look like?

Implementation for Lanteria HR is about 2-3 months from the time a contract is awarded. There are once a week meetings where you will meet with your assigned project manager and engineer. It is recommended that you have at least 1-2 people internally that can serve as your implementation team.  All training is delivered remotely via the train-the-trainer method.

What do their Service Level Agreements (SLA) look like?

Lanteria HR allocates engineering time as part of your licensing package. Since your solution will can be  hosted on-premises or delivered as a SaaS solution, you will either rely on your internal IT Team or Lanteria’s team for resolution of any technical difficulties experienced.  Major updates happen 1-2 times a year.  Lanteria’s support team troubleshoots technical issues when they’re related to Lanteria HR. If you experience issues with SharePoint, it should be resolved by your SharePoint administrator, IT team or anyone who manages your SharePoint.

What about pricing?

Lanteria HR charges per license/module. All fees for licenses include the cost of the license and implementation. Prices will vary as they serve customers internationally. You will need to contact them to be properly priced-out based on your company, team and needs.

All in all, if you are looking for a solution that has the capability of being delivered on-premises or in the cloud; with greater flexibility, personalization and control over your next HRM solution Lanteria HR is worth a look. It is simple, does all of the things that we as HR practitioners need to do in a day, plus has some extras that can help us drive the proper messaging and programming around Recruitment, Retention and Succession Planning.

Want to see the latest version of Lanteria HR? Check out there short feature tour here.

Get know Lanteria via their product overview below:

 

 

The Future of Work Needs Flexible HR Technology: A Look inside Recruiterbox

 

Image courtesy of Recruiterbox

Image courtesy of Recruiterbox

 

Campaign/FTC disclosure: This is a sponsored product review. I will receive compensation for this post. I only work with companies I feel have great products, services and offerings. In accordance with my blog disclosure statement, I will only work with and showcase products, events and/or companies I believe my readers will benefit from.  I am not formally employed by Recruiterbox. All thoughts and viewpoints are created and written by me. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

I have long discussed the perils of ill-implemented HR Technology. I have also discussed the necessity for HR Technology that can grow and bend with the whims of the business.

As someone who worked in Talent Acquisition for virtually her  entire HR career, I know the pain points  when it comes to Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) all too well. I have lived through everything from ridiculous error reports for minor input mistakes to larger-than-life SaaS solutions that consistently overpromised and under-delivered in the way of ease of use.

As both a former HR practitioner and now as a business owner/analyst assisting companies with making technology decisions for their businesses, I have often wondered why technology that has been designed to streamline the hiring process has instead made hiring more difficult for everyone involved.

Let me be fair…we have evolved.

In fairness, it probably wasn’t the intention of the founders of several of the applicant tracking systems we know to deliberately make recruiters’ and hiring managers’ jobs harder with their creation.

If we look at the ATS historically, there was a time when ERP systems were the best, new products on the market for tracking the steps of candidates and hires. ERP systems weren’t necessarily ideal, but they got the job done – albeit in an excruciatingly painful manner.

We evolved with Software-As-A-Service solutions – understanding that the nature of how business and work gets accomplished was changing to a more on-demand and flexible approach. This approach continues to be at the forefront of what is needed from the ATS whether you are an enterprise company or a small business.

The Workforce is changing.

The workforce is a mix of Millennials, Boomers, Gen X, Gen Z and even some Traditionalists. It is a mashup of full-time, part-time, freelancers, temporary, remote workers and per diem employees. With a mix of all of these demographics funneling into companies of all sizes, it is an absolute necessity that companies have an ATS that is dynamic enough to capture all of the information available to us, malleable enough to change workflows, users and processes on the fly, and easy enough to use – that even the least tech savvy employees in your organization will enjoy using it.

Meet Recruiterbox

I had the pleasure of chatting with the one of the three co-founders of Recruiterbox, Raj ShethRecruiterbox is a 5 year-old, self-funded recruiting software company that doesn’t try to be anything more than what it is intended to be and that is a seamless, easy-to-use technology that makes hiring a productive activity.

During my demo with Raj, he summed up the reasoning for why Recruiterbox exists as follows: “Traditional HR software is cumbersome and built for process – not for productivity.” He went on to explain that so much of what we do takes place in email, yet there is no way to draw from this data source.

As a former recruiter, I can attest to how many resumes and discussions took place in my email. In return, I had the task of figuring out how to properly document those conversations in the ATS.

Raj and his team have gone to great lengths to see that productivity, communication, and user experience are the cornerstones to this software.

How do I know?

I put my super user hat on and spent the past week and a half utilizing their free trial to test the capabilities of this software.

RB Social Footprint

Social Footprint Screen

Here are some features that really resonated with me:

  • Truly configurable workflows. The first thing you do when creating a new opening in Recruiterbox is to design your workflow. They give you three delivered workflow stages that you can edit to suit your needs. I appreciated this feature, because different openings call for different steps towards the hire at times. With this workflow editing option, Recruiterbox is giving you, the organization the power back to make changes to your hiring process as needed. I did not need to log-in to a different portal to make my changes nor did I need extensive training to learn how to configure the workflow. Everything in Recruiterbox is extremely intuitive.
  • No more post- job fair or compliance nightmares. When you sign-up for Recruiterbox you get a company-branded email that allows people to apply to your company with one email. When the candidate sends their resume to this email, it automatically loads their resume in the system. You as the recruiter or coordinator can assign the candidate as you see fit thereafter.  If you don’t like this option, you can also batch upload resumes via zip file into the system. This is a nice feature if you like a paperless process like me.
  • Capture the candidates you find on the web with one click. Recruiterbox has a Google Plug-in that allows you to pull in candidates into their “Prospecting” dashboard. You know those candidates that you happen upon during a Boolean or LinkedIn search? You can capture their name, email, phone number, referral source, and resume with this plug-in. Minimal parsing makes for 100% successful execution every time.
  • Want to know where your candidates hang out on the web? Recruiterbox captures each candidate’s social footprint so you can see how they present themselves across all social platforms.
  • Interview scheduling made easy with a dose of video. In Recruiterbox, you can easily schedule everything from a phone screening to a Skype Interview. You have the option of confirming your interviews or you can send prospective schedules to candidates for them to confirm their acceptance of the designated timeslot. Two clicks from within Recruiterbox allow you to launch Skype when you have installed the Skype plugin on your desktop.

 

Application form configuration screen

Application form configuration screen

The list of positive attributes to this system is endless. As we speak they are working  launching an improved and robust reporting and analytics module. As you well know, I have a penchant for companies who are relentless about improving their product  through good data.

If you are a company of 1-1000 employees and in the market for a new ATS, Recruiterbox is worth your attention.  You will find the pricing to be reasonable and  the value immense.

For a free demo, click here to sign-up or watch their video demo.

Need more convincing? Read a case study from one of their clients, Beauty Brands here.

Bonus: Get a free copy of Co-Founder, Raj Sheth’s  E-Book prePARE: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Hiring. Click here to download.

Technology and HR Revisited: The Workplace Communication Conundrum

Image courtesy of Canva.com

Image courtesy of Canva.com

A common concern in the workplace is communication and how we utilize technology to facilitate it in a way that is useful to everyone. When I started in HR 10 years ago, it was fairly common to see drafted memorandums being sent within organizations to inform department and even specific people about important matters. We moved from memos to email for important and immediate messages and that has now taken precedence. Fast forward to 2015 and we have not only email, but we have instant messaging, social media, texts, communication apps and workforce platforms like, Podio, Yammer and even Evernote.

So much technology… very little commonsense.

With all of the various modes of communication that we have available, I find there is still confusion around when we should be using technology to enable efficient communication and when we simply need face-to-face contact. For instance, something like sending your team’s schedules would probably be best sent via email or communicated in person. Of late, I have heard multiple complaints by employees in a variety of industries that state they are texted their schedules and sometimes miss it depending on their WIFI signal. I get most of my texts, but I have also missed plenty of texts as well due to kinks in service and the airwaves. It isn’t a perfect technology yet, so I remain perplexed as to why something as important as someone’s schedule would be sent this way.

Another scenario that keeps cropping up is the text to let your manager know you will be absent. A phone call or even an email would suffice in a case like this. Texting that you will be absent is hardly a reliable or reasonable way of communicating that message.

Let’s talk about email…

Email is both a business necessity and bane of evil. We all receive way too many emails. Worse yet, we barely read the contents of the emails we receive because of competing demands and time constraints. If your email is longer than 2-3 small paragraphs, you may want to get up and have a conversation. Additionally, if  your question or commentary contains confidential or sensitive material, you may also want to think about having a face-to-face conversation. Some of this is commonsense, yet the endless availability of technology for the purpose of communication colors our ability to make sensible judgments in how we use these resources.

The Social Smackdown

Social Media is a groundbreaking technology in the context of communication. Nevertheless, there isn’t a week that goes by where someone hasn’t abused the immediacy and permanence of Twitter’s 140 characters or Facebook’s never-ending text box with everything from random thoughts to bigoted rants. There have been several articles written and many PSA’s on how you use these platforms to communicate. Many people listen, but still others opt to communicate the wrong messages without regard for it’s immediate impact.

Thank you for applying…

In this discussion of ways that communication and technology are at odds, we can not forget the automated templates delivered to candidates during the recruitment and selection process. I will be transparent in saying I appreciate the templates that live in the average ATS. Before you throw tomatoes- here is why:

1) It allows a recruiter dealing with high volumes of candidates to get a tailored message out in a timely fashion.

2) It is great for record-keeping since each is time-stamped and attached to candidate’s profiles.

3) It gives the recruiter back their time and eliminates a ton of phone time traditionally allotted for corresponding with candidates.

That said, you actually have to take the time to ensure the message is tailored. Some of you out there are just rolling this feature out with no effort and it is destroying your brand each time a candidate receives a template that hasn’t been configured- but I digress. This automation doesn’t absolve recruiters from having any interaction with candidates- it just automates a portion of your process. To that point, there are many other instances in the hiring process and beyond where an automated message will not suffice and may even be seen as discourteous.

When we talk about technology and how it helps us to communicate; we have to remember that in all things that help us there is a limit. I firmly believe that teams need to establish communication guidance, so that everyone is aware of how they will be expected to communicate in a variety of situations. This is not a policy, but rather a standard operating procedure or living agreement for communication. In establishing this sort of guidance, I believe we can eliminate unnecessary email, texting for inappropriate reasons and overall misuse of technology when communicating.

Want more? Click here to watch the latest “Ask Czarina” episode on this post on  “The Aristocracy of HR” You Tube Channel.

 

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