I completely get that there are many businesses that continue to feel the pinch financially. With that “pinch” it requires cutbacks in certain areas and in some cases across the board. One of the areas I am seeing some less than reasonable cuts in is: supplies and tools. You may be thinking that this is extremely reasonable to do in a time of strained budgets, but it really isn’t.
Please know when I say “supplies and tools”, I’m not talking about the kind of cutbacks that result in getting rid of the colored post-it notes to go with the budget yellow ones. I’m talking about cuts to supplies to the extent of employees not having enough resources to do their jobs.
Still in the dark? Here’s an example.
A world-renowned law enforcement agency with millions of dollars earmarked annually for its operation has a printing paper deficit. In many of its departments it is a requirement to print various pieces of information to complete several of their processes. The printing paper deficit has gotten so bad that employees hoard reams of paper when they are ever lucky to receive a shipment. The hoarding of paper means that many employees are left without any paper which then causes them to beg and barter among themselves for company resources to get their jobs done.
To make matters worse, there are two said printers in some of the departments with high-volume printing work, which means there are constant interruptions to the flow of work to wait for other printing jobs to finish before retrieving their own work.
One day, there was very little paper, computers were having a moment, and one of the printers was out. Keep in mind that there is also a quota looming over these workers heads for having to have a certain number of queries done on new hires per day. With no letting up on the queries despite the severe deficit in office supplies to get the job done, the employees are left thinking: ” What do you want me to do?”.
Let’s talk systems and tools.
How do you have employees show up and expect them to work without access to the very systems they need to get the work done? In a recent instance, an employee went almost four months without having properly assigned codes and access to the systems they needed to get their job done. Instead, they had to use the usernames and passwords of a co-worker to complete work. During this time of sharing usernames and passwords, the co-worker changed codes frequently without sharing this with the new employee – so you can imagine there were several lockout instances.
Again, I can’t understand how we can talk about employees being unproductive, yet not give them the resources or tools necessary to get the job done.
If your budget is scant or you have fallen into this rut without realizing it – let me be your light and guide to proper onboarding and productivity measures:
1) No one should be transferring or hired into your company without being allocated the pertinent tools, resources and/or access to systems. You want productivity on day one and your employees want to be productive. Create a simple system for onboarding new people so that their access to things doesn’t fall through the cracks. It is not your employees’ responsibility to onboard themselves and properly assimilate. We must do better!
2) Purchasing office supplies is not your employees responsibility. Now, I’m not saying if your employee enjoys a certain expensive pen or supply that they shouldn’t be responsible to purchase it on their own dime. I am saying that if you cannot afford printer paper, you have a bigger cash flow or budget problem on your hand that needs to be addressed. Outside of maybe teachers and healthcare professionals purchasing applicable uniforms, there is no good reason in my head why an employee should have to purchase supplies out of their own money to complete your work.
3) Less is only more when employers are saving dollars. Sometimes you have to invest. If the expectation is for a high-volume of work to be churned out, you need to speak to your staff regularly to keep a pulse on how the technologies, tools, processes and resources available to them are working out. Often times, we see the work getting done and assume all is well on that front. The reality is your employees – in many cases are moving mountains, dealing with your cutbacks and creating workarounds to get your work done. The least you can do is check-in with them and make the investment when it is clear it is time for an upgrade.
When it comes to work, we are only as productive as our environment and resources will allow. Work ethic matters as well, but for the sake of the article we will assume most people come to work with an intention to do their best. Give your employees the support, resources and tools they need and watch them thrive.
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.
I had the pleasure of chatting with the one of the three co-founders of Recruiterbox, Raj Sheth. Recruiterbox 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.
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
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.
A study released in the Employee Engagement Series developed by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated and WorkplaceTrends.com, states that the boomerang employee is being reevaluated by employers. To be clear, boomerang employees are the alumni of your organization. They are people who worked for you at some point, that would rejoin your company at a later date. It is reported in this study that 76% of employers are more accepting of hiring former employees now than in the past.
While it is admirable and even interesting that company alumni are being seen in a different light all of the sudden, we need to examine the underlying factors to understand why this trend may be emerging and has longevity.
Employers like it easy…
Considering a former employee for rehire is fairly easy. Sure, they could have picked up some bad habits elsewhere, but they are a known entity. There is a familiarity that puts both the employee and employer at ease. Training is more of a refresher than actual training. Assimilation into the the company ecosystem is fairly seamless as both parties have a sense of what makes the other tic.
The trouble with all of this “ease” is most employers have nothing in place to either keep tabs on alumni or to even rehire them without any hiccups. To effectively keep in contact with former employees, companies would actually have to change how they view voluntary terminations/resignations. Regardless of how well people perform on the job, there is often a stigma left behind when a resignation is tendered. Some companies see it as an affront when an employee leaves their company. Bad feelings, a lack of interest in knowing what motivated the resignation and poor system tracking- usually impede most companies ability to adequately follow the alumni footprint.
Got a Corporate Alumni Network?
Companies like Deloitte, IBM , KPMG and Microsoft have them. Beyond the hurt feelings and resentment often felt when employees move on, corporate alumni networks allow you to keep in touch with your former employees, so as to not have them stray too far from your grasps. It also creates a secondary pool talent pool that can act as a direct and/or indirect talent pipeline for your company.
You may be thinking you need to manage another talent community like you need another form to fill out. However, there are significant benefits to creating these networks- so long as you have the resources to manage them effectively.
Here are some of advantages to having a corporate alumni network:
1) Continued rapport and connection with former employees.
2) The ability to disseminate hiring opportunities to a network of people you already know and who understand what makes for a successful hire in your organization.
3) Creating a proprietary place for former employees to connect, share ideas and rally around your company.
From a systems, tracking and incentive perspective, there are some things we need to get right before we can even tackle a network. Watch this week’s Ask Czarina below for tips on properly tracking and incentivizing alumni/boomerang hires.
On Wednesday 9/9/15, Steve Levy and I kicked off the first of three webcasts hosted by College Recruiter called: Honest Diversity Conversations. The aim of these webcasts is to step outside of the realm of the typical diversity conversations. We want to open the eyes of business owners and HR practitioners alike to the issues and missed opportunities that exist when we don’t consider the impact of what’s going on in society, their homes and most importantly the impact of our policies and procedures.
Last week marked our second week of Honest Diversity Webcasts. Our focus in the second webinar was on Discrimination and The Hiring Process. It’s easy enough to direct people in their job search. Preparing them for the potential injustices that lie ahead is less prevalent. It is very clear that even in an age of information, many candidates are still unclear about what their rights are and what actions they can take when faced with discriminatory activity.
From an employer standpoint, ensuring a fair hiring process means being able to take an objective look at your hiring process regularly to make sure your intentions match what is in practice. There is also an opportunity for employers to define what success in hiring looks like and measure against it. Without looking at data, it is clear that some employers can make assumptions about the efficiency of the hiring process and/or success of diverse people within their organizations. Diversity and Inclusion practices are not checklist items. It should be interwoven into how you operate in business. You need to be dedicated to ensuring that people of all demographics can be successful in being hired and retained.
In this webcast we discussed the less obvious ways candidates are discriminated against. We also tackled the trend of diversity mentorship programs and answered whether most diversity training is short-sighted. Check it out and join the conversation.
Register for the final webcast in this series on “Bias Leadership” here . We hope you will join us.
I’ve been talking a lot about where HR is headed this year, which is important so we can prepare ourselves appropriately. However, what about now? What can we fix right now? It has occurred to me that there are some basic precepts in Talent Acquisition (TA) that practitioners are not tending to. This advice emanates from conversations I have had with several jobseekers about their hiring experiences of late. If you are doing committing any of these hiring crimes, please fix it immediately.
Asking the candidate for information in bits and pieces. Every company has necessary information they need in order to make a formal offer. In case you were unaware, candidates are as busy as you are. They don’t have time to be going back and forth with you about what you need. Create a checklist or some sort of system for the jobs you hire for to ensure you account for all of the items you need to collect from a prospective hire. To commit this crime is to annoy your candidate and to give the impression that your company works haphazard manner.
Not allowing your new hires to give adequate notice. If the candidate has to wait several weeks to get through your pre-hire process, you can wait the two to three weeks they need to give their current employer adequate notice of their departure. If you expect it from your people, you should expect others need to do the same for the companies they are employed by as well.
Telling prospective hires to give notice before you have fully vetted them. No one has time to be putting in notice with their current employer prior to you vetting them or officially offering them a position- only to be told the position is no longer being offered to them. This is a crime, because you never know what can come up during your pre-offer process to prevent you from hiring them. Will you help them find a new job if it turns out you can’t hire them? Probably not. It is never advisable to say anything to a current employer, until a prospective hire is fully vetted and given an official offer letter. Make sure your TA people aren’t telling candidates to do this.
Ridiculously long applications. When’s the last time you looked at your application? Do you really need to know things like: when a person was divorced or where a deceased family member lived? These examples are just a few of the growing list of ridiculous questions asked on applications. Unless you are a federal, state or civil service agency, you should not have a 50 page application. Even within those agencies, there are often times redundancies in terms of information they solicit during the hiring process. Some advice, take a look at your application and gather only the information you absolutely need to make both a legal and practical hire.
Requiring candidates to incur costs in advance of their employment. A candidate I know was recently asked to send passport photos to her prospective employer (which was previously made available to the employer and lost.) The loss of the photos caused this person to have to purchase a new set of photos and pay for overnight delivery to a state agency. This was a burdensome cost for the candidate. My advice to employers is: you require it, you pay for it. Many candidates are in tough financial spots and cannot afford to pay a dollar more than what it may cost them to get to the interview and back. Do your best to eliminate economic and financial hurdles for them to overcome while trying to become employed by your company.
These are just a few instances in which the actions of your Talent Acquisition staff could be undermining your hiring efforts. I provide this advice not to point the finger, but to shed light on an area where we need to do better as a discipline. When I worked as a Talent Acquisition Specialist, my focus was to put the right people to work as quickly as possible. As a TA Specialist or Recruiter, you have to be dedicated to making every step in the hiring process as painless as possible. You make it so by letting people know what they can expect and removing unnecessary hurdles from their path to becoming an employee.
For more insights on this topic, click here to hop over to “The Aristocracy of HR” You Tube Channel.