Recruiting

Would You Apply to Your Jobs?

There was a time when candidates, particularly those paid hourly, were willing to spend 20-30 minutes (sometimes up to an hour) on a job application. This was the standard. It was simply the way things were done.

Well, not anymore.

Most candidates are no longer willing to complete long applications upfront. There are too many alternatives from employers offering applications that can be completed in seconds, from any device. Employers that mandate a long application process — one that requires job seekers to create an account and fill in pages of information — are going to find that the lack of applicant issues they are experiencing will only get worse as more of their competitors modernize their application.

Would You Treat Your Customers That Way?

At CareerPlug, our clients — no matter their industry — tell us that hiring a superstar team member is more valuable than gaining a new customer.

With that in mind, would you ever make a prospective customer fill out a long application upfront? If you run a business that relies on getting sales leads from the Internet, imagine what would happen to your lead volume if prospects had to complete a form that took 30 minutes and asked for their social security number. You would have no leads! If a great new hire is more valuable than a sales lead for your business, why are you forcing candidates through a 30-minute application right up front?

Many industry-leading companies, particularly those recruiting technology professionals, understand the value that a simple, focused initial application has and have significantly reduced the time it takes to apply to their jobs.

Average time to apply of leading US companies
Source: Indeed

Can You Apply From Your Phone?

Well over 50% of candidates are using their mobile devices to search and apply for jobs. This number skews much higher for hourly workers who often use their phones for all of their online activities. Your mobile experience will not only affect the rate in which you convert candidates who have viewed your jobs into applicants; it can also affect where you appear in search results on major job search sites. For example, Indeed will prioritize job postings that have the Indeed Apply functionality in their search results for candidates using a mobile device since this makes it much easier for them to apply. It is important to focus on your mobile experience now as this trend will continue to move toward mobile devices becoming the primary way to search and apply for jobs.

More than 50% of jobseekers search for jobs from their phone
Source: Indeed

A Better Way – Two Step Applications

You may be thinking: What about all of the information that needs to be collected as part of the application process? You can still capture all of the information you need – as a second step in the process. Use the first step to capture the lead and any essentials you need to measure initial qualifications, and the second step to capture any additional required information that is not critical to the initial evaluation.

For the first step, we recommend collecting the candidate’s resume, contact information, and asking 3-5 prescreen questions that are critical to your initial evaluation. These questions can range from asking about a required license or skill to something as simple as schedule availability. You should ask multiple choice (not open response) questions so that the answers can be scored. Remember to limit these to the essentials – if it isn’t critical to your initial evaluation of the application, save it for step two.

The second step of the application process can start as soon as the first step ends, but it’s important to give candidates an option to complete this step at a later time that may be more convenient for them. You can facilitate this by emailing them a link to the second step in the process. This is particularly important if your application process includes assessments or essay-style questions. Remember that many of your candidates will be applying from a mobile device.

What to Avoid in Step One

The list of things to avoid should include anything that would make the application difficult to complete within a few minutes (from a phone), including:

  • Detailed Job History/Education History: almost all candidates now have a resume, so these sections are no longer necessary
  • Essay Questions: save these for Step Two, if necessary
  • Assessments: save these for Step Two, if necessary
  • Requests for information that may not be readily available: these include things such as a previous employer’s phone number
  • Creating a username & password as part of the application: though many systems require this, it is simply not necessary
  • Forms that are not mobile optimized: if they need to pinch to zoom and/or scroll from side to side, then it’s not mobile optimized
  • Too many questions/fields: too many questions or fields of any sort will keep candidates from applying
Prescreen questions can reduce applications by up to 88%
Source: Indeed

Would You Apply?

Ready to take action? Start by assessing your current application process. Put yourself in your candidates’ shoes and apply to one of your job postings from your phone. How was your experience? Would you want to go through that as an applicant? Think about what you can change to make it easier, including adding a second step to the application process. If you make it easier for candidates to apply, you will ensure that you and your team will have a better chance of hiring more superstars.

Your people are the heart of your business.  Building a strong pipeline of high-quality people is vital to your company’s growth, and CareerPlug helps over 7,000 companies attract and hire the right people. Over our years of collective experience and expertise we’ve created a playbook for building your own Talent Magnet: download the free eBook here for the full story.

Do Candidates Know (and Care) About Your Jobs?

Thousands of companies are hiring at this very moment. Some of them are your direct competitors. But this isn’t your only competition. Does Domino’s Pizza compete with Uber? Maybe not directly in business, but they definitely compete when it comes to recruiting employees. What are the most important hires that you need to make? Who are you competing against for this talent? How are you going to win?

If you cannot win the competition for talent, then you cannot win in your business.

How Strong is Your Talent Magnet?

If you want to win the competition for talent, you need to start by attracting more qualified applicants. We call this building a Talent Magnet.

The strongest Talent Magnets belong to the companies that have such a great reputation that they naturally attract tons of candidates to their website to apply to their jobs. Think about companies that are known as a great place to work, just as Google is for technology professionals. Look at companies like Apple that have a loyal following of fans who would love to work for them. Their Talent Magnets are so strong that they have a significant advantage over their competitors.

Not there yet? Not to worry – we’re not either! The good news is that us mere mortals can build a Talent Magnet too. If you don’t have candidates lining up to apply, then you need to build your Talent Magnet by creating a compelling job posting, getting it out to the right people and places, and standing out from the crowd to get more clicks and applications.

TALENT MAGNET ACTION PLAN

Step 1: Get Organized

The first step is to create a compelling job posting. The goal of a job posting is to explain the mission and responsibilities for the role to get the right candidates to apply.

Key Elements of an Effective Job Posting:

  1. Job Title – This is the first and most important test; if you don’t get this right, then your target candidates will not even read the job description.
  2. Overview – Show them the mission you want to accomplish as a company and how your open position is important to making it happen.
  3. Responsibilities – Help them understand what the job entails and what success looks like in the role, and avoid listing out every possible responsibility. You’re still selling jobseekers right now, and you can always present a formal job description later in the process.
  4. Qualifications – Be clear about what is required, but be careful not to scare away good candidates with ideal qualifications. Only include 100% requirements – is 5 years of sales experience really required to pass your initial review?
  5. What You’ll Get – Focus on more than just compensation and benefits; remember to also reference growth potential and development opportunities.
  6. Next Steps – Be sure to include a call to action or overview of the hiring process. Show applicants that there is an immediate need and interviews are being conducted.

Think of these key elements as a sequence of hurdles or gates. As candidates review each one, they are asking themselves: Is this a good match for me? It starts with the Job Title and works its way down to Next Steps, which should encourage them to apply.

Step 2: Get Posted

Now that you have a compelling job posting, it’s time to promote it in the right places and to the right people. First and foremost, be sure to get the job added to the Careers Page on your company website. You don’t want to miss out on the candidates who come to your website and are interested in working for you. Though this is the right place to start, most of your potential candidates do not yet know about your company. You need to also get the word out to other people and places.

Key Channels for Promoting Your Jobs:

  1. Your Employees & Network – The benefits of building a strong pipeline of employee referrals are numerous. A strong Talent Magnet should have employee referrals as the number of source of new hires. Achieving this goal is a sign that you have built a great place to work!
  2. Your Customers – Your best customers could become your best employees. Let them know that you are hiring and make it easy to learn more. Tip: Scrap the paper applications and train your hiring managers to send applicants to your online Careers Page. This gives you more control over the applicant’s experience with your brand and increases consistency for your managers.
  3. External Job Boards – You will get the most applicants from this channel. Applicant quality will be mixed, but you can still make great hires here.

These key channels are listed in order of importance. Don’t skip Your Employees and Customers and go straight to External Job Boards. If you do, you will be missing out on some of your highest quality candidates.

Source applicants from referrals, your customers and external job postings

Step 3: Get Clicked

Getting your jobs posted on external job boards is great, but now you have entered the competition with hundreds of other employers looking for the same people. How will you get noticed, and more importantly, how will you get people to click on your job postings?

Key Strategies to Get More Clicks:

  1. Show Up in the Right Search Results – Use a job title and job description keywords that the right candidates will use to find jobs like yours. SEO isn’t just for your marketing team.
  2. Keep Jobs Fresh – Jobs that are newer typically get more exposure. Consider updating or reposting jobs that are more than 30 days old.
  3. Add Compensation – Some search engines will show a compensation amount on their search results when it’s provided. This can help you stand out.
  4. Make It Easy for Mobile – More than half of jobseekers apply to jobs from their mobile device. Mobile job search has become so common that certain job search engines will prioritize mobile-friendly jobs. Make sure your job postings aren’t filtered out just because they aren’t mobile optimized.

A Few More Tips

  • It’s important to showcase your company in your job postings. Too many companies have a nice looking Careers Page, but then their job posting pages look dull and generic. Remember that most of your visitors are coming from external job boards, not your Careers Page, so be sure that their first experience in seeing your job showcases your company and brand.
  • You may be wondering, how do I get my jobs promoted in all of these places? Applicant Tracking Systems like CareerPlug can make your life easier when it comes to job posting distribution. Once you post a job, the system automatically adds the job to your website and posts it with our network of job board partners. You can also promote the jobs on social media within a few clicks.
  • The best way to optimize your results is to test, measure and test again. If you have a position for which you recruit on a regular basis, it is worth your time to develop a couple of different job postings and job titles to test and see what works best. Measure your results: Which jobs got the most clicks? Which ones converted clicks to applicants at the highest rate? What are your best sources for applicants and hires? This will allow you to refine your process and optimize your results.

Start Building Your Talent Magnet

If you want to win the competition for talent, you need to start by attracting more qualified applicants. The keys to building a strong Talent Magnet are straightforward:

  1. Create an attractive opportunity for the right candidates.
  2. Promote this opportunity in the right places and to the right people.
  3. Make it easy to apply from any device.

Once you develop these parts and build a process to make it repeatable, you will start to see predictable results. And that’s when you’ll start winning the competition for talent.

Building a Talent Magnet is one of the most important things you can do to help your business thrive. Download our free ebook to learn how to create your Talent Magnet and start winning.

Why Should I Work For You?

“Why should I work for you?”

Candidates may not ask you this question directly, but they are definitely asking themselves. Candidly, there are some candidates that you never saw because they answered this question for themselves before they decided to not apply for your job. This may sound harsh, but consider this: how many times have you decided not to buy something because you read a bad review – or you couldn’t find any reviews at all?

Are candidates buying the jobs you’re offering?

We are in a buyer’s market for employment. Candidates have never had so many jobs to choose from, most of which can be found and applied to within a few clicks. Some candidates will use this as an opportunity to apply to as many jobs as possible. But your potential Superstars are much more discerning buyers – and you need to be doing everything you can to meet their buying needs.

Would you apply for the job you’re offering?

Outside of family and faith, your career is the most important decision you make in your life. The most qualified candidates do not take this lightly. Just as the internet has changed the way people make purchases, it has changed the way people apply to jobs. Whether you know it or not, your potential applicants are researching you online. You get to decide whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.

44% of candidates research an organization online before applying

YOUR ACTION PLAN

It may be tempting to jump right into the posting a job without taking the time to showcase your company as a great place to work. I can tell you from experience that this will not set you up for long-term recruiting success. Follow these steps to help candidates answer, “Why should I work for you?” and start attracting the right people to your organization.

Step 1) Develop Your Mission, Vision & Values

As a founder of a company that is about to turn 10 years old, I can tell you with 100% confidence that there is no better investment of your time than to define your company mission, vision and values. Candidates – millennials in particular – care about working for a company with shared values. This is great news for you, as sharing this information should help attract the right candidates and repel others whose values do not align.

Don’t have your mission, vision, and values clearly defined? Use these guiding questions to get started.

  • Mission: Who are we? What is our core purpose?
  • Vision: Where are we headed? How will it look when we get there?
  • Values: What principles are most sacred to us and define who we are?
CareerPlug strives to live up to our core values every day
CareerPlug’s Core Values

Step 2) Develop Your Employment Brand

A brand is a promise. Your company has probably built a brand to represent the promise you are making to your customers, but have you done the same for your employees? A great brand helps companies attract the right type of customers, and an employment brand can help you attract the right long-term employees.

Your employment brand will develop over time – use these three categories to start it moving in the right direction.

  • Culture: What’s it like to work here? What are the people like? Why do they love it?
  • Benefits: What sort of perks do we offer? How do we take care of our team and show them that they are valued?
  • Growth: How do we invest in training and development? How can our employees grow with us?

Step 3) Build Your Online Employment Presence

A strong mission and employment brand are only effective for recruiting purposes if candidates can find them in their research. Once you have put the work into your message, you need to get it online where people search. Keep in mind that words alone can only do so much. People rely on design for their initial impressions and to determine whether they trust something.

Where are candidates conducting this research?

Company Website: You should have a dedicated Careers Page that is easy to find from your home page. Make sure that it showcases your organization and speaks specifically to your target candidates. This is where you should let your newly developed employment brand take center stage.

Job Postings: Remember that most candidates find your jobs from an external job board, and they will only see your job posting (not your Careers Page). Make sure that the job posting itself delivers the right message and experience to candidates.

Review Sites: Sites like Glassdoor have become popular with candidates, and it’s important that you know what your employees are saying on them. Glassdoor gives employers the opportunity to add content to the company profile and respond to reviews. Be proactive and encourage current employees to write honest reviews about their experience.

Social Media: Some of your best employees could come from your biggest fans – your customers! Be sure to share information about the type of organization you are building, as well as your specific openings. Like employees, consumers like to do business with companies with shared values.

Final Word – Keep It Real

Above all else, be authentic about who you are as a company, and you will attract the right kinds of people. CareerPlug is based in Austin, where there are large, well-funded tech companies with appealing perks and ongoing needs for talent. Highly skilled workers have no shortage of opportunities in Austin, and we have to work hard to stand out from the crowd.

How do we do it?

  • We generate referrals from our team of happy employees that love their jobs
  • We work hard to maintain a strong employment brand by living our mission, vision, and values every day
  • We embrace the things that make us different from the larger, better known companies around town
  • We speak frankly about our culture and the advantages and disadvantages that come along with joining a small, tight-knit team like ours
  • We hire candidates that truly share our values

We know from experience that hiring people who are genuinely excited to contribute to the growth of a company like ours is the most important indicator of success for new hires.

The lesson I’ve learned is that if you are authentic about who you are and how you showcase your company, you can and will attract candidates who are right for you.

3 Essential Components of a Superstar Hiring Process

At CareerPlug we know that our people are the heart of our business. It is our people who execute our mission and vision and live our values every day. Having the right people in place has empowered us to innovate, explore, and grow as a company. And this isn’t unique to us – HR leaders across many industries understand the impact people have on their organization. From top to bottom, people set the pace and pulse of a workplace, ultimately impacting the culture, growth, and reputation of the company.

So why it is so easy to fall short when it comes to hiring the right people?

There are many common answers we can insert here: Hiring managers don’t have enough time. The hiring market is too tough right now. This person seemed perfect during their interview… it’s not our fault they left two months later.

There is no formula for making perfect hires 100% of the time, but there is a path to predictable hiring results. It’s true that hiring rarely comes at an opportune time for hiring managers. They have full workloads before the hiring responsibilities of reviewing applicants, conducting interviews, and then devoting days or weeks to training land on their plate. When a team is understaffed there’s even more pressure to fill a position as soon as possible. Maybe the hiring manager skips a reference check to expedite the process. Or settles for someone they would’ve passed on if they had the leisure of another week. It seems like a Catch 22: We rush through the hiring process to fill the seat quickly and save time, but then risk that new hire leaving sooner than expected (or having to show them the door) and starting the process all over again. And again. And again.

To stop this cycle of turnover, organizations need to develop a consistent hiring process and give hiring managers the tools and resources to execute it. It’s common for individual managers to develop their own process, and maybe some of them have a knack for always making great hires… or maybe they don’t. By removing the uncertainty and adopting consistency, companies can make predictable hiring decisions to build stronger, lasting teams.

Build Your Process

Start by standardizing job descriptions for every position. Job descriptions are the core of performance management. Before the hire is made, job descriptions attract the right applicants, lay out the expectations of the job, and set the hiring criteria for hiring managers. After the hire is made they guide training plans, set the foundation for performance reviews, and can even indicate when employees should be on performance improvement plans. While every job description will differ based on the role, first consider what key components each job description should have to help attract the right applicants. Remember that your job postings should not be a bulleted list of responsibilities, but rather communicate the purpose and impact of the position. Highlighting growth-potential, training opportunities, and other company benefits and perks will make your job descriptions more attractive.

Next, outline the essential steps each hiring manager should execute during the hiring process. While this could differ by position, it should not differ by hiring manager. At CareerPlug, we have a standard set of hiring steps across all our departments which include a phone screen, personality and cognitive assessments, multiple in-person interviews that involve in-depth interviews that uncover career aspirations and motivations, and reference checks. We also incorporate a “role play” exercise, or a job shadow, depending on the position.

Our more comprehensive process is a recent development; many of our seasoned employees were hired with a quick phone screen and in-person interview (or less). As a smaller company we definitely made our share of “gut-feeling” hires and were fortunate to get some truly talented people on our team. But that luck doesn’t last forever, and we have since shifted our hiring process to make more predictable hires. Focusing on building a consistent, effective hiring process has made our hiring managers more efficient and has enabled our teams to confidently add new, high performing team members.

Train Your Team

Not every hiring manager is going to have experience interviewing. Taking the time to train managers on how to run an effective interview is crucial. Clear hiring criteria in job descriptions, identified competencies for the position, and standard interview guides will set managers up to make better hires. When I sit down with new hiring managers, they often don’t know what to expect from the hiring process. Providing them with resources to execute and thrive is essential to success. Pre-screen questions and assessments save time on reviewing resumes; interview guides cut down on interview prep and help make the selection process more objective. We use our ATS to centralize email communication and move candidates through the interview and verification process. In the end, having a set process brings peace of mind to hiring managers and saves them time, all while helping them consistently hire great people.

As you consider what hiring steps make the most sense for your positions, consider these 3 essential components to a superstar hiring process:

Component #1 – Assess

Resumes are a great indicator of job history, but often fall short of digging into what you really need to know upfront about a candidate. Using prescreen questions on the initial application gives you immediate visibility into the most important questions that are relevant to your open position, such as certifications, work availability, or years of experience in the industry. Make sure these questions are consistent each time the job is posted. This way, hiring managers can expect the same info and evaluate applicants on the same criteria.

Once you’ve collected the initial information from applicants, use assessments to learn more. Personality assessments can measure soft skills like assertiveness, emotional intelligence, sales potential and service orientation, while cognitive assessments can be an indicator into problem-solving and verbal skills. Evaluate each of your positions and consider which competencies are most important to be successful in the role. Then, have current top performers in each role take assessments so you can benchmark their scores against potential hires. By utilizing assessments hiring managers can begin to see which candidates would complement their current team.

Component #2 – Interview

Interviews are the backbone of the hiring process. They are a chance to truly get to know a candidate, ask specific questions about their experience, and learn if they are a professional and cultural fit. But again, if hiring managers are not consistent in how they interview the evaluation process will be for naught. When all hiring managers ask the same questions to every candidate, it’s easier to evaluate on the job criteria and make more predictable hires.

Here’s a more detailed look at CareerPlug’s interview process:

  • Phone Screen – This is a short interview hiring managers conduct first to learn about a candidate’s current position and what they’re looking for in their next role. We use this interview to screen for basic qualifications: skill set, salary expectations, and ideal work environment.
  • Assessment – All candidates complete a personality assessment and a timed Math/Verbal assessment. Because we have benchmarked these scores against current employees, we have learned which scores are indicators for success in certain positions.
  • In-Person Interview – Lasting between 30 and 60 minutes, the first in-person interview validates the assessment results and explores in-depth behavioral and culture fit questions. This interview indicates whether the candidate has the experience and potential to perform well in the role. Their responses should also demonstrate alignment with our values (i.e. Communicate Openly and Innovate & Grow Every Day).
  • Life Story Interview – This interview takes a deeper look at a candidate’s professional history and asks them to reflect on past jobs and education. By learning about their highs, disappointments, and lessons learned, we can see if CareerPlug makes sense as the next step in their professional story.
  • Motivational Interview – The motivational interview digs into the question “where do you want to be in 5 years?” We ask candidates to expand on their motivations and goals for their career, finances, and other personal ambitions. This interview is essential to establishing CareerPlug as the right company to help them achieve these goals.
  • Leadership Interview – As a small, collaborative company, most positions work closely with multiple departments. It’s important to get leaders involved in the hiring process to offer perspective and to support incoming hires. Leaders of adjacent departments conduct short interviews with final round candidates to further explore company fit.

While we make slight adjustments based on the job, like adding a role play or a technical interview, we never sacrifice the core components of our process.

Component #3 – Verify

It only takes one time to regret not verifying a candidate. I approach hiring with the assumption that people are generally trustworthy, but that doesn’t make reference checks and criminal background checks any less mandatory in our hiring process. Reference checks should verify your assumptions about a candidate and give you an opportunity to learn how to best manage someone if they are hired.

At CareerPlug, all our offers are contingent upon completing a criminal background check. Rather than just another hoop to jump through before the hire, verification instills confidence in the hiring manager – and the company – that the right person is joining the team.

How CareerPlug Can Help

Creating a consistent hiring process that speaks to our values and culture has helped make CareerPlug’s team what it is today. We’ve seen the benefit of investing time in our hiring process played out in the dedication, service, and innovation of our employees in every department, and we are passionate about helping other companies build the hiring process they need to grow their business.

To learn more about how you can build a hiring process to get the right people in place, request a demo of CareerPlug’s hiring software today.

The Best Places To Post Your Jobs

Fishing for the Perfect Hire

The right candidate will rarely walk through your front door right when you need them.  That would be like a fisherman waiting for the catch of the day to jump into the boat!  A skilled fisher knows that having the right equipment and the right location matters in making that big catch. Similarly, recruiters and hiring managers need to know where to “fish” for candidates and use the right recruiting tools to tap into that applicant pool.

Here are a few places you should be casting your net:

Job Search Engines

Job Search Engines, like Indeed.com, aggregate job listings from job boards and employer websites. Because they reach a larger audience than just a job board (where employers have to specifically post to that site, usually for a premium fee), Job Search Engines increase your applicant flow to help that right candidate find you.

Social Media

Use your company’s online presence to your advantage and share opportunities on your social pages (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc) to expand your pool of applicants. This gets your openings in front of people already familiar with your company. You can also have your employees or other connections share with their individual networks to multiply your reach.

Referrals

Referrals are the most valuable and often the most overlooked applicant source. Alongside your professional connections, your current employees can be your greatest recruiting asset. They already understand the company and know what kind of person will be a great fit in regards to culture, values, and work style. Design a referral program that works for your employees — for example, will an employee receive a bonus if you hire their referral?

How CareerPlug Can Help

CareerPlug’s hiring platform helps get your jobs in front of the right applicants.  We work with sites like Indeed – the #1 job search engine in the world – to broadcast your postings, integrate with your social media to post openings in one click, and make it easy to track employee referrals.   To learn more about attracting the right talent, download our free ebook.

Product Update: Partnership With ZipRecruiter

We are excited to announce a new partnership with ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter is one of the leading job search platforms in the country, serving millions of job seekers each month. ZipRecruiter’s platform includes the #1 rated job search app on Android and iOS and 40 million+ job alert email subscribers.

How Does It Work?

Step 1: Post a job on CareerPlug’s Applicant Tracking System
Step 2: You’re finished! Your job will be on ZipRecruiter within 24 hours.

ZipRecruiter adds to our list of organic job feeds, joining a list of the largest job search sites in the country, including:

  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Glassdoor
  • Direct Employers

Together, these free job listings help our clients hire thousands of applicants every month. ZipRecruiter’s addition to this list makes it easier than ever to attract the right applicants and achieve your hiring goals.

To unlock the full power of ZipRecruiter’s extensive publisher network, which will distribute your job ads to over 200 of the top online job boards, sign up and subscribe to ZipRecruiter’s monthly job posting service.

Build Your Talent Magnet With CareerPlug

Automatically listing your job postings on major job search engines is a must if you want to compete for top talent. In fact, clients switching to CareerPlug can see a 5x increase in applicants from our automatic job listings on sites like ZipRecruiter.

Interested in learning about how CareerPlug can help you increase your applicant flow? Request a demo of CareerPlug’s Applicant Tracking System today.

Need More Applicants? Make It Easier To Apply

Why Complex Applications Are Deterring Applicants

A job application is like a handshake: an introduction that can leave a lasting first impression for hiring managers and candidates. While hiring managers are looking for the right candidate, job seekers are looking for the right company. It’s reasonable to expect candidates to put their best foot forward at step one of the hiring process, but is your company doing the same?

What’s Going On

It’s tempting to want to learn as much as possible about a candidate as early as you can. However, when this desire manifests into six page paper applications or 30 screening questions, you’re doing more harm than good. You would never burden a potential customer with hours of upfront paperwork, so why would you do the same for a potential hire?

These lengthy, complex applications don’t just annoy candidates, but deter them from applying all together. According to Indeed, there is a direct correlation between the number of screening questions and the reduction of applications. For example, there is a 17% reduction in applicants with 10 questions, a 50% reduction with 30 questions, and an 88% reduction with 45+ questions. Job seekers aren’t lazy, they just have other options as more and more employers simplify their process.

Creating the right candidate experience can dramatically improve your talent pipeline. 61% of candidates with a good experience said they would encourage others to apply. On the flip side, 27% of candidates with a bad experience would actively discourage others from applying (via The Talent Board).

What You Can Do

  • Start with what’s most important. As a first step, have applicants submit their resume and answer 3 – 5 of the most important questions. Asking the right questions up front will make it easier to identify top candidates and increase your applicant flow. Once you have this key info you can follow up with a formal application.
  • Make applications mobile friendly. Over 50% of job seekers now use their mobile device to search and apply for jobs. Without mobile-optimized applications, you could be missing out on the perfect candidate.

How CareerPlug Can Help

We work with clients to streamline their hiring process and easily attract, evaluate, and hire top candidates. For more information about how CareerPlug can help your business, download our free ebook

3 Tips For Writing Better Job Descriptions

Writing stellar job descriptions is one of the first steps a company can take to give job seekers a great candidate experience. After all, these preliminary interactions set the tone of the working relationship. Set the right tone by showcasing your opportunity in a candidate-friendly way with these three tips for better job descriptions.

Use Clear & Straightforward Job Titles

A job title should be like a great headline— short, sweet, and to the point. The best job titles also use relevant keywords that applicants are likely to enter into search engines such as Indeed. Thus, it’s wise to avoid cute or weird job titles since they are less likely to turn up in search engine results or get clicks. Not to mention they can be confusing to job seekers. Use “Personal Trainer”, not “Fitness Ninja” or “Wireless Sales Consultant”, not “Rockstar Sales Guru”.

Make Job Descriptions Easy To Read

Although it’s tempting to list every position requirement and exhilarating detail about your company, job descriptions should be clear, concise and scannable to the reader. In other words, get down to business but don’t overwhelm applicants. To do so,

  • Limit job descriptions to 400-800 words
  • List 3-4 qualifications
  • State 5-10 of the most important responsibilities and/or requirements
  • Clearly state the key objectives or outcomes for the position
  • Break up text with bullets and subheads for easy readability
  • Use action words to keep blocks of text engaging and focused

Sell The Opportunity

Always keep in mind that the high quality candidates you are after have a lot of options. That means you can’t forget to sell your company in your job description. Why would a motivated, career-driven top performer want to join your team? What makes your company unique and interesting? What do your current employees say they love about coming to work? Write those things down and add them to the job description to attract more great candidates.

PS – Don’t forget that top candidates care more about health benefits, training and advancement opportunities and your company values than they do about the office ping pong table and beer Fridays.

Build A Talent Magnet

Taking the first steps to give applicants a great candidate experience is crucial if you want to attract top talent and ultimately build a talent magnet. The long-term effects of a strong talent magnet can positively impact the growth and profitability of your company.

Want to learn more about creating a talent magnet? Download our free ebook today.

How The Job Search Process Has Changed

Ahem, The Job Search Process Has Changed

Remember when it was common for companies to hang a “Help Wanted” sign in their storefront when they were looking to hire? Ya, a lot sure has changed in the last ten years. In today’s fast technological times, where one can order a car or food instantly from their smartphone, it’s hard to fathom the job search process of the past. Thankfully, modern technology has changed the job search process for the better. However, how job seekers apply isn’t the only thing that has changed.

What Else Has Changed?

Jobs Are Now Online

The internet has revolutionized how job seekers and companies interact in the last decade. Job seekers can now access dozens of opportunities in just a few clicks of their mouse. Gone (but not forgotten) are the days of the “Help Wanted” sign.

Job Seekers Are Now Applying From Their Phones

The smartphone has enabled job seekers to easily apply for a job within seconds with minimal effort. While it’s a wonderful thing for candidates, this has created yet another issue for HR managers to overcome to continuously attract top talent. In short, companies have had to Go Mobile or Go Home. Making career pages mobile-optimized has become essential to attract quality candidates and rank higher in search results thanks to a clever algorithm put in place by Google.

Job Search Engines Offer More Opportunities

A decade ago, job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder were the go-to platform for job seekers. However, with the rise of platforms like Indeed job seekers now can search instantly across multiple company career pages with just one click of their mouse…err… smartphone.

How Employers Can Deal With The Ch-ch-ch-changes

So what can companies do to consistently attract superstar talent in today’s technology-driven job search process? Companies must make sure their virtual “Help Wanted” signs are seen on high-traffic job boards and then they must make it easy for applicants to apply from their phones by mobile-optimizing their job postings.

Want to learn more on how your company can attract superstar talent in these techy times? Download our free ebook now.

How to Recruit Personal Trainers

Why Certification Matters

The popularity of personal training and fitness classes is on the rise as Americans take initiative to become healthier. As gym memberships increase, it becomes even more important that employees are well-equipped to work directly with gym members. Fitness instructors operate in a capacity that holds the organization liable for potential harm that befalls clients. In Indiana in 2003, an injured gym member attempted to sue both the personal trainer and the gym for bodily injuries. The health risks involved with working out highlight the importance of hiring quality fitness trainers. A successful organization needs experienced professionals to reduce risks for both clients and the gym itself.

Finding Certified Trainers

Certified personal trainers hold certifications and knowledge that enables them to assist their clients in the case of an emergency, such as CPR and AED certifications. Certified fitness trainers know how to recognize signs of bodily distress and prevent physical harm of clients. Also, customers feel more at ease working with trainers who are certified and are knowledgeable about nutrition, exercise, and safety.

Anyone familiar with the hiring process understands the difficulty in finding the right candidates. A good employee will be familiar with proper exercise etiquette and have a passion to help  people improve their physical well-being. One way to make the process more efficient is by specifying minimum standards for fitness applicants. This can be done through the use of pre-screen questions that weed out applicants who don’t meet the minimum requirements, such as CPR/AED certifications. Pre-qualifying certified candidates allows you to fast track the most promising trainers through your hiring process, empowering you to make an offer before your competition. 

Making the right hire for your gym, classes, and members

Identifying the most qualified trainers goes a step further than trainers’ certifications. Finding instructors who have the right mindset for the job is important as well. Using personality assessments allows you to reveal insights beyond the resume and find instructors who have the qualities needed to work with a  range of different gym members. By administering personality assessments to applicants, you can easily identify trainers who have competencies such as optimism, emotional stability, and achievement striving. Being able to pinpoint fitness applicants strengths gives you an idea of how they would best fit into your team. For example, you may want more encouraging and patient trainers working with beginner-level members and tougher trainers working with athletes and advanced members. You wouldn’t necessarily want to hire a former Crossfit trainer to head up a level one spin class – even though experience and certifications may pre-qualify the candidate, the training and communication style may detour beginners. Remember that you’re seeking a great fit for both your business and your members.

CareerPlug Simplifies Hiring for Over 4,000 Gyms

CareerPlug works with about 4,000 fitness club locations in streamlining the hiring process, including Planet Fitness, Crunch Fitness, Orange Theory, and many other franchised and non-franchised chains.

To learn more about how CareerPlug can help with your hiring needs, request a demo today or download our free ebook!