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Recruiting and Training Trends Blog

Quality Over Quantity—Choosing the Right Recruiting Metrics: The 7 metrics that matter, and the 7 that don’t (as much)

recruiting metrics

In our last post, we reinforced the message that companies must always be recruiting, and we highlighted five steps an organization can take to launch an ABR initiative. Once you have a firm recruiting foundation, the next logical step is to begin measuring whether your extra efforts are yielding results. What recruiting metrics should you be measuring, and how can you effectively gather the needed information?

There are dozens of popular recruiting metrics, including the venerable Cost per Hire and Time to Fill. And while these two tried-and-trues remain important factors to measure, there are even more insightful metrics organizations can use to steer and hone their recruiting efforts. Here we list the seven qualitative recruiting metrics that matter—and compare them to their similar, more quantitative counterparts.


1. Source of Applicants versus Source Quality

Determining which sources are responsible for generating the most applicants is certainly important, but an even better metric is to measure the quality of candidates each source is supplying. Source quality is calculated dividing the number of hires generated a source the number of applications generated that source. Obviously, the most valuable sources send you the most hires.


2. Offers per Post versus Offer Acceptance Rate

While Offers per Post simply measures how many offers you extend to candidates applying to a specific job, Offer Acceptance Rate takes into consideration the percentage of those offers that get accepted. The first metric can be useful to see if you’re attracting good candidates, the second is the money shot—how many of those good candidates ultimately come to work for you. If your offer acceptance rate is low, then you may need to revisit your compensation packages or other disqualifying factors.


3. Applicants per Hire versus Qualified Candidates per Post

Applicants per Hire is a ratio of how many applications are considered for each hire, calculated dividing the number of applicants for a position the number of hires for that same position. It can be a useful metric to determine if you are successfully sourcing applicants, but a more useful measurement is the number of qualified candidates you’re generating for each job. What makes a qualified applicant? You decide of course, but one accepted determinant is to count applicants that make it past the first milestone of your screening process. Using that, Qualified Candidates Per Post is calculated as the number of candidates for a position who make it past the first round of review divided the number of hires for that same position.


4. Fill Rate versus Turnover Rate Source

Fill Rate is calculated dividing the total jobs filled a person, team or recruitment channel the total jobs assigned to that person, team, or channel to fill. It is often used to determine if you should be using an outside recruiting agency or whether your internal team is doing the job. But Fill Rate quickly loses its value if those hires leave the organization within the first year or so. Take the fill rate measurement a bit further comparing it to the Turnover Rate Source. This allows you to evaluate which channels are feeding you employees that remain with the company for a specific period of time (typically at least one year).


5. Time to Fill versus Source to Close

Time to Fill is commonly calculated as the time to hire from start to end of the recruiting to hire process, but a more insightful metric is Source to Close, which measures how quickly candidates accept an employment offer—minus the sourcing phase. Why the distinction? One reason is that companies may recruit continually for certain roles, so the open date of the position related to the hire date becomes irrelevant. Another factor that contributes to the amount of time “to close” is the fact that hires for many higher-level positions need a longer transition between their old company and the new job.


6. Cost per Hire versus Quality of Hire

The Talent Acquisition Benchmark Report SHRM report found that the average cost per hire is $4,425 (in 2017, likely more today). Clearly the Cost per Hire is important to your organization’s bottom line, but even more important is the Quality of Hire. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends Report, quality of hire ranks as the most valuable performance KPI. You certainly don’t want to spend that much money on bad hires. How can you measure Quality of Hire, you ask? One straightforward (and admittedly subjective) way is to simply ask the hiring managers if they would hire the employee over again. Other methods can include studying performance reviews or determining an Employee Lifetime Value, similar to the more familiar Customer Lifetime Value metric.


7. Time to Hire versus Candidate Experience

Time to Hire is simply the average number of days from the start of the recruiting process to the signing of employment contract. It’s an easy-to-count metric that has merit on its own, but more significantly, it has a direct impact on a more qualitative measure, Candidate Experience, calculated using what’s called a Candidate Net Promoter Score, from a candidate survey asking questions like, “How likely are you to recommend [your company/this recruiting experience] to a friend?” You are surveying your candidates, aren’t you?


Choosing Quality Over Quantity

Certainly, measurements like Cost Per Hire and Time To Fill are important, practical and relatively easy to gather, but the real value emerges when you dig a bit deeper, using metrics that don’t simply count activities—they measure performance. An Applicant Tracking System is an ideal way to begin capturing and making sense of the metrics that matter to your organization.


Additional resources for the curious among you

Recruiting Metrics Cheat Sheet

20 Recruiting Metrics and How to Calculate Them

17 Talent Acquisition Benchmarking Report

Two Essential Components of a Positive Candidate Experience

How the Right Applicant Tracking System Improves Candidate Experience


Building a Productive Candidate Pipeline The Five Best Ways to Always Be Recruiting













Failure to attract and retain top talent is now the number one issue on the minds of CEOs, given even more importance than competition or the disruptive nature of technology. The same study, the Conference Board, also found that 82% of companies don’t believe they recruit highly talented people, and for companies that do, only 7% think they can keep them. These are sobering—but perhaps not surprising—statistics to HR professionals, who’ve had to work harder than ever during this unprecedented labor market.

In this climate, if you only start your recruiting activities once a vacancy emerges, you will lose the talent battle. Companies must build recruitment activities into their daily agenda, whether they are hiring right now or not. In short, you need to always be recruiting. Here are five ways to get started.

1. Make it easy to apply
A recent review the Talent Board of the candidate experience found that more than one-third of all job seekers spend several hours researching a single job and an hour more to complete the job application. Candidates simply aren’t willing to participate in long and overly-complicated application processes—20% of candidates drop out of application forms that take longer than 10 minutes to fill. And if the time commitment weren’t enough, 56% of job seekers encountered a technical issue during the application process, and a shocking 83% of candidates rate their job search experience as poor. This is significant since 69% of job seekers who had a negative experience would rarely or never reapply, and nearly 70% are likely to share their negative employment experience.

Are you confident your organization’s application process encourages candidates to apply? Keep in mind that more than half of all job seekers fill out applications on their mobile devices.

2. Keep the resumes
Reevaluating your runner-up candidates is an excellent way to bring efficiency and speed to the recruiting process. Reassess their resumes, skills and interview notes to see if they’re a good fit for another open role. These candidates have already made it through your initial screenings, so keep them as a first resource for future openings. Keep the resumes of applicants on file and search your database of these vetted candidates as part of your always-be-recruiting strategy. Continue to communicate with these candidates promoting your brand and advising them of open positions. Hint: an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) makes this task much easier.

3. Spread your net wide
Social media has become a de facto recruiting tool—used 84% of companies. Your company’s LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter accounts can help you spread the word about new job opportunities. Social recruitment decreases the time-to-fill for positions at every level.

In addition to social media recruiting, feed and follow professional networks and social networks, create industry referral partners and expose your organization at job and career fairs. Also, leverage your employees’ professional network encouraging and rewarding referrals.

4. Grow your own
There are substantial benefits associated with an organization’s training and career development initiatives, and not the least of which is the effort’s ability to grow the next generation of talent in house.

Today’s workforce is eager to get better, contribute and grow in their jobs, in your company, and in their long-term careers. Establishing a multi-career ecosystem through training and development not only entices new talent and provides a clear career progression but also plays a major factor in retention. Investing in your existing employees helps establish an ecosystem that attracts new talent. Remember, you’re hiring talent from the “what’s next?” generation—they want room to grow backed the tools and training to help them succeed. In fact, more than half of millennials (53%) say that career pathing has the most impact on their decision to stay with their employer.

5. Fine-tune your recruiting practices
Today’s candidates have higher expectations for communication, logistics, and new hire onboarding during their job search process. To succeed with an always-be-recruiting initiative, you’ll need robust, effective and efficient recruiting tools and workflows. The recruiting process is your chance to make the right first impression on applicants and future applicants. Communication is the vehicle for conveying and establishing that first impression—yet many employers are still not getting it right. Consider these statistics:

  • More than 45% of candidates never hear anything back from the employer
  • 63% of job seekers are dissatisfied with no or poor communication after applying
  • 81% of job seekers say employers continuously communicating status updates to them would greatly improve the overall experience
  • Only 47% of employers say they have a formal process in place for communication during the post-hire but pre-start date time period
  • 68% of employees believe their experience as a job candidate reflects how the company treats its people

The time is now
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that the time to hire is increasing—the average time to fill a position is now 36 days (this LinkedIn research hints that most companies take much longer). Combine this challenge with the fact that voluntary turnover is at a ten year high and it’s easy to make the case to always be recruiting. And it’s effective: 55% of companies who continuously recruit throughout the year say this reduces both their time-to-hire and cost-per-hire.

Moving to an always-be-recruiting strategy needn’t be burdensome. With the right strategy, cultural mindset, applicant tracking system and recruiting toolset, your organization can keep the candidate pipeline fueled for the long-term future.

Future-Proofing Your HR Strategy: 10 tactics to ensure your HR strategies keep you relevant

We’ve been hearing a lot about the concept of future-proofing your business like it’s something entirely new. In reality, wise companies have been future-proofing all along. Regardless of its roots, future proofing—which we’ll simply define as the ability to remain relevant among your competitors—is critical to the long-term success of any organization. While there’s lots of reading out there surrounding corporate-wide future-proofing strategies, our focus is as always on the HR side of things. What does it take to future-proof your organization’s HR strategy? Here are our top ten tactics. 

1. Have a strategy

You won’t be successful in your HR future-proofing efforts if you don’t start with a future-proofing strategy. Identify what is important and what is known to your organization today, tomorrow and into the future. Consider expansion plans, new product launches, equipment modernization, management transitions and myriad other factors that could have an effect on your organization’s workforce. Review the risks, identify the opportunities and develop a strategy that may include some of the items below.

2. Prioritize the candidate/employee experience

The candidate experience refers to the overall experience employment candidates have with your organization. It includes the candidates’ impressions and perceptions of a company’s hiring process including the job application, screening methods, communications, and the interview. The employee experience picks up post hire and encompasses what people encounter, observe or feel over the course of their employment with your organization.

3. Create employee development plans

A formal employee development plan serves to codify your organization’s goals for its workforce, and provides employees with evidence of your willingness to invest in their careers. Consider both your short- and long-term goals for the workforce, then identify the necessary skills, knowledge and competencies that support those goals. Employee training is at the core of any employee development plan, and we’ve got pointers for ways to elevate the importance of training in your organization.

4. Embrace the disruptors

Technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and robotic process automation (RPA) are poised to make significant inroads throughout the organization—including the HR department. These technologies can be used to improve the employee experience, promote data-driven decision making and provide intelligent automation. Think of these disruptive technologies not as a way to replace HR personnel or minimize the human factor in HR, but rather as tools to automate and streamline processes allowing staff to focus on your mission.  

5. Train for the skills they’ll need

What skills will employees need to greet the future? The answer may be pretty straightforward: Whatever computers don’t do well. Increasingly “intelligent” computers struggle with creativity, social intelligence, complex perception and manipulation, each of which is among the skills that researchers have identified as the most in-demand skills for the future. We’ve examined some trends in training that could be of help in your planning.

6. Always be recruiting

The greatest challenge HR faces is recruiting and retaining talent. It is essential for an organization to always be recruiting to keep the talent pipeline full for the future. Recruiting can be a tremendously time-consuming task. On average, talent acquisition professionals spend nearly one-third of their work week (about 13 hours) sourcing candidates for a single role. Automating the recruiting strategies allows you to focus more on people and less on the process. 

7. Invest in technology tools

There are powerful technology tools that can help HR professionals automate routine tasks, streamline workflows and ensure best practices. By investing in technology tools such as recruiting, learning management and HRMS (as well as the disruptors we mention in #4), HR teams can focus more on the organization’s future goals and less on daily transactions. 

8. The Millennials are here to stay

Millennials are already the largest generation in the workforce, and will occupy 75% of that space 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Clearly, your future includes millennials. Here are a couple statistics from Gallup that should instill fear (and incite action) in any HR professional:

⦁ Millennials are the least engaged generation in the workforce. Only 29% are engaged and 16% are actively disengaged.
⦁ They change jobs more often than other generations. About 21% of millennials report switching jobs within the last year, and 60% are open to a different opportunity.

There are a number of ideas for how organizations can become places millennials want to join and stay long-term, and most of those ways involve technology (see #4 and #7, above). And we’d be remiss if we didn’t give a shout out to the importance of Generation Z.

9. Fashion a passion-for-learning climate

Jennifer Wu, VP of talent and operations at LEWIS Global Communications, said: “It is our role as HR to facilitate a learning mindset within the organization and cultivate a passion for knowledge that will lead to employee development ensuring that adequate resources and channels are in place, and more importantly, on an individual level, they are inspired to take proactive measures towards constant improvement and development.”

There are some gems in that quote: ‘facilitate a learning mindset’, ‘cultivate a passion for knowledge’, ‘inspired to take proactive measures’. Worthy goals for every future-looking organization. Running into challenges in your training and development program? We’ve got some ideas for overcoming those challenges.

10. Strengthen your EVP

Your EVP is your Employee Value Proposition and it matters to your future as it speaks directly to your ability to attract, engage and retain top talent. Organizations that effectively deliver on their EVP can decrease annual employee turnover just under 70% and increase new hire commitment nearly 30%. Strengthening your ERP fundamentally means valuing employees as customers and treating them as critical partners in your organization’s success.

The future belongs to organizations that remain relevant, and your relevancy is highly dependent on the talents and skills of your workforce. Larry Page, CEO of Alphabet Inc. (Google’s parent company) said it well, “Lots of companies don’t succeed over time. What do they fundamentally do wrong? They usually miss the future.”

Trends in Training Management: 5 markers of the state of employee learning and development in 2019

Today’s digital organizations need a learning and development organization that can deliver an agile and skilled workforce. But the skill sets required can be moving targets, with the half-life of skills down to just about five years. In the past, employees learned skills for a career, but now a career can be thought of as a journey of learning and relearning.


Fortunately, learning technology is keeping up the pace, offering new and relevant ways to provide employees with the training they want, and employers with the skills they need. What’s new in training and learning development? We’ve sourced five trends that best represent the state of the employee training management in 2019.


Soft skills become hard core priority

From executives to managers to talent managers, all agree that training for soft skills is a top priority in 2019. A LinkedIn study analyzed the skills companies value most in 2019, and rising to the top were creativity, persuasion, collaboration, and time management. In an environment defined a rapid pace of change, soft skills become critical to a company’s ability to pivot and adapt.


Retraining is the new recruiting

As the global skills shortage continues, companies are recognizing the importance of growing their own talent. Tech companies, in particular, are leading a new type of labor innovation—retraining as the new recruiting. And it makes smart business sense as it is six times less expensive to build technical skills internally than it is to hire them from the job market.


Microlearning hits the big time

Getting employees to make time for learning is a top challenge for staff training and development. Microlearning is gaining popularity as a way to combat that challenge. Taking a microlearning approach to training is both cost and time-efficient. And microlearning has also been found to boost learner engagement and retention.


Videos are the star

We all could have seen this coming, right? Video-based training has been gaining traction for several years, but it’s becoming the new normal. According to Forrester Research, employees are 75%  more likely to watch a video than to read documents, emails or web articles.


Making bets on gamification

We spend 3 billion hours a week as a planet playing videogames, so it shouldn’t be surprising that games have found their way into the employee training culture—in a big way. Gamified eLearning courses typically have a storyline, and feature challenges, rewards, and analytics. In addition to sparking healthy competition between co-workers that drives engagement, gamification keeps learners engaged which ultimately leads to better retention and behavioral changes.


Going with the flow

While we often think of employee training as programs or courses, Josh Bersin, a leading industry research and advisory firm in enterprise learning and talent management, introduced a new paradigm, one he calls “Learning in the Flow of Work.” Learning in the flow of work is a recognition that for learning to really happen, it must align itself to working days and working lives. There are multiple ideas about how to make this happen—with many of the trends above among them. The underlying principle is simple and sound—incorporate learning into employees’ daily flow prioritizing it, making it easy to access and relevant to their roles and goals.


We’ll end with one last trend we’re seeing. Smaller and smaller companies are beginning to implement formal training strategies. The global LMS market is expected to more than double in size between now and 2025. With that growth comes accessibility. A learning culture will no longer be the privilege of enterprise companies. It has become an affordable and necessary core business process for companies of all sizes who want to compete in the 21st century.

How to elevate the importance of employee training Four tips to make training a priority in your organization

Recently, we highlighted five common workplace training and development challenges employers face in 2019. One of those challenges sounds the simplest but is one of the most difficult to address—making training and development (T&D) a priority. For both employers and employees, simply giving T&D the attention, time and budget share it deserves is a pervasive and ongoing challenge. Here we consider four ways to elevate the importance of employee T&D standing in your organization, and back them up with some facts about the value of the exercise.


Embrace the ROI

The most effective way to raise the awareness of the importance of employee T&D is to embrace its measurable return-on-investment. Studies have shown that:



The ROI associated with employee development may be measured in direct monetary terms, too, seeing higher sales or better rates of customer retention as a result of improved service. Harder to measure is the X factor—new opportunities gained or lost because of having a flexible agile workforce in place. However, it is this X factor that drives growth and innovation, keeping your organization ahead of competitors.           


Calendarize it

Employers can demonstrate the value they place in employee training prioritizing it and directing managers to schedule dedicated learning time into employees’ schedule. Determine a sensible proportion of the work week that can be devoted to learning (one hour, for example) and calendarize it. Consider shortening the typical hour-long corporate meeting 10-15 minutes and encouraging employees to use the time for training and development instead. Most online courses can be consumed as bite-sized bits, able to be started and stopped as needed.


  • A 2018 LinkedIn report declared “getting employees to make time for learning” as the top challenge for staff training and development.
  • On average, employees receive 7 hours of training each year.
  • 66% of workers received training from employers in the past year.


Future proofing

As many as 375 million people around the world may need to change roles and update their skills 2030 in response to evolutions in technology and changes in business. Tomorrow’s workforce needs to be equipped to navigate technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain and the inevitable new innovations on the horizon. Companies that recognize this and make the investment in training will be better equipped to succeed in the future. Employees see the writing on the wall too and are asking for the skills they need to meet tomorrow’s challenges.

  • About 40% of workers said they left a company because they lacked access to state-of the-art digital tools and 58% said they need to work elsewhere to gain digital skills.
  • Workers at technology laggards were 450% more likely to want to leave to go work elsewhere.
  • 33% of professionals selected “I’m bored, need new challenge” as their motivation for moving on to another job.


Use it as a recruiting and retention tool

You don’t need us to remind you that we’re in the midst of a talent shortage. To attract and retain the best and the brightest, companies must demonstrate a commitment to employee training and development. Employees want to see a clear career path and expect employers to help them advance providing the skills and training they need to succeed. In addition to attracting new talent and increasing employee engagement, training and development programs help employers “grow their own” talent in a lean market creating an internal bench of qualified and upwardly-mobile employees.

  • 51% of employees would quit their job if training was not offered.
  • If a job lacks growth opportunities and avenues for leadership development, 67% of millennials would leave that position.
  • More than 70% of HR professionals believe outmoded work practices, sketchy career paths and limits on advancement, development and mentoring are impacting attrition.


And it’s not just employees looking for training for themselves—many think their managers could use some training and development too:


  • Nearly half of employees said they’ve quit a job because of a bad manager, 56% think managers are promoted prematurely, and 60% think managers need managerial training.
  • Managers who have limited knowledge (30%), offer inadequate performance feedback (24%), can’t effectively help workers develop their skills (23%) and are uninvolved in daily interactions (18%) can cause workers to consider leaving.


Employee training and development is not simply a good idea, it’s a necessary business strategy—vital to keeping an organization well-staffed with engaged, capable personnel who contribute directly to the bottom line. Launching an effective training and development program doesn’t have to be difficult—we share some ideas to get you started here, or review our best practices guide here

Employee Training and Development in 2019 – Overcoming Five Common Workplace T&D Challenges

Employee training and development is the major focus of investment HR professionals in 2019, exceeding even recruiting and compensation changes. Training and development are also a priority for employees — new research shows that opportunities for development are the second most important factor in workplace happiness (after the nature of the work itself). Despite such importance, corporate training and development initiatives face multiple challenges. Here we take a look at 5 common challenges — and offer some hints at how to solve them.

Employees who spend time at work learning are 47% less likely to be stressed, 39% more likely to feel productive and successful, 23% more ready to take on additional responsibilities, and 21% more likely to feel confident and happy. –Josh Bersin

Making Training a Priority

An overarching challenge facing many HR professionals is simply getting employee training the attention and budget share it deserves. Overall, training budgets have remained fairly stagnant over the past few years and total U.S. training expenditures actually declined 6.4% in 2018. The most effective way to raise the awareness on the importance of employee training and development is to point to the measurable return-on-investment. Studies have shown that organizations with employee development programs are six times more likely to increase employee engagement, have lower rates of turnover, and have a 2.5 times higher productivity rate than organizations that haven’t yet implemented a career development strategy.2

Creating/curating meaningful content

Creating and/or curating content for an employee training program is a frequently cited challenge among the organizations we work with — and for some surprising reasons. A Bersin by Deloitte study found that employees find it most difficult to learn not because there isn’t enough content available, but because there is too much content, and they can’t find what’s valuable in the mix. Other content-related challenges we encounter are keeping courses current, relevant and addressing the growing need to provide mobile-friendly training.

Most corporate training programs combine both created and curated content, and blended learning approaches are gaining traction. A Training Management System (TMS) makes organizing a large volume of both created and curated content easily searchable and accessible for employees.

Building critical skills and competencies

A recent Gartner survey found that only 30% of employees have the skills they need to perform their work today and just 20% of employees have the skills needed for their future roles. Building critical skills and competencies is a priority for 66% of HR leaders, and 80% of CEOs believe the need for new skills is their biggest business challenge.

Yet when you ask HR leaders how they plan to build new skills for the future, almost two-thirds say they will reach outside the organization and recruit for the new skills they need. This is costly — it can six times less expensive to build technical skills internally than it is to go hire them from the job market.

Corporate learning and development programs are a cost-effective way to build the critical skills and competencies modern workforces need. With content available to address both hard and soft skills, it’s easier than ever before to locate the best training and development resources for your workforce.

Measuring online training success

The inherent “fuzziness” of workplace training makes it difficult to gather concrete metrics about the effectiveness of a learning and development program.

While some success factors can be objectively measured (e.g. accident incidences following safety training), others will require more subjective measurement tactics. Some suggested success measures include:

  • Feedback from employees
  • Feedback from managers
  • Employee retention improves
  • Employees are promoted internally
  • Course completion rates
  • Testing – scenario based and assessments

A common challenge cited both management and employees is simply finding the time for training.

Making time for training

Companies can mitigate this challenge prioritizing and scheduling dedicated learning time into employees’ schedule. Remind employees of the importance of learning to their personal development, career path, and to the success of the organization. Agree on a sensible proportion of the work week that can be devoted to learning (one hour, for example) and calendarize it.

Recent LinkedIn research found that 68% of employees prefer to learn at work; 58% prefer to learn at their own pace, and 49% prefer to learn at the point of need. With that in mind, online training stocked with curated courses makes smart sense.

Employee Training and Development is a vital corporate strategy, and with careful planning, consistent execution, and purpose-built technology tools, the inevitable challenges can be overcome.

Five Ways to Win Top Talent in the Midst of a Shortage

Something significant happened at the end of 2018. For the first time ever, the U.S. Department of Labor recorded the largest gap between the number of job openings and unemployed people.

While you might have missed the announcement, as an employer searching for talent, you’re likely feeling the effects of this condition. The near future doesn’t offer much relief: more than half of employers say they will increase headcount in 2019, but three-quarters are experiencing a skills shortage in their industry. As the candidate-driven market continues, what can employers do to win top talent in the midst of a massive talent shortage?


1) Grow your own

When top talent isn’t on the market, savvy organizations are growing their own talent, creating internal bench strength investing in training  and career development as well as increasing their hiring of people straight out of school.

Nearly 60% of employers have jobs that stay vacant for 12 weeks or longer. The average cost HR managers say they incur for having extended job vacancies is more than $800,000 annually, according to CareerBuilder research. Innovative education and training programs can help bridge this gap, helping employers build their talent in house.

2) Get on the road

“If you post the job, they will apply” doesn’t work in this job market. You may need to take your recruiting efforts on the road, attending trade shows, job fairs, and visiting colleges. When going far afield, you may need to consider offering relocation assistance to populate key rolls.

Millennials in particular are often willing and able to relocatemore than 85% of those 18-35 say they are willing to move to a new city for a job. Successfully recruiting millennials requires some creative tactics, read about some of them here.

3) Forego tradition

You may be limited your talent pool focusing on “traditional candidates.” Consider foregoing tradition, embracing talent that may not fall within your past conventions. For example:

  • Stop inflating requirements: Does the position really required candidates to have a four-year degree, for example?
  • Hire for potential: Rather than hire someone who held the same job at another company, consider hiring for an individual’s potential. This may mean offering assessment tests early in the hiring process to identify the quality of a candidate’s skillset.
  • Age up: Older workers bring a lifetime of skills, including the often-elusive soft skills like professionalism, written communications skills, analytical skills, and interpersonal skills. And at over 20% of the talent pool, you cannot afford to overlook 50+ workers.

4) Reevaluate your runner-up candidates

Here’s a simple step that can save days or even weeks of searching: take a second look at candidates that didn’t quite make it to final round last time. Reassess their resumes, skills, and interview notes and see if they’re a good fit for another open role. These candidates have already made it through your screenings, so keep them as a first resource for future openings. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) makes this task even easier.

5) Keep the ones you’ve got

Once you’ve secured talent, you’ll want to ensure you’re doing everything possible to retain them. We’ve written before about the importance of employee engagement relating to retention rates, and one of the strongest engagement/retention factors relates to training and career development. Consider the following statistics:

  • 42% of employees say learning and development is the most important benefit when deciding where to work.
  • Offering career training and development would keep 86% of millennials from leaving their current position.
  • 51% of employees would quit their job if training was not offered.
  • If a job lacks growth opportunities and avenues for leadership development, 67% of millennials would leave that position.

Successful employee recruiting, acquisition and training require long-term strategies, organizational commitment, and effective tools and resources. We assembled some resources to help you get started here.

What is the “Candidate Experience” — and Does it Really Matter?

Business people waiting to be called into interview at the office

Candidate Experience

There’s a lot of talk currently about the importance of the candidate experienceJust what is the candidate experience? Does it matter?  And if so, how can you make it better?


What is it?

Not surprisingly, the term “candidate experience” refers to the overall experience employment candidates have with a potential employer. It includes the candidates’ impressions and perceptions of a company’s hiring process including the job application, screening methods, communications, and the interview.

Does it Matter?

In a word — yes. The candidate experience matters enough that there’s even an annual Candidate Experience conference to recognize leaders in this art. Here are just four of many reasons why companies should take the candidate experience seriously.

Bad news spreads

Applicants who have a bad experience with a company often don’t go silently back into the job market — they spread the bad word. A recent industry survey found that 33% of candidates with a negative experience intended to share the news publicly through social media.

Candidates are also customers

Alienate a candidate and it might dip into your profits. A recent Talent Board survey found that just under 40% of those with a positive candidate experience said they felt more inclined to buy from the company, regardless of whether they were actually hired. Conversely, 30% of those with a negative experience said they would now purchase fewer of the business’s goods or services.

The good ones might get away

A positive candidate experience leads to better hiring. It’s that simple. Need evidence? Organizations that invest in a strong candidate experience improve their quality of hires 70%. And, 90% of candidates claim that the candidate experience they receive can change their minds about a role or company.

It will cost you real money

A bad candidate experience can be costly enough that there’s a  Candidate Experience Resentment Calculator to demonstrate potential lost revenue stemming from bad candidate experiences.

How Can You Improve It?

Improving the candidate experience is not overly difficult, but it does take planning, time, and effort. Here are three area to consider:

Recruitment Marketing

Yes, there’s really such a thing as recruitment marketing. Really, it’s just a formal term for the strategies and tactics a firm uses to find, attract, engage, and nurture talent during the pre-application or recruitment phase. Recruitment marketing might take the form of employer branding, educational and promotional videos, or career sites.The best-executed recruitment marketing involves a company’s marketing department — an Aberdeen study found that best-in-class companies are 68% more likely than all others to involve the marketing department in employment advertising tactics. The same study found that recruitment marketing reduced the overall cost of the hiring process 20% or more for 24% of companies.

Recruitment Messaging

Today’s workforce includes three generations — and to reach each of them, companies need messaging that resonates with the intended audience. Take the time to hone your company’s recruiting message — it should reflect your brand and speak to the needs and interests of your candidate pool. The right messaging works — Johnson & Johnson reworked their recruitment messaging to be highly specific and saw their talent pool improve 54% and new hire turnover drop 23%.

Conversational Recruiting

Here’s another trendy term — conversational recruiting. Conversational recruiting emphasizes two-way communications throughout the recruiting process — and we’re not just talking phone chats here. Candidates expect to engage potential employers from where they live – which often means from their mobile devices, and meaningful “conversations” might take the form of text, video screening, and candidate surveys to recruit for talent and have meaningful interactions along the way.

The candidate experience is a critical component in a company’s overall recruiting strategy. A good candidate experience results in a number of tangible benefits, while a poor candidate experience can diminish a company’s chances at hiring and retaining top talent. We’ve got additional ideas about how you can improve your company’s candidate experience – contact us to start the conversation. You can also check out our Best Practices Guide – 4 Key Steps to Successful Talent Acquisition.

Renewable Recruiting: Building Sustainable Recruiting Practices in the Nonprofit Sector

Building Sustainable Recruiting Practices in the Nonprofit Sector

One of the most common buzzwords of the last decade or so is sustainability. It’s been applied to everything from construction methodologies to laundry detergents, so perhaps it’s not surprising to hear it used in the context of the sustainability of nonprofit organizations. What does it take to be a sustainable nonprofit organization? The answers may surprise you. 


Think beyond cash flow

Naturally, what first comes to mind is cash flow. A sustainable nonprofit has to continue bringing in the money required to fulfill their mission, year after year. But sustainability goes beyond that. The analysts at Nonprofit HR laid out what we think is a spot-on description of nonprofit sustainability: “Nonprofit sustainability occurs when a nonprofit attracts and effectively uses enough and the right kinds of money and people necessary to lead and achieve their long-term outcome goals.”  

Implement a recruiting strategy

The right kinds of people are a necessary ingredient in the sustainability of nonprofits, yet a full 64% of nonprofits have no formal recruitment strategy. Without such a strategy makes competing for top talent even more difficult today than ever before. Even more alarming, once the right people are in place, most organizations (81%) lack a formal retention strategy for keeping them onboard and engaged.

While recruiting strategies will vary from organization to organization, many include elements such as workforce planning, definition of goals, employer branding, social media presence, sourcing and recruiting, a recruiting and applicant tracking technology platform, effective onboarding, and the use of data analytics to measure and monitor the process.


Make a solid first impression

60% of job seekers have had a poor candidate experience. And as a result of a poor candidate experience, employers are missing out on an important talent pool. 83% of job seekers say a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked, while 87% say a positive interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once doubted. Clearly, it pays to make a good first impression. 

Organizations can improve the experience of candidates in several ways, including streamlining the application process, keeping applicants informed of the status of their application, and recommending additional available positions. Steps like these are easier when you use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), yet in 2017 only 33% of nonprofits reported that they use an ATS.


Promote your brand

Nonprofits have to be masters at self-promotion to meet their fundraising goals, and an organization’s brand carries a similar significance throughout the recruiting process. Does your organization have an employment brand or employment branding process? A majority of nonprofits do not, despite the important role brand plays in attracting top talent.

Think of your employment brand as the market perception of what it’s like to work for your organization. It’s the image that your prospective, current, and past employees have about the employment experience, and includes things like your culture, work environment, employee benefits, and advancement opportunities. Your organization’s brand affects recruitment of new employees, retention, and engagement of current employees, and the overall perception of the organization in the market. Essentially your brand should create a sense of urgency and excitement motivating prospect employees to seek you out and current employees to remain engaged. 

Building a sustainable nonprofit organization involves many factors, of which the right talent is perhaps the most critical. To achieve your mission, and successfully grow and maintain it, you must recruit and retain the right high-performing people.

Learn more about how an Applicant Tracking system can improve the sustainability of your recruiting efforts with our guide – 4 Key Steps to Successful Talent Acquisition.   

5 Tips to a Successful ATS Implementation

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Selecting a  quality applicant tracking system (ATS) that meets your needs is critical for improving your talent acquisition process and results. But if you don’t implement it successfully, even the right ATS technology won’t be much help.  

In this post, we provide five tips that will help you successfully implement a new applicant tracking systems, enabling you to both get the most value and avoid headaches.  

1. Check vendor references BEFORE negotiating and signing a contract. As part of this reference checking, be sure to ask about the implementation experience. A few questions you might consider asking include:

  1. How difficult was implementation?
  2. How well did the ATS integrate with other software? (This is particularly helpful if the reference uses other software you also use.)
  3. How helpful was the provider with implementation?
  4. What suggestions do the references have based on their implementation experience?

2. Carefully prepare for implementation, including deciding which data to bring over from your old ATS. There’s a famous quotation Benjamin Franklin: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Avoid unnecessary implementation problems being prepared and organized. An important part of this is determining which data you will bring over from your old ATS, and which you won’t. The amount of data you bring over often impacts the length of your implementation process.

3. Test your new ATS. Ensure that it meets your specifications and expectations. Verify you’re getting what you’re paying for—that your new ATS lives up to what you’ve been promised and seen during demos. As part of this, ensure the ATS integrates properly with other software you use. Lackluster integration is a common source of frustration. Don’t let it happen to you.

4. Get users trained fully and effectively on the ATS. This includes recruiters and hiring managers, but also others who will be using it. Ensure they know how to use features and functionality that are important for getting the most value from your new ATS. Those great reporting capabilities don’t do much good if users don’t know they exist, or don’t know how to access or use them.

5. Keep refining after beginning use. Take advantage of valuable updates the provider makes to your ATS. Especially with best-in-class applicant tracking systems, taking advantage of new capabilities is key to getting more value. Additionally, give existing users training refreshers as necessary, and ensure new users are trained fully.

Follow these tips. They should help your organization implement your Applicant tracking system successfully, and help you get great results from the start. 

Are you considering changing or purchasing a new ATS? Before you make such an important decision, download “5 Questions to Ask When Switching Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). It will help you make a smart decision and avoid common pitfalls.