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Recruiting and Training Trends Blog

The Skill No One is Talking About… Yet

Tech, interpersonal communication, and teamwork skills are just some of the prerequisites for many jobs. But there are other attributes that should deem a candidate worthy of further consideration. The paramount trait of these unspoken skills is creativity. It’s more than the chair you made… it’s how you made it.

Creativity spawns innovation in the work place. Tech skills and interpersonal communication skills are the current industry buzzwords, but companies like 3M and Hewlett-Packard are one step ahead of the recruiting competition. They allow employees to develop their creative skills in unique ways. Inspiring creative confidence in employees yields products like 3M’s Post-It Notes.


3M Magic

Since 1948, 3M has encouraged their employees to spend 15% of their time at work on their own projects. Not just using work time, but work resources as well, to create teams in “pursuit of problem-solving.”

It took Spencer Silver, chemist for 3M, years to perfect his idea. He was tasked to develop the biggest and best adhesive yet. However, his innovative thought was an idea for a bookmark. The bookmark needed to be able to stick to the page without ripping the paper. “It was part of my job as a researcher to develop new adhesives, and at that time we wanted to develop bigger, stronger, tougher adhesives,” Silver said. “This was none of those.” Silver had created sticky microspheres in the first step towards his non-damaging, sticky bookmark. It wasn’t until a collaborative moment with colleague Art Fry that the microspheres welcomed a practical application. Post-It Notes are found in nearly every office and home office in the United States. They are the brainchild that was the result of time spent dedicated to creativity.

Allowing employees time and resources to work on their own projects not only increases employee engagement, but also company loyalty. Only 18% of employees have the capability to think creatively or strategically at work. Give your employees time to work on their own projects and see what innovation your company can inspire. After all, without that 15% of time dedicated to working on personal projects, we wouldn’t have the Post-It Note.


Tweet This: Only 18% of employees have the capability to think creatively or strategically at work.


Hewlett-Packard Imagination

For the last 45 years, HP has provided labs for their employees to be innovative. These research facilities are “where vision, passion, and ambition become life-changing reality.”

The Machine is HP’s answer to the overwhelming amount of global data. Where did The Machine come from? The HP labs. Computing standards have changed in the last 60 years due to HP lab-founded innovation. It started with a re-imagination of the physical structure of computers. In response to the explosive need for data storage and concern for global protection, HP developed a way to connect data in the cloud and on site. The Machine uses lasers, photons, ions, and electrons instead of copper wires. The first computer took up an entire room; The Machine is merely the next step in saving [virtual] space.

Personal creativity at work leads to corporate innovation with projects like HP’s The Machine. Although Google is touted for dedicating 20% of work hours to professional innovation, they weren’t the first ones. Hewlett-Packard and 3M were the original companies candidates applied to for creative freedom during work hours.

There’s a chance creative employees will leave their organizations if they are not given freedom to explore their creative sides. A surprising 36% of adults leave jobs in pursuit of employment opportunities that give them innovative freedom. 29% of these adults would even take a pay cut in order to have the ability to be creative at work.


Tweet This: 36% of adults leave jobs in pursuit of employment opportunities that give them innovative freedom.


Allowing for creativity in the workplace sets these companies aside from the rest. Economic and recruiting success comes from an amalgamation of creative talent, technological skill, and an organizational acceptance of both during work hours. While soft skills and training are still important to the relevancy of a candidate during the recruitment process, look towards personal hobbies and interests. These candidate attributes can indicate innovative thought processes. Your organization can foster this creativity allowing work hours and resources for project development. Creativity is the skill up to bat… get ahead of the game and start recruiting for creativity as a soft skill.

Recruit like the elite; target the skills not yet on the radar. We can help you pinpoint these candidate characteristics.

3 Tips for Great Software Implementations from #DTHR

In case you missed it, our very own CEO, Sean Pomeroy, was recently on the DriveThru HR podcast, where he covered a number of interesting topics regarding HR technology with hosts Bryan WempenNisha Raghavan and William Tincup including the false promise that alluring technology can often make, how to create team chemistry beyond technology, and the desire to get his open weekends back after having kids. But what we really loved was how he gave simple, smart tips about great software implementations (after all, that’s what we do).



1. Don’t Fall for the New and Shiny

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the show was people need to begin stepping away from the idea that a piece of technology alone will solve a problem, and that once they have the latest and greatest in whatever process they’re trying to optimize, the solutions will quickly arise. Your search should begin with a solution to a problem and how technology can help fix that, not what new piece of tech you can use.

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“I remember someone telling me one time, ’nobody buys a drill because they want a drill. Nobody says gosh, I want the best drill ever! They buy a drill because they want a hole.’” – Sean Pomeroy, (@Sean_Pomeroy)


2. Don’t Always Aim For Perfection 

One of the biggest issues the hosts cited when a group begins using a new technology is having to repeat part of the process after the company has become more well-acquainted with the tools. The core of the problem is communication, and neither the client nor the vendor are really at fault. Clients don’t always begin a project with a perfect strategy and can lose sight of the goal after seeing the bells and whistles. Better best practices brief, asking questions about what the client wished they had. The goal of perfection can interfere with the actual task.

Share on LinkedIn: “We’re getting ready to record a video library. We already have a lot of our items… and instead of trying to get everything perfect… I’m having my team try to have more fun with it. It’s okay if you cough in the middle, it’s okay if you have verbal slip here or there, or if something’s not perfect, and so I think these things help build a relationship between parties.” – Sean Pomeroy, (@Sean_Pomeroy)


3. Establish a Human Relationship With Clients 

Vendors want to be considered collaborators, not just vendors. Can they ever become trusted advisors? According to Sean, they can. He looks at the process of a new hire as dating, and you have to give and take in a relationship. Visibility Software has what we call outbound tech support, where we ask a client if they have any questions about the software, or if anything’s bothering them. By letting the client know that the relationship works both ways, we’re able to foster better relationships with our clients and earn their trust. Don’t just keep selling to them. Don’t confuse support with sales.

“As a software technology user, I get tired of having an account person call me every month, and I start to say I have problem — ‘oh, you can open a case, you can call, you can do that’ Then I get a new guy for the tools we’re using every six months and he says ‘oh, do you have twenty minutes to meet?’ and the first thing that he asks is ‘how many more user seats do you need for this month, or this year?’” – Sean Pomeroy, (@Sean_Pomeroy)


Finally, the DTHR crew asked Sean where he thought HR technology would go in the next year. For us, it’s becoming apparent that LMS is up and coming, while ATS are already established. There’s also the historic battle between staffing ATS and ATS, which has now become a battle of auxiliary features. With more auxiliary technology, like posting and social media tools, cropping up everywhere, it’s becoming clear that these technologies don’t have core aspects of the trade like applicant or requisition management. The end result ATS will try to implement the auxiliary features and the auxiliary features will try to build a proper ATS. More mergers, more consolidations, more acquisitions, more startups are a guarantee as well, which, in Sean’s mind, will make for a much more competitive and interesting field.



Gender Gaps in Workplace Mentor Programs

Gender GapIt’s rude to let someone walk around with a piece of spinach in their teeth from lunch, right? Well, there’s a piece of spinach in your training and mentorship program. Although there have been great advances in closing the gender gap, it’s still present in some aspects of the workplace. Mentoring programs are still affected the gap.

Women hold the majority of entry-level positions at 53%. However when they begin to climb the leadership ladder, they leave management positions upon reaching higher rungs. Currently, women only make up 14.6% of senior management and vice president positions in Fortune 500 companies. This staunch difference between entry-level jobs and higher leadership could be attributed to the underrepresentation of women in mentorship programs

Gloria Larson, President of Bentley University, said:

“As women get close to attaining leadership positions, they need someone to turn to for help reaching that next step. One of the reasons so many women drop out of middle management positions is they don’t see other female staffers in similar jobs around them.”

According to a study Bentley University, 55% of the women surveyed agreed that women-specific mentorship programs have the potential to help women succeed in higher corporate positions. Another 52% said that women-specific networking could help women flourish in the workplace. The Bentley University study also showed that 57% of recruiters believe women are better candidates to begin with, so how do they drop so far in numbers as they climb the corporate ladder?

What’s being done to close the gap

There is still a disparity in the proportion of men to women in tech fields. However, Facebook, Pinterest, and Box have initiated a program to increase mentorship programs for women in tech fields. The program is called WEST – Women Entering and Staying in Tech. Facebook said in a recent statement:

“Mentorship can be incredibly influential in a woman’s career, and we’re excited to be tackling this challenge together. We believe that working together and providing more direct support, advocacy, and space for community development, we can create an impactful, scalable, one-on-one mentorship program to help women build and grow meaningful careers in tech.”

Men must play a part, too

“Every company wants to know how to find and keep highly talented women in the workplace.” – Marcus Buckingham, founder at TMBC

While women are a key role in developing a stronger female presence in any given mentoring program, men must play a key role as well. Even 37% of men agreed that male leadership could be an active part of a female mentorship program. The one-on-one mentorship programs like WEST are a start to the change. However incorporating men as mentors takes the process one step further.

Women’s rights and gender equity in the workplace advocates, like Bryan Pelley, note that a large issue with men’s roles in female mentorship is the male motivation for equality in the workplace. They choose to treat them the same – despite the fact they have different needs in the workplace – in an effort to not coddle very capable women. Pelley said:

“I’m comfortable with the idea that treating people ‘equally’ doesn’t actually mean treating people the same. You sometimes need to make adjustments to make sure people have an equal opportunity to succeed.”

Although there should be equal opportunities for success in the workplace, mentorship opportunities for men and women are not the same. Strides are being made towards mentorship equity. Better-suited and one-on-one mentorship programs targeted towards women could help to close the gap for women in tech fields. It could also close the gap between high-level positions between men and women. 

Because many organizations don’t have the same initiatives as WEST put in motion, there is a large difference in the number of men and women in managerial and senior levels. Change the underrepresentation of women in mentorship programs to see a higher number of women in high-level jobs.  

Tools like Visibility Software’s Cyber Train can get your company on the right path towards a better mentorship program. You can track training and manage program enrollments for the ease of tracking employee success. The automated approval streamlines the process, so there’s no need to wait on communication between management levels.

Have you reevaluated your training program lately? We have all the blocks and mortar you need to build a new one. Give us a call to get started. 


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6 Reasons to Develop a Mentorship-style Training Program

Training ProgramGrowing up, children often look up to their parents for guidance. However, that guidance doesn’t have to stop in professional adulthood. Kevin Systrom, Mark Zuckerberg, Reid Hoffman, and other technology all-stars all had mentors. What does each of these people have in common? Their businesses were successful with the help of mentors in the last 15 years. Mentorship isn’t just a method teacher’s use in middle school to help cultivate generations for the future. Mentorship is a tool to professionally develop employees as well.

Mentors help new hires to create professional relationships with company leadership; however, the company as a whole will benefit from a mentorship program as well. An effective program will help organizations reach higher retention, meet diversity initiatives, and increase employee engagement.

What’s in it for you?

Increase your retention rates – This is perhaps one of the most important reasons mentorship programs matter in your workplace. Retention is critical to the health and growth of your organization. Successful pairing of mentors and mentees increase retention rates. In fact, retention rates were 72% higher for mentees and 69% higher for mentors in companies that created effective training programs. 

Build your employer brand loyalty – Mentorship programs increase employees’ loyalty to the organization. 70% of the Fortune 500 companies have official mentor programs. After all, they didn’t become Fortune 500 companies without employees who believed in the value of their organization. A company can showloyalty to employees through a mentorship program. Paul McDonald, Senior Executive Director at Robert Half, a staffing firm, says it’s important to show your appreciation in daily actions…

“Ask yourself am I loyal to my team. How do I show it. Do I work as hard as they do? Am I alongside them shoulder to shoulder in the trenches during peak times and do I have their back during rough times?”

Meeting your diversity initiatives – New hires and leaders who have similar interests, backgrounds, education, etc., have great potential to make a successful mentor/mentee team. Pairing the right employees and management personnel together can benefit from diversity initiatives as well as strengthen mentor programs. China Gorman, CEO at Great Place to Work Institute, says: 

“Today there is a wider awareness that the diversity focus should also consider values like cultural fluency, global mindset, language skills, etc., or ‘acquired’ diversity.”

Increase employee engagement – A mentorship program has the potential to change the 70% of disengaged employees into workers who are engaged and involved in the workplace. If an employee feels that their work is noticed and appreciated, they are more likely to be engaged in the workplace. Mentors can help to foster this productive atmosphere.

What’s in it for your employees?

Create meaningful relationships with leadership – Mentorship isn’t simply a tool with results that can be systematically measured. It’s a combination of careful planning and relationship development. Jeanne Meister, author of “The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today,” explains it best:

“A lot of companies’ structured mentoring programs have failed as they have tried to put structure to something that is basically a relationship.”

Opportunities for professional development – Your employees will gain professional knowledge at the hands of your managerial staff. What about the development of your management team? Managerial staff who participate in a mentor program are promoted 6x more often than those who opted out of the mentorship program.

Mentor programs are healthy additions to any onboarding program. They increase new hire involvement and create working professional relationships between the new hires and veteran employees. Creating company loyalty isn’t an easy task. Leaders have to show employees their loyalty to the team. You can do so utilizing a mentorship program.

By pairing the right leaders and employees together, you can create an atmosphere in which both leadership and new hires can learn something from each other. Your employees depend on the job to give them a sense of professional development, and the best place to start is with a mentorship program. Succession of knowledge to new employees provides continuity within the organization. It’s more than a teaching tool; it’s a professional development tool. The greats had mentors… where are yours?

The right training can augment your current mentorship program. Give us a call, we can set you up with Cyber Train to get you started.

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The Value of Interns: Paid or Unpaid

InternInternships are requirements for many college degrees and a distinct pathway to new experiences when looking into new career fields. Some students are lucky to get vital work experience in their internship… others not so much. Are your interns getting more than your morning coffee?

Interns – paid or unpaid – are more than just volunteers. They sought out your company to learn the industry and prepare themselves for work after college. So in order to properly mentor these eager workers, give them something meaningful to accomplish during while they complete another degree requirement. If handled correctly, interns can be a dynamic and vibrant addition to your talent pipeline. 

Need Some Fresh Ideas?

Look no further. Interns bring with them a deluge of creative ideas. New people have the potential to initiate projects and new methodologies with energy and timeliness to spare. Many are well into their junior and senior years of college – the time when much of the degree targeted classes are taught and just a year to two away from entry-level talent. They are learning things other company team members may have forgotten under the burden of years of experience or during the daily grind, plus they can be eager to learn and quick to take direction from senior team members. Internships are designed to give college students experience; however, they can open doors for you and your team as well. 

Learning Curve(s)

Yes, students apply for internships in order to fill college requirements. However, they are with the organization to learn something. The best part – their supervisors can learn a thing or two as well. Interns allow leaders to perfect their managerial skills in addition to mentoring the next generation of the organization’s employees. This isn’t just a valuable opportunity for upper management but to fill the pipeline with your younger employees who have yet to manage more than your desk Ficus. 

Victor Lipman (@VictorLipman1) of Howling Wolf Management Training gave some guidelines on the best practices for managing interns:

  • Actually give them something to do – More than errand boys (and girls), interns can give back to the organization. Assign them tasks and projects that add value to the organization but don’t expose the company to risk. Most of them are new to the professional atmosphere, so offer guidance if needed. Ultimately, make sure they feel their work contributes to the company.

  • Give constructive criticism – Feedback is crucial to professional development and progression of your intern team. Good and bad, constructive criticism is motivational for you and the intern as you learn how to help them move forward.

  • Don’t forget about the evaluation – Let your interns know how their work impacted the organization. They’ve put a number of work hours into this learning process, so respect the time spent with an evaluation. Allow them the time to give their experience and what they learned as well.

Opportunity for Successful Recruitment

Your interns did a great job. You managed them well. Now turn them into your best asset, talent. Effectively turning your internship program into a recruitment tool is a way to lower your recruitment and onboarding costs. These individuals already know inner workings of the organization and have the training under their belt and chances are, they’re a cultural fit.

You’ve already got engaged workers on your hands, so why not save 76% in cost per hire? Convert interns from college students to full-time employees without the need for job listings, expensive advertising campaigns and tedious hiring cycles. However, it’s difficult to recruit interns to full-time positions if all they ever did was replace the binder clips. In fact, 63% of paid interns were offered full-time employment last year.

Rachelle Falls (@CorporateHRGirl), Founder & Chief Strategist of Sun Strategies said: 

“Right now, this millennial candidate wants to get to work and make a difference. They’re eager to be taught and to learn – all while putting their summer internship to good use.”

On a very basic level, internships are required for many degrees, though not all. The ultimate goal after graduation is to find a good job. So, it stands to reason that 32% of graduates who had an internship during their college career are fully employed.

This is an entry point for many interns into the professional world all while developing connections. Paid and unpaid interns are more than volunteers, they are students learning the inner workings of the professional world. As such, your team of interns should be doing more than getting just your morning coffee. Invite them to project meetings, give them a voice during the discussion, and see what kind of ingenuity sparks within your team. After all, hosting a robust internship program with well-developed training is an easy and inexpensive way to recruit the best and brightest for your team. 

Do you have the tools to get your internship training program off the ground? We can give you a lift.


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The ROI of Quality Workplace Training

 Workplace Training resized 600“Excellence is an art won training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle.

In a study Bersin, high-impact companies – organizations at a 3 or a 4 on Bersin’s Maturity scale – have a tendency to spend more on their training programs than organizations at a 1 or a 2. These companies excel in their training programs because they repeatedly spend the money necessary to make their training programs top notch. That repeated spend has resulted in the exponential growth of corporate training programs. It is one of the biggest expenditures for companies because a good training program means the difference between skilled and engaged employees. The study says:

“In fact our research shows that these companies not only perform at higher levels, they have higher levels of engagement, retention, and employee and customer satisfaction.” 

In the last two years, spending on training programs has grown from $60 billion to an astonishing $70 billion nin the United States alone. Worldwide, that number is nearly double at $130 billion.

There are awards for this, you know

So it must be important, right? Training programs determine the success of your new hires while solidifying company culture. Learning cultures established training programs are easily carried throughout the company with ongoing training opportunities for employees looking to further their knowledge and experience in their field.

Training Magazine ranks the best training programs each year. Companies who want to be considered for this award have to apply to the magazine. They are then scored a third party – a research and statistical data company – and the Training Magazine’s hall of fame. One of the areas Training Magazine considers is the financial investment the company puts into employee development. Editor-in-chief of the magazine, Lorri Freifeld, says, “They demonstrated an organization-wide commitment to and passion for training that is to be commended.” 2014’s list for the Outstanding Training Initiative Award Winners include well- known names such as:

·      BNSF Railway

·      Discover Financial Services

·      First Data Corporation

·      First Horizon National Corporation

·      Walgreens

Where there’s a skill there’s a way

“Sixty years ago I knew everything; now I know nothing; education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.” – Will Durant

Technology isn’t just sought after in candidates, those same candidates want to see technology in their training. As the globe grows in the number and varying types of mobile devices and advances in technology, workers expect the same of training programs. The same study Bersin said that “informal training” – i.e., the sharing of knowledge – has become popular over the traditional classroom setting.

In 2013, companies spent 39% more on these social learning tools and expert directories than the year before. Training in the workplace has transitioned to online instruction from a classroom setting. However, because a pure online training program doesn’t normally show the results companies would hope for, most organizations do a two-thirds program. Meaning, a majority of the training is done online via gamification, social tools, and knowledge sharing and the rest is instructor led.  

The best corporate training programs are the ones who invest the most in them. In reality, providing quality training for your employees gives you a higher ROI and reduces turnover. If your employees understand the true value of their place in the company and how their training benefited them, there are less work-related reasons to find other employment.

The best training programs keep up with the growth of their employees professionally and technologically. We live in a digital world. To have a well-rounded and effective training program, you have to cater to the changes in technology and how your team can use them. Although Millennials prefer the online interaction, considering 4.6 million college students took one online course last year, their BaBoomer and Gen Xer supervisors want in on the action as well. Don’t leave your training behind; it needs dedicated attention, too.

Cyber Train is the remedy for any corporate training gaps. Give us a call, we will help you get started. 


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What is a Learning Culture and How Do I Get One?

Learning-CultureDavid Garvin, co-author of Is Yours a Learning Organization, said learning cultures are two things:

1.  Skilled in creating, acquiring, interpreting, transferring and retaining knowledge

2.  Able to modify behavior in response to new knowledge and insight

Payscale’s whitepaper, Creating a Culture of Learning discusses how a learning culture derives from a commitment to education – both in and outside of the workplace. Establishing a learning atmosphere will stimulate employees in the office, increase levels of engagement and decrease turnover. Jacob Morgan, co-founder of the FOW Community, said:

“Challenging convention is the practice of going against and challenging the common assumptions that our organizations have been built on. For the better part of a hundred years our organizations have remained relatively unchanged.”

Morgan goes on to say that the cubicles, outdated management styles, and communication hindrances go against everything our world has modernized into. The changes in technology and the way employees think about work has begun to change the way workplaces operate. Thus, learning cultures are beginning to emerge. 

What exactly does a learning culture establish?

Continuous learning opportunities

Learning comes in all shapes and forms. Anything that challenges your employees to develop their skills further could be considered an opportunity for learning. More than just the traditional training styles and cultures of learning radiate into the workplace. They influence how employees function because they support continuing education. Ultimately, a learning organization will always bring in new and fresh knowledge. Executive professor of business administration at the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School, George Cook, addressed when a company pays for further education

Education that is company-paid is important. A survey the Society for Human Resources Management shows 61% of companies asked still pay for employee undergraduate assistance, and 59% offer graduate assistance.” 

Aligned individual and organizational performance

It is important to align company goals through the entire organization to each employee. It forces employees to be responsible for obtaining the information and skills needed to accomplish their goals. Leadership is therefore responsible for guiding their employees to see the correlations between their goals and the greater goals of the company. Principle of THEaster Consulting, Terri Hartwell Easter, says that misaligned priorities often get in the way of leadership development

“In many cases, however, true integration of cultures has not been attempted – much less achieved – leaving shell-shocked employees, disparate teams, variances in management styles, lack of clarity in communication and a broken link between company goals and each individual’s role in achieving those goals.” 

Safe atmosphere for open discussion

The inability to take risks at work for fear of consequence inhibits the growth of a learning culture. Give employees the opportunity to generate their own ideas and process them with the team. Creating a safe atmosphere of open discussion allows employees to grow in creativity through professional disagreements. 

It can all be yours with the low price of…

It’s a team effort. As with any other major change to the functionality of an office, it takes a lot of people, and even more time. However, there are key members of your team that are necessary participants in the change. 

Senior Leadership

It all begins with leaders. They have to initiate the change through attitude and atmosphere. Leaders are responsible for setting the company goals and creating a culture that aligns with said goals.

Human Resources

The HR team supports the culture of learning through recompense of any efforts employees may take towards higher certification or particularly outstanding performance. If and when employees and senior leaders move on or retire, the HR team can pass the information and culture to the next generation of employees.

Chief Learning Officers

CLOs can help align organizational and personal goals. By linking the two, training officers can also connect mentors and mentees on a professional level. Connecting like-minded individuals on the same projects will then help the chief learning officers to measure the success of the company’s training techniques.

Building a culture of learning isn’t an immediate fix… it doesn’t happen overnight. By understanding what exactly a culture of learning is, leaders, HR professionals and chief learning officers can work together to facilitate the growth of knowledge within the organization. 

Call us to see how Cyber Train can help get your learning culture off to the right start.


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Your 5 Onboarding Danger Zones

Danger ZoneThe final stage of the recruitment process is after the candidate is hired; after all of the paperwork and the interviews, the onboarding begins. Sometimes, bringing on a new employee to the team can be just as stressful for the supervisor as it is the new hire. “Onboarding is a make-or-break process,” said Katherine Jones, lead analyst for HCM technology at Bersin Deloitte. She continued to say that a poor onboarding program is the bane of any recruiter, the “kiss of death” for the new hire, as she called it. In order to preserve the integrity of the new hire’s opinion of the company, the onboarding process has to be pristine. Facilitate personal interaction, maintain organization, establish company values, and remember it’s not all about completing the paperwork. Follow these 5 best practices to improve your company’s onboarding process:  

1.  Facilitate Personal Interaction

Technology has propelled the workplace towards advancement: computers, tablets, smart boards, video conferencing, etc. However great those are, interpersonal communication skills have plummeted because of it. In fact, 44% of candidates don’t have the soft skills – i.e. communication skills – employers look for. Emails and phone calls are wonderful for staying connected with employees, but you have to establish that personal connection first. Onboarding is more than just a series of signatures and training. An effective onboarding process creates a relationship between the new hire and the company and its managers.

2.  Keep the File Cabinets Organized

Streamline the process. No one likes to jump through flaming hoops after they are hired. Staying organized, and consolidation will help to extinguish the mounds of paperwork into a smaller, not-so daunting, heap of files.

Some companies don’t have the resources to keep their onboarding process organized and running smoothly. Actually, 19% of companies don’t have a complete onboarding process to begin with, according to a SHRM study cited in a Wall Street Journal article by Rachel Emma Silverman (@itsrachelemma).

3.  Establish Company Values

In order to make the best impression with a new hire, make the company culture and values a primary focus in the entire onboarding process. The company’s story and culture should be consistent through marketing practices during the recruiting and hiring process. Silverman continued in the article to say:

“But some companies – hope to create a first impression that really counts – are turning to orientations that seem more collegiate than corporate, complete with co-worker networking sessions, time for new employees to tout their skills and even office-wide scavenger hunts.” 

4.  Keep the Fun Going

Recruiters pulled out all of the bells and whistles when they attracted these new hires while they were mere candidates. Don’t let that slip. Honestly, 30% of new hires don’t even read their onboarding packages, littered with benefit information and 401K jargon.

Granted, there are a lot of paperwork and compliance matters to take care of, but there is no reason to make candidates dance around the good stuff. The paperwork shouldn’t be the first priority in the onboarding program. Integrating the new hire into the organization should be paramount.

5.  Socially Acceptable Acceptance

Some organizations have in-office social media networks like Yammer or Chatter, just to name two. Bersin Deloitte suggests many companies might already have these tools to help socially integrate new hires into the company culture. Now, onboarding isn’t entirely about technology, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. It can help to increase new hire knowledge of the organization, theredecreasing their chance for failure.

Head of Yammer Customer Success in the United Kingdom, Mike Grafham said that intra-office tools like Chatter, IBM Connect, Jive, and Yammer are helpful in the onboarding and preboarding processes. By building networks for new hires, employees can send the new hires messages and give them an environment where they can ask questions. 

The onboarding process is to retention, as recruitment is to acquisition. Both are equally as important. Effective onboarding programs revolve around company culture, so values are accurately portrayed beyond the paperwork. Revamping the onboarding process is easy: focus it on company culture and consolidate your paperwork (as much as you can to maintain legal compliance). It’s easier for recruiters and integrates new hires into the company more effectively. 

A good onboarding program begins with an engaged training programCall us to see how Cyber Train can help your team succeed. 


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The Serial Killers of Company Culture

Serial KillersIn the words of the corpses in The Nightmare Before Christmas, “This is Halloween.” It’s a time filled with scary movies, fantastic costumes, candy, and – the real horror – villain look-a-likes in the office. These individuals ruin company culture quicker than a cinematic serial killer takes his victims.

Hannibal Lecter

“Hello Clarice…” possibly one of the most intimidating phrases in cinematic history. Likewise, what’s the most intimidating phase of the hiring process for candidates? The interview. Recruiters, who are anything but comforting and relaxing during the interview process, kill the company culture before the candidate is even offered the job. Only 36% of HR departments are responsible for employer branding strategy this year. It stands to reason that many interviews could have gone better if the employer branding was more clearly conveyed.

Ghost Face

The Scream movies became a staple of 90s horror films, and countless Halloween costumes are spawned from the movie’s villain, Ghost Face. The mask has become the epitome of scary Halloween costumes, and it’s overused and generic. Every office has that one employee, the new hire who is always generic about company projects, and high on company culture… it can be irritating. The trend for hiring managers is to hire for attitude because the theory is skills can be taught. With 81% of new hires failing within the first 18 months due to a cultural mismatch, it is understandable that the ones who are left are corporately enthusiastic.


Saw, and all of the sequels, feature a character who uses puzzles, and observes from a distance. In fact, he gives directions to his victims through a television screen. A supervisor who manages from a distance, not really involved in office activities, but manipulates them, does little to enhance office culture. Dealing with manipulative supervisors is difficult, primarily because it’s hard to identify manipulators in the first place. However, once you recognize the behavior, subtly stand up to the cultural manipulation with distance, and ask questions like, “Does this seem fair?” and “Do I have a say in this?” 

Patrick Bateman

Obsessively well-dressed businessman, American Psycho character Patrick Bateman flies off the handle and screams at his victims. Alpha-males and type-A personalities aren’t easy to deal with, especially when they have a tendency towards aggressive behavior. Because hostility is most easily observed through speech, the fact that 38% of communication is through tone of voice becomes a problem. Keeping an open field of communication, and constant feedback with your team can help to minimize aggressive behavior at work as much as possible.   

John Doe

The thieving serial killer… I won’t go into detail, but if you’ve seen the movie, you know exactly what he did at the end of the film Se7en. Particularly maniacal, the cultural killer manager that takes credit for something they didn’t do is quite possibly the worst. Unfortunately, this isn’t uncommon for team leaders and managers to do. You can combat this cultural misbehavior with simple documentation of your work and not assuming the worst. It’s important to give your supervisor the benefit of the doubt, and realize credit may not have been taken intentionally in the first place. 

None of these villains is the victor in the end of the movies, so there is hope for your culture yet. However, it’s hard to repair the damage once it’s been done. Not everyone is happy with where their company culture currently is. An overwhelming 51% of respondents in a Strategy& survey said their company is in need of a cultural overhaul. Moreover, 45% don’t think that culture is effectively managed in their company. There are cultural serial killers running loose in your office. Their habits need to be addressed, and with some gentle guidance, nipped in the bud. 

Don’t let your serial killers run wild. Reel them in with cultural regulators like Cyber Recruiter and Cyber TrainGive us a call and see how we can stop the misfits


Cyber Train Demo

photo credit: hammershaug via photopin cc

The Horror Stories that Likely Led to These Testimonials

TestimonialsAmerican Horror Story? Try ATS Horror Story. The tale may not be filled with ghouls and scary wardrobe changes, but it instills in recruiters and hiring managers a similar aversion for the poor HR systems. They purchased – or rented – these massive tools in order to help the recruiting process, but unfortunately they didn’t have the means to make an educated decision. At the beginning, it looked like the ATS would save them from the mundane tasks they dreaded; but upon the attempted integration, it became clear this was not the case. The ATS they use didn’t save them money, like they thought. It didn’t save them time, like they were told. It didn’t make the process easier, like they needed.

“The company was growing, and the paper filing system we had gotten used to wasn’t cutting it anymore. So, the HR department agreed it was time to get an ATS. We ended up spending more money than we anticipated after deciding on the free ATS. Instead of saving money, the HR department ended up spending more in wasted time and energy… I can’t say it was worth it.” – Frustrated Fernando

It takes dedication to replace an employee who has left the company. Bringing on a new hire can take four to eight weeks for a small organization.  If you add a poorly fit ATS into the mix, the odds aren’t so favorable. Applicant tracking systems are supposed to reduce time and money in the recruitment and hiring processes. However, even a company of eight people can save time in hiring new employees and keep the $10,000 of residual effort instead of spending it on futile hiring pains.

“It was time to get a new ATS for our recruiters. The one we were using was older than the computers we had in the office. Trying to save money we went with a cheap ATS. We got what we paid for… it was difficult to integrate. Since it’s a newer company, they are still working out some bugs in the system. It’s just not the robust system we were hoping for.”  – Resourceful Rachael 

It’s easy to find ATS vendors. All you have to do is type it into Google and you find about 2 million results in just over half of a second. There are countless webpages that offer suggestions for ATS vendors. It’s a large $4 billion industry, expecting to grow at least 20% the end of 2014. With all of the choices available today, it’s important to weigh your options.

Visibility Software has been in business for over 10 years. We know what it takes to create a robust ATS. Not to worry, we have the necessary tools you need to make the best decision for your company. The Recruiting Comparison Tool is a checklist of features to make your decision easier. We’ve already filled in the qualities Cyber Recruiter has, just as a first step to get you started on your path to ATS bliss. 

“The system we originally used was a talent repellent. The application process was long and difficult for the applicants… and our department.  Recruiters and hiring managers couldn’t use the ATS to communicate the status of an application to our candidates, which was a problem. Our choice to get an ATS in the first place was to automate the mundane tasks. It didn’t automate nearly as effectively as we had hoped, and it certainly didn’t help our employer brand.” – Dissatisfied Dale

Candidates want an easy application process. However, what they want more than that is communication from the company they applied to. In fact, 58% candidates who rated their experience as poor or very poor said it was due to irregular updates on their application status. Luckily for Cyber Recruiter users; automating candidate relations is easy. The well-rounded system allows users to schedule interviews, post to job boards, and uses a Smart Email system so everyone stays in the loop.

At the end of the day, you simply can’t settle for an ATS that doesn’t match your department’s requirements. Since not all HR teams are the same, we’ve created a Recruiting Comparison Tool so HR professionals can pick the solution that matches their needs. The right ATS will enhance your employer brand, not detract from it; it will be easy for your recruiters to integrate and use; but mostly, the best-fitting ATS will save the company time and energy… and therefore, money.

Ready to change your horror story into a fairy tale? We’ve got your happy ending at the other end of this phone call


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