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Recruiting and Training Trends Blog

First Step for Selecting a New ATS: Understand Why You Dislike Your Current One!

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You’ve decided to replace your applicant tracking system (ATS). 

Now what? 

Here’s the first thing to do. Before rushing out into the marketplace, take the time to understand your dissatisfaction with your current ATS, and what you want a new ATS to achieve. Understanding exactly why you’re dissatisfied will actually help frame and guide your ATS purchasing decision. 

How do you understand your dissatisfaction with your current ATS? Here are two ways:

  • Think about the root issues, frustrations and innovations that are driving you

to consider switching to a new ATS.

  • Take your current processes and chart out the missing pieces, problems and

bottlenecks, and focus on how you would like a new ATS to address those areas, while not taking away from the existing functionality you would like to retain. 

Next, consider the impact the right new ATS would make in the problem areas you identified, and the potential return on investment. Examples of the ROI may include:

  • Improved average time and cost to fill positions
  • Faster, more accurate hiring—avoid losing top-tier candidates to

competition, and lower turnover due to more accurate hires.

  • Bottlenecks that were once a time drain are no more, allowing more time for

higher valued tasks

  • Improved candidate experience

 Going through this process will go a long way to help you determine the best ATS to achieve your goals. So don’t skip it. 

Considering switching your ATS? Make sure to first read “5 Questions to Ask When Switching Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).” Download the article to learn how you can select the right ATS for your needs, and implement it successfully.  

Saying “yes” to Employee Engagement – It’s a long-term commitment that starts with recruiting

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Employee engagement is a workplace concept that refers to how committed employees are to their organization’s goals and values, and how motivated they are to contribute to the organization’s success. Research has shown that highly engaged employees: 

  • Are more customer focused, more creative at work, and take less sick leave
  • Care about the future of their organization and put in greater effort to help it meet its goals and objectives
  • Feel proud of the organization they work for, are inspired to do their best, and motivated to deliver
  • Are much less likely to leave the organization.

Perhaps it’s not surprising then, that companies whose employees express a high level of engagement are more profitable, have greater revenue figures, and have higher levels of customer satisfaction. A company that values its employees and invests in them right from the beginning is laying the foundation for high levels of engagement. Here are some ways your organization can begin building employee engagement during the recruiting cycle.

Meet Them Where They’re At

Social media has quickly become a powerful recruiting tool. In fact, a recent Aberdeen Group survey reported that 68 percent of “best in class” recruiters think social media is “crucial” to their recruitment strategies. Your company’s LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter accounts can help you spread the word about new job opportunities. They also help put a human touch on your organization, providing a way to introduce and showcase elements of your corporate culture and mission.

Respect Their Time

Strive to be an employer that respects candidates’ time and efforts streamlining the application process. Post open positions to your company’s website and/or an online job board like Monster.com® and Careerbuilder.com®. Make it simple for them to apply to more than one position at a time. And, send an acknowledgement email letting them know that their resume was received. An applicant tracking and recruiting solution, like Cyber Recruiter, can automate and streamline these tasks, integrating them fully into your workflow.

Conduct Effective Interviews

An interview is the first impression for both employer and candidate. It’s not only a chance for you to assess the candidate; it’s also the candidate’s chance to observe your corporate culture. As many as 42 percent of companies now employee video conferencing (solutions like Spark Hire) in the interview process. This is a great way to give both parties that vital first impression without either of you incurring the expense of an in-person interview.

Make Your Proposal  

Once you’ve identified your next hire, make the proposal a good one. Prepare and send an offer letter along with onboarding forms. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) help speed and automate this part of the process, letting your candidate know you value them and respect their decision-making process. And of course, the applicants that were not selected deserve the same level of respect, so be certain you send them an email or letter as notification.

Prevent Information Overload

On your new employees’ first day on the job, don’t inundate them with paperwork. Much of the necessary information was gathered during the recruiting cycle, and if you’re using an ATS, that data can transfer seamlessly to your payroll and HRMS applications, eliminating the need for duplicate data entry. 

Use that first day instead to make the new employee feel welcome with an office tour, introductions to key personnel, and a welcome gift bag filled with product samples and company swag. 

Striving for high levels of employee engagement simply makes smart business sense. Think of employee engagement as a long-term, evolving relationship between your organization and your employees – one that begins long before the employee starts to work. By building employee engagement strategies into your recruiting methods, you are demonstrating that yours is a company that invests in its most valuable assets.

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For more valuable information about employee engagement and improving the talent acquisition process, check out our best practices guide – 

Best Practices Guide – 4 Key Steps to Successful Talent Acquisition

 

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7 Advantages of Using a Cloud-Based Applicant Tracking System

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As noted in a TechCrunch article, there’s “little doubt … that nearly every business and every industry is running on software delivered as online services.” 

In HR technology, the spread of cloud-based software continues in full force. According to Gartner, spending on cloud-based HR software will be 50% or more of total HR technology spending 2017. 

The reason for the proliferation, of course, is cloud-based software has some significant advantages. For example, as detailed in our new article, “5 Questions to Ask When Switching Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS),” a quality cloud-based ATS has the following seven advantages over a traditional on-premise system: 

  1. Access anywhere and anytime. On-premise systems require HR, recruiters and hiring managers to be on-site, but cloud-based systems allow them to retrieve data wherever they’re working, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

  2. Easier implementation. Because there’s no on-premise system to install/implement.

  3. Reduced IT, capital expenses. There’s no on-premise system to implement or maintain.

  4. Get upgrades quickly. Upgrading an on-premise system can take time and be a significant technical concern, so much so that many companies forego updates. With cloud-based systems, the upgrades are handled the provider, meaning you get quick, easy access to useful new features.

  5. Integration with other software. Cloud-based systems are becoming easier and easier to integrate with other software, facilitating integration with online job portals, career sites and other SaaS applications. This allows you to access more talent, and to connect your recruiting and HR processes without using an all-in-one system.

  6. Improved user experience. Not only are quality cloud-based systems customizable for employers’ specific needs, but also having the current version eases training and customer service.

  7. Shorter-term commitment. With on-premise systems, the work associated with setting up on-site hardware and software is a major enough task that you want any ATS you use to last for years. 

If you’re considering switching your ATS, consider downloading “5 Questions to Ask When Switching Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).” It will help you select the right ATS for your needs, and implement it successfully. 

6 Benefits of Using a Quality Learning Management System

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Some tasks require that you have the right tool for the job. Training management is one of them. The right tool for the job: a quality learning management system.  

Below are six benefits of using a quality LMS that combined work to minimize headaches, maximize engagement and maximize results. 

1.
The LMS provides a centralized, on-demand location for corporate learning and training. There’s one place to go, whenever you want, no matter your role.

2. The LMS lessens the burden on all involved in the process (HR, training managers, supervisors, employees). Your HR team won’t have to juggle a dozen spreadsheets in an attempt to manage the process. Also, all parties can see the status of training activities that are relevant to them (e.g. HR can see status for all employees, individual employees can only see their own status).

3. Delays and mistakes in the process are severely reduced. Automated approvals and notifications streamline and provide direction in your learning process, and improve communication between all parties.

4. Compliance is improved. For jobs that require certification, automatic notifications of upcoming certification expirations are sent to employees, supervisors and training managers. These notifications include courses due and accreditation requirements.

5. Superior employee learning/training experience. A well-run process helps keep your employees enthusiastic about talent development—supporting a culture of learning—while a poorly run process irritates and frustrates. 

6. Self-service learning empowers employees. As noted in
Deloitte’s 2016 Human Capital Trends report, employees increasingly want to take control of their own learning. A quality LMS includes self-service training that lets your employees develop skills that they believe will help them be successful.

A quality LMS is just one key part of successful talent development. For a comprehensive look, download our article “3 Steps To Achieve Talent Development That Drives Organizational Success.” 

 

5 Actions That Set Up Your Talent Development For Success

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Talent development is an intensive and complex process that is worthwhile, if performed effectively, because of the great results you can achieve— reduced turnover, improved productivity, improved succession planning, etc. 

To accomplish these goals, you need to set up your talent development for success. Otherwise you’re program likely will be saddled with confusion, frustration and a lack of focus. Below are five actions to take. 

1. Define the required competencies for each job (e.g. soft skills, technical skills, level of experience) through a benchmarking process.

This is critical for knowing which training materials to create and/or purchase, and to know which employees should be given which training. 

2. Acquire quality, thorough, and relevant training and learning materials.

Whether created internally or from a service provider (e.g. OpenSesame), the quality of your materials has a direct role on the quality of the training—and on the results you achieve. 

3. Use a quality learning management system (LMS) to help you organize the process.

An effective talent development program requires a smooth, efficient process. The process is complex enough that it’s virtually impossible to run well without the help of technology—a learning management system. A quality LMS allows HR, employees, supervisors and training managers to know the status of training activities that are relevant to them, so everyone knows what to do. For example, HR can see the status for all employees, individual employees can see their own status. 

4. Use assessments to identify the skills and competencies employees have, and areas that need improvement.

Assessments show employees’ strengths and weaknesses in key areas, making them great tools for determining the skill and competency areas individual employees need to develop. In other words, assessments help you guide employees’ training for maximum benefit of both the employees and your organization. 

5. Create specific, reasonable goals for talent development efforts.

While these can and should be adjusted over time, having goals gives you a measuring stick for determining if your results are satisfactory or not—and if significant adjustments are needed. 

As you move forward with your talent development program, it’s important to evaluate your results for each of these actions. Have you determined the right competencies for given jobs? Are you training and learning materials of high quality and aligned with job requirements? Is your LMS working for you? Are your assessments helping guide employees’ training? Are your goals reasonable, or should they be adjusted? 

The great thing is, if you get these five actions right, you’ll be on a path to success. Of course, there’s much more that goes into talent development. For a guide that details the keys for successful talent development, download our article “3 Steps To Achieve Talent Development That Drives Organizational Success.”

3 Business Imperatives for Successful Talent Development

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Surveys show that employers are increasing their training budgets in order to meet their talent needs. But money alone isn’t enough to achieve quality talent development results: increased employee retention, productivity and engagement, as well improved succession planning. 

In particular, as an employer, you must meet the three talent development imperatives listed below to get quality results. 

1. You must have significant organizational commitment

Succeeding at talent development requires more than acquiring the right tools and providing quality learning materials.  Many companies fail to create a culture of learning. The consequence is engagement in the talent development process is poor, and so are the outcomes. 

How do you create a culture of learning? Take concrete actions that demonstrate the great value your organization places in talent development. These include:

  • Make training and development for all employees
  • Recognize employees who learn new skills and improve their performance
  • Hire internally
  • Give employees input in the process, and offer and encourage self-learning

 2. You must have patience with training and learning

There’s no getting around it—talent development takes time, and must be ongoing. It’s easy for more immediate priorities to take precedence, and derail training and learning activities. Prevent this showing your organizational commitment, insisting that training development activities move forward.

3. You must effectively manage the training process

Employees, supervisors and training managers are all involved in training, and all need to be on the same page about the training process—the current status, next steps, etc. 

This can be terribly difficult for HR and training managers to manage. Management difficulties cause delays and confusion in the process that slow talent development efforts to a crawl, and cause frustration among all involved. These problems are common among organizations that are trying to manage training with paper or Excel. As a result, it’s critical to have the proper training management tools. 

Want to get better talent development results? Read our new article, “3 Steps To Achieve Talent Development That Drives Organizational Success.”

 

How Assessments help companies make smart hiring choices

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You might be surprised to learn that the country’s best salespeople hail from Iowa. Or that Oregon produces more CEOs than any other state. (We’d be surprised too, since we just made that up.) But what if you actually had predictive insight like that? What if you could screen applicants certain indicative elements, in order to better predict their success with your organization? Well the fact is, you can. Employee assessment tools enable you to use key data points and predictive analytics to refine and improve your recruiting efforts. And when assessment tools are an integrated component of your recruiting solution, the value of both becomes even greater. Let’s learn more.

Assessments help you hire the best

Employee assessments and predictive analytics is changing the way organizations search for, find and retain top talent. When applied to recruiting, these tools help to:

  • Screen out candidates lacking key skills
  • Identify top talent that demonstrate the competencies required the job
  • Provide further insight into key behavioral traits and motivators that individuals bring to the job
  • Identify benchmarks to invest in future recruitment efforts for certain skills

 

Assessments to help your team reach their potential

The value of employee assessments doesn’t end after the hire. You can continue to use various assessment tools to make smart investments in your team – helping every employee find and maximize their strengths. In fact, people who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged in their work and three times more likely to say they have an excellent quality of life. And we all  know how important employee engagement is.

When assessment tools are wisely used among your workforce, they help to: 

  • Increase motivation and team performance
  • Retain key members of staff
  • Develop cohesive leadership teams
  • Identify future leaders
  • Increase sales performance
  • Identify applicants’ strengths (and weaknesses) to better align future training

 

Integration leverages the power of assessments

Once you decide to embrace the value of employee assessment tools, you’ll need a place to securely store the data you’re collecting. That’s where the value of integration comes in. By integrating your recruiting/applicant tracking solution with your assessment solution, you have a single source for the insight and information about your applicants and your personnel. We currently partner with two employee assessment companies: Gallup and Predictive Insight, integrating their assessment tools into Cyber Recruiter, our recruiting/applicant tracking solution.

Integrating an applicant tracking solution like Cyber Recruiter with an employee assessment tool provides a streamlined assessment process, making the results of those assessments more functional, through the ability to: 

  • Directly take applicants to an assessment survey after they complete an online application
  • Email a link to the assessment survey to applicants as desired
  • View and share the results of the assessment survey from within Cyber Recruiter

We’d be pleased to share our experience with employee assessment integration. Contact us to start the conversation. For more helpful hiring insights, read our new article – Best Practices Guide – 4 Key Steps to Successful Talent Acquisition

 

 4 Key Steps to Successful  Talent Acquisition

 

How Talent Development Stands Apart From Other Retention Strategies

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More than two-thirds of HR professionals are struggling to recruit candidates for full-time positions, SHRM’s 2016 report “The New Talent Landscape” found. One clear takeaway: retaining employees is critical for meeting your talent needs.  

There are many employee retention strategies out there, but most come with significant drawbacks for employers and provide little or no extra rewards. Take increasing salaries. To impact retention rates at a significant level, you’d need to push up salaries significantly too. This would come at a tremendous financial cost, and the higher salaries wouldn’t do anything to help your employees do their jobs better.

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Source: Randstad 2015 Employer Branding Survey

Talent development, however, is an exception. While there are associated costs such as training materials and staff, in addition to to providing a big retention boost (a lack of career opportunities is the No. 1 reason employees say they leave an organization), it gives employers several other rewards. A few include:

  • Improved employee productivity—employees learn skills that help them with their jobs.
  • Improved employee engagement—employees are less likely to feel they are in a rut, or in a dead-end job.
  • Improved succession planning—employees are trained in skills that prepare them to succeed at managerial and executive roles (3.6 million baboomers are expected to retire this year alone.) 

It’s no wonder that many companies make talent development a high priority: it makes sense for them and their employees crave it. According to the SHRM survey, 69% of HR professionals said that their organizations had training budgets last year, and 89% reported that their training budgets stayed the same (50%) or increased (39%). 

All this said, like most valuable strategies, talent development isn’t easy. Training is a long, complicated process that can be difficult for HR to manage, and it requires significant organizational commitment. 

But many employers make talent development much more difficult than it needs to be. To learn a common-sense method that will help you succeed at talent development—benefiting your organization and your employees—read our new article, “3 Steps To Achieve Talent Development That Drives Organizational Success.”

 

Renewed Focus in Canadian Market

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Over the past several months we have witnessed a substantial increase in the number of partner opportunities coming from the Canadian market. This heightened level of activity has brought about a great deal of excitement and renewed interest, prompting us to intensify our focus and align dedicated resources to help our Canadian Sage partner community continue to grow. This really comes as no surprise, as we have seen a major upswing in the number of recruiting and training management deals across other regions in North America. These opportunities are being uncovered because of an increased need for recruiting (Cyber Recruiter) and training management (Cyber Train) technology solutions that simplify and eliminate the ongoing inefficiencies plaguing talent management processes across organizations of all industries and sizes.

Several of our partners in Canada have recognized and embraced this as a prime opportunity to deliver huge value to existing clients and prospects. They are approaching leaders and knowledge workers in Human Resources to discuss challenges they are facing related to managing the recruiting and training process. Our more proactive partners no longer see these processes as an afterthought or add-on sales opportunity. Due to the significant growth potential that exists, these partners are intensely focused on leading with Cyber Recruiter and Cyber Train as part of their solution portfolio, which are Sage HRMS Endorsed solutions.

Don’t worry if recruiting and training management has not been a primary focus, as there are an abundance of opportunities in the Canadian marketplace to go after! We need more proactive partners asking questions early in their conversations with customers and prospects to identify and uncover these needs. The good thing is you are not alone in this. We have dedicated resources here at Visibility Software and of course through Sage to help.

In fact, Deana Dearry of Sage North America and her team regularly champion Visibility Software, and has been a great asset to have on our side. 

“Knowing I can rely on the Visibility team to swoop in and empower us with their high-level of expertise and  “can do” spirit is such a great asset for our customers and partners – especially since so many of us just aren’t that familiar with all the intricacies of Recruiting/Applicant Tracking and Learning Management! It’s a relief to know when our customers ask the questions, we’ll seem like experts with all the answers thanks to Mary Sue and her colleagues”, said Deana.

Mary Sue McClintock plays a very active role in managing the Canadian territory here at Visibility Software, and prides herself in developing relationships and helping her business partners succeed. As a dedicated resource, Mary Sue helps partners build out an active strategy plan, and is available to help train on how to ask the proper questions that will uncover needs, assist in responding to RFPs, provide product demos, and help you leverage our many marketing resources (whitepapers, email content, product overview collateral, infographics, videos, blog articles).  One partner example, Amanda Scott from The Answer Company, involves Mary Sue on just about every step of a new deal from registering the opportunity and all the stages in-between right through close.

We are excited to about the intensive renewed activity in the Canadian market, and are very excited for the many opportunities to come.  If you need additional information on how Cyber Recruiter and Cyber Train are solving recruiting and training management challenges, don’t hesitate to connect with Mary Sue (click here to send her a message). She is ready to support you and your team with everything you need to provide solutions for your customers, close more deals and generate more revenue. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Taking Employee Training to the Next Level

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The Real Value of an Employee Development and Training Solution

Many organizations that we speak with tell us that while they understand the value of employee training and development, they aren’t certain they need a formal learning management program to deliver, track and manage that training. Many of these organizations track the training they do provide in spreadsheets or even with paper files. While we can agree that any approach is better than no approach, learning management programs are ideal candidates for automation. There are big benefits to be realized from standardizing processes and automating the workflow surrounding employee training, and here we take a look at just a few of those benefits. 

Aids retention

Studies tell us that 40 percent of employees who receive poor job training leave their positions within the first year, citing the lack of skills training and development as the principal reason for moving on. Employee development and training programs help employees feel invested in their jobs and in their organizations. A well-established program ensures that employees continue to feel motivated to advance their own careers within the company, as well as to advance the company’s mission, rather than turning elsewhere for new opportunities. 

Attracts job seekers

An organization that has a standardized employee development plan reassures job seekers that the company is invested in their long-term success and advancement within the organization. Applicants are less likely to invest themselves in a company that doesn’t show the same commitment in return. A recent Bersin study noted, “Companies with career management programs are better able to attract and retain top talent, leading to higher employee engagement and, in turn, a positive impact on the bottom line.” 

Automates manual processes

If your training requirements are modest, it may be tempting to continue to use the collection of spreadsheets to track course offerings, registrations and certification renewals, but deploying a smart learning management solution, you can dramatically reduce the overhead involved, saving money and driving efficiency. From automatic reminders to employees and their supervisors, to enrollment tracking and training reimbursement request handling, through an automated approval workflow, a dedicated learning management solution can generate a rapid and significant return on investment.   

Promotes consistency

With formalized training, you can be certain that vital functions and tasks are taught in a consistent, precise manner, ensuring that all employees receive the same information. You can of course develop your own training in house, but most organizations rely at least in part, on professionally-produced training courses. Depending upon the specific training provided, the value of such consistency may vary from improved productivity to reduced liability for the company. 

Streamlines compliance

From sexual harassment awareness training, OSHA-mandated safety training, through business ethics – it’s not just that proper training is the right thing to do, training protects your company from potentially devastating law suits and fines. A learning management solution helps ensure employees (and you as the employer) are in compliance with job requirements and the law. The software can track certification expirations, courses due, and notifications and accreditation requirements, helping maintain strict compliance and protecting both you and your employees. 

It makes financial sense

Increased revenue is a common goal across many organizations, and investing in employee training to support that goal makes financial sense. For example: 

  • The Cheesecake Factory invests an average of $2000 annually per employee on training. The chain enjoys sales of $1000 per square foot, almost double the restaurant industry average. 
  • Payroll provider ADP coaches some sales associates on managing virtual teams and time management. Those that participate had an average of seven percent growth in sales. 
  • Motorola has found that every dollar invested on training can yield as much as a 30 percent gain in productivity within three years, which has helped them cut costs $3 billion and increase profits 47 percent. 

For more in-depth tips on taking employee learning and development to the next level, check out our Best Practices Guide – 3 Steps to Achieve Talent Development that Drives Organizational Success