11 Office Tasks You Need to Automate

automation

We all have tasks at work that we don’t want to do. Sometimes we can bribe our co-workers with burritos to do them for us, and other times we have to suck it up and get on with things. But, for some things, there is a third option. You can always automate them.

Failing to automate repetitive tasks can cost businesses as much as $13,000 per year per employee. That’s a whole lot of burritos.

Automating repetitive tasks, meanwhile, makes for happier employees and less workplace stress.

Here’s a look at some of the office tasks you can automate.

Organizing meetings

Meetings can be huge time sinks. It doesn’t take much to go off on a tangent that turns a ten-minute meeting into an hour-long one. While I can’t offer any advice on how to stop this from happening, I can offer you some advice on how to speed up the organizing of the meeting.

Coordinating schedules can be a huge hassle. When it’s done using calendar sync, that hassle is taken away. The process is quick and seamless. Everything from booking to cancelling to rescheduling meetings can be done instantly. Everyone gets notified as soon as any changes occur. If your HR software uses Smart Invites, even external attendees can be notified of any changes.

Software can even be set up so that bookable rooms and resources can be reserved for your required meeting, and you can organize meetings around the availability of the equipment that you need. Now that’s a time-saver.

Sending meeting reminders

When a meeting is booked weeks or even months in advance, it’s easy to forget about it. That’s why adding appointments to your calendar is so important. It prevents double-bookings and means you have all your appointments in one place. Setting up meeting reminders means that you won’t be late even if there’s traffic – calendar services such as Apple Calendar can factor in traffic when sending you time to leave notifications.

Booking paid time off

Everyone loves time off. Booking it should be a seamless process. It should also be easy for staff who have time off to notify their colleagues about when they’re out of the office. Syncing paid time off management software to employees’ calendars allows managers to cross-reference who’s off and when. This helps them to make more informed decisions and ensure that there’s always someone around should there need to be.

Reporting

Reporting can be a tedious part of any job. Automating data entry makes it a faster and less tedious process.

Excel macros, for example, can save employees from needing to enter the same information hundreds or even thousands of times.

Replenishing supplies

From stationery to ink cartridges, offices get through a lot of equipment. Getting hold of suppliers to reorder equipment can mean sitting on the phone twiddling your thumbs while you sit on hold. With modern technology you shouldn’t need to do this. Printers can connect to suppliers and automatically order new equipment when ink or toner is close to running out. Other supplies, such as pens and notebooks, can be set up as a subscription so that there’s always a fresh supply around the office.

Hiring contractors

From a broken toilet to a leaky roof, there’s always a need for contractors. The fastest way to find one is online. When contractors connect their calendars to a booking software, businesses can book someone in seconds. This appointment can then be added to the contractors’ calendar automatically.

Paying bills

Paying bills is necessary for any business. When it’s automated, not only do you not need to worry about it, but you can assure your suppliers that payment will come out on a particular date. This gives both you and them peace of mind.

Signatures

Signatures are difficult online. When you’re responsible for a large team or company, it can feel like you’re always signing this or that. If you need to email a contract to someone, you have to print the paperwork out, sign it, scan it back in, then email it across. This process isn’t necessary any more, though. Some programs now allow you to generate an e-signature that allows you to sign something electronically. You get to save some trees and it’s minimum effort. Perfect.

Email responses

Automated email responses can be used for many things. They’re handy to notify customers that you’re not ignoring your emails, you’re just topping up your tan in Cyprus; they can confirm that a customer has filled in a form on your website or signed up to your mailing list, or they can acknowledge a customer query about a particular topic.

Customers appreciate that you’ve acknowledged their email – even if it’s an auto-response – and you can reply to their email properly when you have the relevant information to share with them, or you’ve finished topping up your tan.

Collecting customer information

It’s important to keep an up-to-date record of your customers’ details. It’s also important for a customer to not feel like they have to repeat the same information each time they speak to a different department. That’s why CRMs are so useful – every team member has access to the latest customer information. They can also track the last time a customer was spoken to or contacted, and all of the previous points of contact you’ve had with the customer in question.

Filtering candidates

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) allow you to automate parts of the hiring process to make it easier, faster, and better-organized. One of the key ways an ATS can do this is by filtering candidates based on the requirements for the role. The ATS can be set up to search for keywords or phrases in a candidate’s CV, then filter out anyone that doesn’t match the criteria. The hiring manager then has a smaller pool of applicants to shortlist for interview.

Conclusion

These are just some of the office tasks you can automate to make your average day easier and more productive.

While many of the office tasks that can be automated are often simple, they also tend to be repetitive and boring. Getting rid of them – or in the very least making them easier – makes for happier employees.

Saving just a few minutes every day adds up over the course of a year. This makes a huge difference to an employees’ productivity, and therefore the business’s yearly outcome, too.

What office tasks do you automate, and what difference has it made to your work life? Let us know on Twitter!


Source: 11 Office Tasks You Need to Automate | The Cronofy Blog

About Cronofy

Cronofy helps HR software providers to connect their software to their users’ calendars. To find out more, book your demo today.

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9 Ways Calendar Connectivity Saves Employees Time

We’re big fans of finding ways to help you save time. That’s why we’ve combined some of our customer success stories and case studies to create a fictional account of the different ways employees can save time using calendar sync.

In it, our protagonist discusses the different ways her company uses calendar sync, and the ways in which it’s saved her and her colleagues time. She also breaks down how much time they save in an average day, week, or month, just by adopting calendar sync. It’s a great example of how micro-moments can add up to make a big difference.

calendar-connectivity-day-life9am: Check schedule for the day
I get to the office, make a cup of tea, and sit down at my desk. Once my computer is booted up, I check my schedule for the day and find that Barry has added me to a meeting this afternoon. We’ve got a leak in the ceiling and need to discuss our options to get it fixed ASAP. Barry gets in about 7:30am, so he’s around to pick up on things when it’s quiet. It’s useful to him that he can still schedule meetings with us even when we’re not around as it means he can organize everything while it’s fresh in his mind.

Time saved: Me, 5 minutes; Barry, 5 minutes

9:30am: Meet new employee
We’ve just had a new employee join our department, and she’s the first one to be calendar connected from the get-go. Our HR software scheduled meetings in with everyone on our team so that she can meet us and ask us any questions. She didn’t need to do any of the work, and it was minimal effort for the rest of us too.

Time saved: Me, 5 minutes; new employee, at least half an hour

10am: Team catch up
We have a monthly team catch up to find out what everyone’s been working on and to try and solve any problems. There’s 10 of us, so scheduling that can be a nightmare. When we got our new calendar synced software, I set up a recurring meeting at a time that works for everyone. The software even found an available meeting room and has reserved it indefinitely at 10am once a month. That means I don’t need to hunt around for a meeting room each month, and nobody risks getting double-booked.

Time saved: 15 minutes

11am: Leaky ceiling meeting
Met with Barry about the leak. He wants me to find someone to come look at it. Instead of consulting search engines or the phonebook like I usually do, I used our new booking software to find someone who can come out today. I clicked the top search result, typed in our problem, and hit submit. The software pushed our request to his calendar straight away. He received a notification about the job with all the information he needed.

Time saved: Me, 30 minutes; handyman, 5 minutes

11:30am: Book Christmas vacation
I’ve decided I want to spend Christmas at home eating cake and watching bad TV. I open my calendar and use my leftover vacation days for the Christmas holidays. My request is then pushed to my line manager to accept or decline. He can even see who else has booked the time off from his calendar to help him make a better-informed decision.

Time saved: 5 minutes

12pm: Lunchtime
Being calendar synced, I can block out times when I don’t want meetings organized for. Like lunchtime, when I like to go for a walk, have something to eat, or read a book.

1pm: Automate scheduling of yearly appraisals
It’s the end of the year, so time to start organizing yearly appraisals. I’m in charge of that, and it used to take forever because there are so many people in the company. Our new calendar sync software makes it so much easier. All I need to do is enter who needs to attend, then it works out a mutually convenient time when a meeting room is also available. The appraisals are then automatically added to the calendars of everyone involved.

Time saved: An hour

2pm: Organize training session
I want to set up a training session about stress awareness. We’ve had the session before and it proved popular, so I’m using the same speaker again. The employees that want to attend are in a list I’ve already curated, so I put their names into the booking system, along with the name of the speaker. The software suggests January 10 as a date when everyone is free, there’s a big enough meeting room available, and there’s a screen they can use. Perfect. I accept the meeting. It’s automatically pushed to the calendars of the employees, the speaker, the meeting room, and the screen. That ensures that there are no overlaps or double-bookings.

Time saved: 30 minutes

2:30pm: Exit interview scheduling
One of our team members is leaving us in a couple of weeks, so I want to arrange an exit interview with her to find out more about why she’s leaving. She’s calendar synced, so I can just enter our names into the HR software and it will work out the rest for us. Next Friday at 2pm is perfect. Minimal effort for me, no effort at all for her.

Time saved: Me, 5 minutes; her, also 5 minutes

3pm: Virtual meeting with New York office
Some of our team are based in our New York offices. It makes a huge difference to be able to have a virtual meeting once a week. Even though we don’t see each other very often, we still get to know one another and we know that our weekly meetings won’t clash with any other appointments. Our software also factors in time differences, so it doesn’t matter which part of the world people conference in from.

Time saved: 5 minutes for everyone

3:30pm: Handyman arrives
The handyman has come to look into the leak. Apparently there’s a hole in the roof. The one thing calendar connectivity can’t fix…

5pm: Home time
Time to go home and watch Stranger Things 2.

Total time saved thanks to calendar sync: Me, 2 hours 40 minutes; other people, 50 minutes

It still amazes me how much time I save each day just from using calendar sync. In some cases it may only be a few minutes here or there, but those minutes add up and can make a huge difference. Saving five minutes a day organizing meetings results in a 25-minute saving each week, or a 100-minute saving each month! I could do so much with that extra time. But it doesn’t just affect me, it affects my co-workers, too. There’s 10 of us, so we save at least 50 minutes a day by using calendar sync. In a week, we save a whole working day between us! I’m really pleased we made invested in calendar sync.

How much time will you save?

Continue reading “9 Ways Calendar Connectivity Saves Employees Time”

Cronofy Interview Scheduling Survey Results 2017

interview-scheduling-survey

We recently polled 33 HR professionals to find out more about their interview scheduling experiences, and to understand how calendar sync can help them save time and acquire talent faster. They range from HR managers to internal and external recruiters; some work for SMEs, while others work for large organizations.

We were surprised to discover that many of the main issues our respondents faced were the same whether they worked for a small or large company. From conflicting appointments to waiting to hear back from someone, there are just some issues that are universal.

Key findings

  • 60% of companies take over 1 month to hire a candidate to fill a vacancy
  • 56% of recruiters spend more than a full working day scheduling interviews for a vacancy
  • 61% of respondents said interviews regularly clash with other commitments

Time to hire

The average time to hire varied greatly. One person said that their time to hire is less than a week (nicely done – what’s your secret?), 36% said it takes them 2-4 weeks, and a further 36% said that it takes them 1-2 months. 24% said that it takes them more than two months to hire.

It took larger organizations a little longer to hire than SMEs, which is to be expected. Bigger companies usually have more people involved in the recruitment process and this can translate into more interviews.

However, there were some SMEs that took over two months to hire for a new role, too. This is a reflection of how important it is for smaller companies to find the right fit. When you have a small team, one person can make a huge difference.

The longer a company takes to hire, the more likely the best candidates are to go to a competitor or to pull out because the process is taking too long. When a business doesn’t hire the best talent, it can slow its growth, too.

A drawn out hiring process can make a company look disorganized and impact the employer’s brand. The faster and more straightforward your hiring process is, the more attractive you are to new hires and the stronger your employer brand will be. If you have a positive candidate experience, even unsuccessful candidates may share their experiences on sites like Glassdoor.

Interview scheduling

When it came to the average time to schedule interviews, the difference between answers was even more pronounced.

The fastest time to schedule interviews was 1-2 hours, with 22% of people saying that’s how long it took them. 19% said it took them 2-6 hours, and 25% said it took between 6-10 hours, which is a full working day!

A further 25% said it took them a whole two days to schedule interviews.

It doesn’t stop there, either.

6% of people said it took them a week to schedule interviews, and one person said it took them over two weeks to get everyone’s schedules synced! Two weeks to schedule interviews! Just think what you could achieve with all that time if you weren’t constantly chasing people.

Calendar sync helps to speed up this process by letting candidates book their interview in their own time. An interview panel can block out times when they are available to meet candidates, and candidates can then choose from the list in their own time. Once a candidate has chosen a time, it’s removed from the list of options offered to other candidates to prevent any double-bookings. The interview panel’s calendars are then updated with the new interview, and candidates can add the booking to their own calendar, too.

Commitment clashes

One thing we didn’t expect was the number of people that said that interviews often clash with other events or commitments. 60% said that this happens on a regular basis.

This is why so many businesses are now embracing calendar sync. Calendar sync ensures that when you schedule an interview, it won’t clash with another calendar appointment, either in your calendar or in your colleagues’ schedules. Everyone’s real-time availability is visible from the start so that you know when everyone is available for interview.

Candidate no-shows

72% said that it was uncommon for candidates to not show up for an interview. 21% said that candidates sometimes don’t show up, and 6% said that it’s a regular occurrence.

This shows that – most of the time – recruiters are great at filtering CVs and finding candidates who are not only qualified, but also genuinely interested in, the role they applied for.

However, if 25% of recruiters have experienced a no-show, that’s something that also need to be addressed. Real-time calendar sync allows businesses to be notified when calendar invites are accepted, deleted, or moved. This can be integrated into workflows to prevent miscommunications. For example, if a candidate doesn’t accept a calendar invite, an email or text can be sent automatically to confirm their availability.

Other scheduling issues

We also asked if there were any other interview scheduling issues you faced. There were many. Listed below are the three most common. Other issues highlighted include trying to fit interviews in around office hours when candidates request an early/late interview, and finding alternative start dates when a candidate is on holiday.

Time zone conflicts

The issue that came up the most was factoring in multiple time zones when scheduling interviews. This can be difficult when hiring a new team overseas, especially if not all of the members of the interview panel are based in the same time zone. More and more interviews can be conducted remotely, but if the booking system doesn’t account for time zones it can turn a simple process into a complicated one fast.

Calendar sync through a Calendar API ensures that the booking system will be able to detect or specify the time zones the invites are sent from, meaning that nobody gets an interview scheduled for three o’clock in the morning.

Last-minute changes

Another issue was frequent or last-minute changes, either on the part of the candidate or the interview panel. This can cause huge inconveniences for everyone involved. It can result in delays, causing a longer time to hire. It’s frustrating for candidates who’ve booked paid time off to go to their interview, and it’s frustrating for interview panel members because it increases the cost of hiring and means the company has a vacancy for longer.

We can’t predict emergencies that get in the way, but some scheduling conflicts we’re aware of in advance. Using calendar sync to connect your booking software or Applicant Tracking Systems to internal and external calendars becomes really useful in this situation. Candidates can be notified of changes in real-time and reschedule their interviews without having to call or start another email chain. Their previous interview slot can then be re-opened for other interviews or appointments.

Meeting rooms and resources

Getting the right meeting room in a busy building can require as much coordinating as the interview itself.

When you interview a candidate, the right meeting room is crucial. After all, a candidate interviews the company as much as you interview them. A poor experience puts them off and means you could lose out on your favorite candidate. A clean, modern, spacious meeting room, meanwhile, suggests a modern, welcoming working environment that any candidate would be lucky to be a part of.

Things are even more complicated if candidates are required to do a presentation as part of their interview. How can you guarantee a room with a screen will be available, or that there’ll be an external screen available as an alternative?

In a busy office building, if you don’t reserve a room in advance, you could end up with a candidate and nowhere to interview them. Creating calendars for your bookable rooms and resources makes it easier than ever for hiring managers to coordinate everyone and everything required for an interview.

Conclusion

Some of these are small – and seemingly simple – tasks, but when you put them together they create big problems. Each task needs to be completed for each interview, meaning that hiring managers can waste hours coordinating everyone and everything. It’s a huge time sink, and it’s impractical.

Calendar sync can solve all these problems and more. In the twenty first century, there’s really no good reason why interviews should clash with other events, or why you should struggle to find the right meeting room and equipment when you need it.

Get a full breakdown of the results here.


Source: Interview Scheduling Survey 2017 | Cronofy Calendar API

About Cronofy

Cronofy connects HR software to users’ calendars via a unified calendar API.

To discover how calendar sync can save you and your users time and money, and help to hire the best candidates, watch our Real-Time Scheduling video.

Creating the right learning environment for your employees is imperative. Here's how you can do just that.

How to Create a Better Learning Environment for Your Employees

Encouraging employees to always be developing their skills is good for their mood, career development, and even team bonding.

When you offer employees the chance to learn and grow, it shows that you value them. This makes them more effective in their role – both because they’re expanding their skills and because they don’t feel like just another cog in the machine – and therefore makes your business more successful, too.

From attending conferences online to making classes more interactive, technology makes staff training easier than ever. Here are just some of the ways technology helps you to create a better learning environment for your employees.

Make training part of company culture

Training should be seen as a key part of company culture. It’s only when employees are supported and guided in their growth strategies that they can really excel.

However, it can be difficult to for employees to find the time to work on their skills around their busy schedules. Automating certain tasks, such as speeding up data entry using Excel macros, gives them more time to spend on expanding their skills.

Other repetitive tasks, such as organizing meetings, can also be automated by adopting features such as calendar sync. When a team’s calendars are connected to a booking software, the meeting organizer can select the meeting attendees, then leave the software to work out the rest. It can even work out the most suitable meeting room and schedule the meeting around the availability of that room.

Give employees easy access to the training resources they need

Employees need the right equipment for their training session so that they can get the most out of it. This could involve laptops, projectors, screens, or even parking spaces.

In a large organization the availability of these resources can’t always be guaranteed. Connecting the calendars of these resources to a booking software allows them to be reserved in advance. Training sessions can even be scheduled based on the availability of the necessary resources.

The schedules of guest speakers can also be connected to your booking software, meaning that you can book a training session based around both their schedule and the schedules of everyone that needs to attend. Nobody needs to miss out because they’re on vacation or at another training event.

It’s not always necessary to attend training events in person anymore, though.

Many conferences now offer e-tickets, which allows employees to attend without the extra expenses of travel or hotel stays. This saves your business money while employees still get to develop their skills.

E-tickets often come with the chance to rewatch lectures after the conference is over, which can also be a valuable resource. It also means employees can watch talks at a time that is most convenient for them and don’t have to miss out on anything because of time differences.

Make learning more engaging

We’ve all had to sit in a cold, dank room surrounded by colleagues while someone talks at us all day. Sometimes what can be explained in an hour is dragged out into an all-day event to justify guest speakers or room rental.

This isn’t an effective, fun, or engaging training method.

When employees can use technology, learning instantly becomes more engaging. Training modules can be turned into games; meetings can be simulated or even attended in VR, and employees can get their questions answered instantaneously by a chatbot.

Chatbots can help employees both inside and outside of a training room – should a new hire have any questions, for example, they can ask the chatbot and get an answer straight away. This means they don’t have to disturb their colleagues to get answers, and they don’t have to wait around for their colleagues to be free, either. Your latest hire can get to grips with things and start helping the team faster.

In-house training can also be made more interactive with the use of virtual reality. Virtual reality can be particularly useful for dangerous jobs where on-the-job training isn’t always possible, but where it’s important for employees to develop their skills before completing their tasks for real.

It can also be beneficial for training sales teams or telemarketers in how to deal with difficult customers, or to teach pilots how to fly before they go up in the air.

Virtual reality can also benefit remote-working employees as they can feel just as much of a part of team meetings as those who are there in person. They can also be more immersed in client meetings.

Growth is important for people and businesses

Retaining highly skilled employees is one of the most difficult tasks that a business faces. Finding a way to keep them is important if your business is to grow, though.

One of the ways in which businesses can help to attract and retain the best employees is by offering them the opportunity to constantly learn and expand their knowledge. The most successful people are always learning new things, so it makes sense that these people, in turn, help to build a successful company.

Investing in employees’ skills is a win-win situation, it prevents staff from going to the competition and helps to build a business’s employer brand. The more advanced and interesting the development package, the more attractive it is to employees. One of the ways employers can make this attractive to employees is to invest in the right technology for the job. The better the technology available to employees, the more control they have over their schedule and the faster they can develop their skills.


Source: How to Create a Better Learning Environment for Your Employees | Cronofy Calendar API

About the Author

Kristina is a writer, digital marketer, and social media addict. She spends her days working as a content marketer for Cronofy, and her nights writing novels.

About Cronofy

Cronofy connects HR software to users’ calendars via a unified calendar API.

To discover how calendar sync can save you and your users time and money, and help to hire the best candidates, watch our Real-Time Scheduling video.

How Technology Can Help to Prevent Workplace Stress

We spend over eight hours a day, five days a week at work.

Some of us may even spend more of our waking hours with our colleagues than our families.

It’s therefore important that our working lives leave us happy and fulfilled.

Sadly, studies show that one in four of us will suffer from a mental health condition in our lifetime.

Spending so much of our waking time at work, it’s inevitable that work will affect our mental health.

Too much pressure or long-term stress can cause employees to burn out, leaving them with less energy to function in and out of work.

Too little work – or a lack of stimulation – can also lead to stress. Employees feel under-fulfilled, like they’re wasting their time, and want to be anywhere but at work.

The more stressed employees are, the less work they get done, and the more businesses suffer.

Embracing technological innovations puts employees back in control of how they spend their time at work and greatly reduces the risks of stress and burnout.

Here are four ways technology can make employees feel more fulfilled, and help to prevent workplace stress.

Organize and coordinate schedules

Trying to find a time when a team can meet to discuss something important can often take as long – sometimes even longer – than the meeting itself.

If it’s an important or last-minute meeting, trying to get everyone together can cause employees huge amounts of stress.

There’s always a risk of someone being double-booked because they didn’t check their calendar before agreeing to a suggested time.

This then causes more stress because the meeting needs to be rescheduled.

Calendar connectivity means that this process can be automated, preventing double-bookings and avoiding any stress the process could cause.

Instead of long email chains or back-and-forth phone calls, the person organizing the meeting can tell the software whom they need in the meeting. It can then suggest a list of times when everyone is free to meet. If calendars are set up for bookable resources such as meeting rooms or parking spaces, it can incorporate this into its calculations too.

Connecting an employees’ calendar to HR software also means that they don’t need to switch between applications to keep track of their schedules.

Speed up and streamline complicated processes

On the surface, organizing interviews seems like an easy process, but with so many candidates and interview panellists to coordinate, it quickly becomes laborious.

Hiring managers can spend as many as 20 hours a month organizing interviews.

Automating this process gives hiring managers more time to spend on other tasks, saves interview panellists from having to constantly flit between their calendar and emails, and allows candidates to book their interviews discreetly.

Another process that can be automated is the organization of staff appraisals. In large organizations, this process can be particularly time-consuming.

However, when employees are calendar connected, software can work out the best times for an employee to meet their manager and automatically add the appointments to their calendar. No matter what size their team is, the process is instant.

Offering training programs for employees to expand their skills further breaks up the tedium of the daily routine.

Training programs don’t just have to take place at work, either.

There are thousands of online courses out there, and many of them are free.

Many industries also have their own courses or week-long events that employees can attend to network and get a change of scenery.

Giving employees new ways to learn and grow helps to spark new ideas that they can bring back to the workplace.

Learning new skills is also an effective way to prevent stagnation and keep employees interested in their work.

Monitor employee wellbeing

Looking after employees is a key part of HR.

New technology means HR teams can track how employees feel and gain an insight into how different teams work.

They can also encourage employees to get up and get moving by offering incentives such as fitness trackers.

Communication tools such as Slack give employees the opportunity to keep in touch whether they work in the same building or different parts of the country.

Tools like this can be key for managers and HR staff to keep informed of how employees are getting along, particularly if they work remotely full- or part-time.

Let employees take control of their schedules

The more things a person has floating around in their mind, the more difficult it is for them to organize their thoughts.

When employees have a lot to do and nowhere to organize their time, it’s inevitable that something will be forgotten.

Taking advantage of technology allows them to use it for everything from creating to-do lists in Trello to tracking customer queries in Zendesk.

Giving employees somewhere they can make a note of everything they have to do means that they spend less time trying to remember everything and more time getting things done.

The technology you provide for your employees matters

Richard Branson once said that if you “look after your staff. They’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.”

When employees feel overwhelmed or overworked, they’re less productive and less able to help a business to grow.

Employees are what make a business a success.

Choosing the right people is crucial, but that’s only part of it.

If you don’t look after them, they won’t be as good to your business as they could be.

By nurturing employees, making them feel appreciated, and giving them opportunities to learn and grow, it not only benefits them, but the business, too.

The more knowledge employees acquire in their industry, the more they can use this to create a better customer experience and increase company revenue.

This then means the company can grow and increase its profits faster.

Everyone wins.


Source: How Technology Can Help to Prevent Workplace Stress | Cronofy Calendar API

About Cronofy

Cronofy connects HR software to users’ calendars via a unified calendar API.

To discover how calendar sync can save you and your users time and money, and help to hire the best candidates, watch our Real-Time Scheduling video.

Brand Lightbulb

How to Build a Strong Employer Brand Image

Employer Brand

There are many benefits to having a strong employer brand. It can decrease the cost per hire by 43%, and even decrease the likelihood that new hires will leave their new company within the first six months by 40%.

75% of job seekers say that an employer’s brand is a deciding factor when applying for a job. That’s 3 out of 4 qualified candidates that you could be missing out on because of a poor employer brand.

You could even be affecting your stock prices by up to 36%.

We looked at the impact of a negative employer brand in a recent post, but if you’re just starting out – or are changing direction – how do you build a strong employer brand?

Create a positive candidate experience

Creating a positive experience for candidates, whether they’re successful or not, improves your brand image and makes people more likely to reapply for future roles.

Creating a negative experience for candidates makes your company seem less welcoming to work for and could put off prospective candidates.

The easier and more open you make the application process, the happier candidates are likely to be. They may even advocate for you even if they’re unsuccessful!

If you create a negative experience, you may lose customers, as Virgin Media did in 2014. Thanks to a poor hiring process, they lost 7,500 customers.

More and more candidates and employees are leaving reviews on sites such as Glassdoor. Like it or not, these reviews have a significant impact on your employer brand.

As many as 52% of job applicants research a company on Glassdoor before applying for a role. If they don’t like what they see, that’s 52% of potential candidates you could miss out on.

Positive Candidate Experience

Give your employees more reasons to stay

Richard Branson once said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” He went on to say: “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers.”

When employees feel welcome and appreciated, they’re more productive and more likely to stick around.

One of the best ways to foster employee loyalty is to keep employees engaged. Allowing them control over their schedules, automating dull tasks and offering staff training are just some of the ways this can be done.

Offering employees perks such as flexitime, being able to work from home, or even discounted gym memberships all help to make employees feel valued. They will, in turn, be more likely to promote the company’s culture to their social circles.

This organic promotion of the company can yield great dividends. Discovering how well a company looks after their employees may make friends and family members more likely to consume their products but also more interested in working there.

According to StackOverflow 2017 Developer Survey, 27.8% of employed software developers found their current position through a friend, family member or former colleague. Given how expensive and time-consuming it can be to find developers this is a key growth factor.

Dog Loyalty

Be engaged and engaging on social media

Social media is a ubiquitous part of twenty first century life whether we like it or not.

I don’t know about you, but the first time I hear about a company, I search for them on Facebook and Twitter, before even visiting their website. And that’s just to find information about their services not because I want to work there.

According to CareerArc, job applicants use the same tools when researching a prospective employer – 62% of candidates research a company on social media ‘to evaluate an employer’s brand‘.

Not having a social media presence takes away an opportunity to display your business’ culture and identity. For example, you could use your company Twitter account to share your teams’ accomplishments and deal with customer queries.

Being active on social media helps promote a positive company image to both consumers and potential hires. Be friendly, inclusive and helpful – somewhere a twenty-first century candidate will want to work at.

Social Media Employer Brand

Building up your employer brand with Calendar Sync

Creating an engaged and informed candidate experience benefits your company in both the long and short term. It helps to attract and keep the best talent, as well as improving the likelihood that unsuccessful candidates will reapply in the future.

When employees are engaged, they feel valued and are more likely to speak positively about your brand. Whether positive comments are shared online or offline, they help to improve your employer brand and in turn attract the best talent that will help your company grow.


Source: How to build a strong employer brand | The Cronofy Blog

About Cronofy

Cronofy connects HR software to users’ calendars via a unified calendar API.

To discover how calendar sync can save you and your users time and money, and help to hire the best candidates, watch our Real-Time Scheduling video.

Whatever you do do It with all your heart

How to Improve the Candidate Experience

Whatever you do do it with all your heart

Picture the scene: you’ve just started hiring for a new role and have received more applications than you can answer in a week. There’s hundreds of CVs to read, sort through, and shortlist, then you need to contact everyone and let them know if they’ve been successful. How do you find the time to do everything?

Chances are, you won’t.

Most companies only respond to candidates that have progressed to the next stage of the hiring process. Everyone else stays in the dark. Eventually, they’ll just have to assume they were unsuccessful.

Good communication between companies and candidates is imperative. Even if candidates don’t go on to become an employee, keeping them engaged and informed is crucial to creating a positive experience and building a strong employer brand. If the application process is complicated or opaque, candidates are less likely to apply for future positions and will share their negative experience with their social circles. This may, in turn, negatively affect the company’s brand image, as well as their image as an employer.

According to a study sponsored by ZenDesk, there’s a 95% chance that customers will share a negative experience with their social circle.

Candidate Experience. Chatting.

Many of these candidates could go on to become customers, or may already be customers. A negative experience could put them off your company or product.

In 2014, 18% of Virgin Media job applicants subscribed to their services. However, after experiencing a poor hiring process, 7,500 of those applicants cancelled their subscriptions and went to a competitor. The company lost out on £4.4m in revenue.

A complicated application process, not responding to unsuccessful candidates, and a long-winded hiring process are just some of the things that can lead to a negative candidate experience.

While it’s important to find the right candidate for a job, it’s also worth remembering that candidates are interviewing the company as much as the company is interviewing them.

Candidates want a simple, informed experience because that kind of transparency reflects the company’s culture and the kind of place they could be working in.

If the process is opaque, overcomplicated, or makes them unhappy, they may not accept a job offer even if you think they’re a great fit for the role.

When a company invests in a positive candidate experience, they can
improve the quality of their hires by as much as 70%. When we know how much growth is linked to talent acquisition that’s reason enough to invest in building a strong and engaging employer brand.

However, it can be difficult for busy hiring managers to find time to reply to everyone. When there’s already the responsibility of selecting CVs and organising interviews, it leaves little time to connect with every candidate.

The rise of HR tech

Hiring managers in large companies spend an average of 26 days trying to find each new hire, which means they need to spend their time wisely. The more time they spend trying to find the right person for the job, the more challenges this creates for the team around them—they not only have to fill in for the empty role, but also for the hiring manager. This creates greater pressure on employees and increases their stress levels, which can lead to long-term sick leave or a higher staff turnover.

The progresses in HR tech have already allowed hiring managers to shorten the hiring process: chatbots can be set up to answer candidate queries; AIs can scan CVs and help shortlist candidates, and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) can help to manage large volumes of applications and candidates.

Candidate Experience

Creating a positive candidate experience

Maintaining a connection with candidates right from the start creates a relationship that can be cultivated even if the candidate is unsuccessful. Those that aren’t a good fit right now might be in a couple of years, or they may be perfect for another department. Should they feel negatively about the application process, they’re less likely to re-apply for the same role or consider a different department.

A negative candidate experience means that companies lose out on talent and may end up helping their competition.

Talent acquisition is often the difference between a growing business and a stalling one.

It’s not just about responding to queries and ensuring that your ATS is mobile-friendly, though.

One of the most time-consuming processes of hiring is finding a time when a candidate and interview panel are free. The more candidates and interviewers there are, the longer this process takes. However, this process can be automated, saving the hiring manager a great deal of time.

Candidate Engagement Time

Save time with automated real-time interview scheduling

In order to streamline the interview scheduling process, ATS providers can add calendar sync to their products in order to build smart scheduling feature that allow users to access the real-time availability of people both inside and outside the organisation.

When an ATS is integrated with a company’s calendar domain, hiring managers don’t need to chase an interview panel to find when they’re available. The hiring manage can email candidates with the real-time availability of the interviewers to find a time that works for everyone. This not only reduces double-bookings but can also help to minimise the number of latecomers or no-shows.

If anyone becomes unavailable, the ATS can be notified and an email can be sent to organise a new time for everyone to meet—there’s no need to rely on long email conversations or more phone calls.

The better the experience a candidate goes through when applying for a job, the more likely they are to speak positively of the company, even if they don’t get the role. This improves the company’s image and helps attract more top talent, and in doing so, allows the company to grow faster.

About the Author:

Kristina Proffitt

Kristina Proffitt is a content marketer at Cronofy, the unified Calendar API. Cronofy helps companies to connect their software to users’ calendars whatever calendar service they use. When she’s not writing about APIs or HR tech, she shares her latest discoveries and the occasional GIF on Twitter.

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Source: How to improve the candidate experience | Cronofy Blog

About Cronofy

Cronofy connects HR software to users’ calendars via a unified calendar API.

To discover how calendar sync can save you and your users time and money, and help to hire the best candidates, watch our Real-Time Scheduling video.