How to Optimize Your Website for a Better Candidate Experience

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On one hand, it makes perfect sense that brands are doing everything they can to target customers and attract buyers with their digital outlets.

As a business, you need to make the most of your website when it comes to customer acquisition and retention, so you naturally post customer-focused content, reviews, and create pages that appeal to your target audience.

What about the potential employees? Where can they find useful information about a potential position with your business? 

A Careers page shouldn’t be the one and only candidate-centric page on your entire website. You need to optimize your site in such a way that it serves a double purpose: attracting customers, but also appealing to potential employees. To do that, you should focus on improving the overall candidate experience linked to your website! 

As much as you invest in creating dedicated social media pages for your potential employees and posting on recruiting sites to push your brand’s job ads to the forefront, your site should be employee-centric, too. Here are a few candidate experience ideas you can introduce into your strategy to make every step of the candidate journey, from a job through to an offer letter, easier for you and the applicants from day one! 

Live chat support for applicants

Your site likely offers chat support for customers and users, right? Whether you have chatbots or actual people handling these conversations, more often than not, such interactions will determine whether or not a person will buy from you. 

The same applies to your potential employees. Chatbots can enhance the candidate experience immensely because they’ll feel much more comfortable knowing they can turn to chat for help if they come across an issue during the application process. This is also another opportunity for your business to collect invaluable data from employees and to make smarter recruiting decisions in the future. 

A personalized website 

Whether you work as a recruiter or you’re an entrepreneur building a personal brand and in need of employees – personalization can truly save the day. Your website doesn’t have to be yet another generic .com domain that will hardly inspire action or tell a story about your business. For people who have a personal brand and depend on it to attract valid customers, you can do the same to attract valid employees.

For starters, you can choose a personal domain name that pairs with a .me extension for added value and relevance for your potential employees. You can pair a keyword from your expertise with your own first/last name or nickname to immediately show what your business is about. As soon as a potential candidate spots your domain name, they’ll know what your brand has to offer.

Personalization helps build trust as well as brand recognition, which in turn helps you with the entire recruiting process. Make sure your website is technically sound, loads quickly, and offers a great user experience as well as having an attractive design.

Employee-generated content

Every single business in existence uses customer or user-generated content as well as influencer marketing to make an impactful statement about the business itself. Have you been doing the same for your applicants and wannabe-candidates? Future employees want to see what it’s like to work with your organization. Your own job ads won’t suffice. 

  • Encourage employees to write blogs for your website and promote that content on social media, too. 
  • Entice employees to write their own reviews and experiences on your website. 
  • Publish “behind the scenes” videos at the office to show your candidate pool what it means to work with your brand. 

When your candidates get to see your employees’ perspectives and experiences, they’ll be much more likely to apply, evaluate if you’re a good match, and reach out if they have any questions. Not to mention the SEO value of such content for your website when someone is searching for the specific position that you’re offering!

Integrate social media with your site

Be where your candidates are. Just like your customers, your future employees are spending time on Facebook and Instagram. As much as you’d like to limit yourself to LinkedIn, you should understand that many successful and in-demand workers don’t really spend that much time on this professional network. 

They prefer the casual and relaxed environment on Facebook, so that’s where you need to be, too. In fact, this is one of the best recruitment tactics modern businesses should use, but that doesn’t mean that it exists separately from the rest of your recruiting methods, like your site.

  • Add clickable buttons to take your website visitors to your social media pages that are employee-focused. 
  • Make sure that you share blogs, articles, employer branding videos, and other content on social media that is relevant for your candidates, not just customers. 
  • Show screenshots of your finest social media moments (employee-centric ones) on your website, too. 
  • Add original hashtags that will be part of your recruiting campaigns, and link them throughout your website back to your social media pages.
  • Invest in Social Media Advertising on Instagram and Facebook.

Just like you actively try to simplify your customers’ lives and minimize their efforts, you should strive to do the same for potential employees. If they have managed to come across your website, it’s up to you to improve the site in its entirety to match their needs, exceed their expectations, and deliver the right content that matches their purpose. 

Wrapping up

It takes time to refine your website, and you’ll always need to revisit your content, add more relevant information, and get creative, but you already do the same for customers. Continuous growth is what your website should be all about.

Make sure that your site reflects your candidate’s values and that you can use your site to portray your brand in the best possible light whenever you’re about to search for that ideal person to join your team!

Talent Acquisition: How Recruiters Can Implement AI In Their Hiring Strategies

Modern technologies do not stand still and are constantly evolving and artificial intelligence (AI) is no exception. This technology has come a long way since it first came into being. Now it’s used for self-driving cars, facial recognition, and even has applications in recruiting. AI is the ability of a machine to adapt to changing circumstances and act in an “intelligent” manner.

Recruiting difficulties

Recruiters say that it has become very challenging to search for candidates. There are simply too many applicants and it’s impossible to get through them all. Reviewing applications, tests, resumes, and conducting interviews all take time. And that’s not all! Candidates still need to call, schedule an interview, and then summarize all interviews — all this is too time-consuming and requires some automation.

In 2014, Amazon commissioned its developers to create an automated system for selecting candidates based on artificial intelligence. A year later, a problem emerged: fewer women were recruited than men. Since the algorithm was trained on the resume of the company’s employees over the past ten years; there were more men, so the system gave more preference to them. By early 2017, the company had phased out this system. These kinds of problems can be avoided by checking for implicit biases and investing in system vetting. However, you should also keep in mind how to control and save your money so the entire budget of the company isn’t wasted.

Application in practice

Nowadays PEO services integrate AI into their hiring strategies. Global PEO services outreach to Germany, Singapore, Canada, and many other countries. You can also find good examples of an Australia PEO. They all use artificial intelligence to validate entry-level employees. The company announced considerable success in recruiting its employees using AI. Job seekers can be interviewed in a unique application on their smartphones. The program takes video and audio data from interviews, analyzes them, and gives recommendations for further actions for recruiting agencies.

Artificial Intelligence solutions and analyses 

The artificial intelligence used to recruit employees does all of this in minutes. It can also analyze, select, and call candidates. What’s the point of using a robot to make calls? It can examine the facial expressions and voice of the applicant in more than a hundred different parameters, like mood, honesty, character. For example, a bot-recruiter asks a job seeker questions about their attitude to alcohol, gambling, or something else that affects a person’s personal qualities and spills over into business ones. When a person starts to get nervous, his voice may change noticeably or even gradually – this is what the system is designed for. At the same time, short answers like “yes” or “no” are not accepted — the recommended length of the answer is 7–10 words. The analysis takes only a few seconds. The robots can even check for interesting personal finance statistics for this year. 

After all the analysis, the AI gives a grade, determining whether a potential candidate will be called for a job. A person will already be looking at the grades and calling for work. The assessment is also influenced by the analysis of pages in social networks. This is also done by the system, not by the person. However, in this way, it will be possible to find specialists of the lower and middle level — cashiers, salespeople, all kinds of operators, and managers. The accuracy of the recruiting system is over 90%.

Investing in the Artificial Intelligence Market

The number of companies engaged in artificial intelligence in the world is overgrowing – the share of AI startups grew fivefold from 2015 to 2018 and amounted to 3,465, over a third of which were in the USA. The most significant number of such companies in 2017 was registered in the USA, almost 3,000. Companies continue to invest in the development of machine learning applications. At last count, $ 31.7 billion was invested in this category. Also, significant funds are invested in speech recognition programs. This segment is projected to grow to $ 12.4 billion by the end of 2021.

Final word 

As the practice of the world’s largest companies shows, the automation of routine processes can improve the efficiency of a business. The use of innovative technologies based on AI can save time that previously had to be spent by people to process and analyze data manually.

Tips for Buying a Recruitment Business

Starting a brand-new venture is an exhilarating decision, but it might prove to be too much for so many in the current economy and competition. The fact that the recruitment industry is growing is inspiring many to kick-start their agencies, but if you’re more inclined to purchase an existing agency, then you might stand a better chance to succeed. You can use the business’s current reputation, expand on its image and client base, and not to mention the key people that have brought the business to life.

There are many options you can consider, from investing in a franchise that might be location-specific, all the way to purchasing an entire agency to expand the business with your expertise and know-how. Some mistakes are inevitable, but you can definitely avoid most. Here, you can learn more about buying an existing recruitment business, to make the most of your investment and set your new company up for success under your own leadership.

Consider keeping the core decision-makers

Assuming that you’re looking to purchase a stable business with a strong bond with the local community, you should keep in mind that people make that business much more than the brand name alone. It might be tempting to let go of everyone in charge and all the core staff, but this is not always the most prudent way to go about the purchase. Instead, consider discussing the option of retaining some, if not all of the key workers, especially decision-makers.

You can still run the business and grow it as the main investor and the CEO, but the existing recruiters and managers staying on will be your greatest assets. They are the ones with all the client connections and successful case studies. Talk it over with the seller and see if there’s a way to work it into the contract. 

Do your homework

You might be excited about the transaction and the negotiations might have been long already, but you should never land on a deal before you do all the necessary research. Collecting industry data to understand the trends and forecast any changes, understanding the existing client relationships with the agency, and getting to know the staff properly will decide the future of the business.

Think of it as another workplace and assess its levels of safety, both for the short and the long term. Can you say with some professional certainty that this business has a strong future with the local community and its existing client base? Are there any gaps in the onboarding/offboarding strategies the agency is using both internally and in the talent selection process for their clients? Make sure to understand the ins and outs of the business before you buy it.

Get location-specific legal guidance

Knowing the industry is one thing, but the process of buying a business has so many intricate, legal steps that you should always ask for professional guidance on the matter. Not to mention that each country has its own unique legal frameworks in place for such transactions precisely. If you’re looking to buy a Sydney-based business, you’ll need to work with experienced lawyers in Sydney whose expertise will help you protect your investment.

They not only know the local market, but they also know what kind of potential legal difficulties you might be looking at upon inspecting the company. Working together with financial experts, you can see if the company has a clean track record, with no fraud looming in the background, and of course, all taxes and contracts are taken care of. 

Consider a non-compete

Once again, when you work in a competitive city like Sydney or New York, there are many recruiting agencies to go around, which both means having many opportunities, but also many competitors. You don’t need another one when the seller decides to use their expertise and the recently obtained wealth to start yet another business in the same sector to compete with you. 

Make sure your purchase agreement has a non-compete agreement or a clause attached to it, so that you can protect the intellectual property you’re buying with the business itself. This agreement is one way to protect your newly acquired business from losing relevance immediately upon purchase, or coming across yet another setback on your way to growth.

Analyze your motivation and goals 

Having ample funds at your disposal to invest in a venture is a great way to advance as a professional, but you should be certain that you’re doing this for the right reasons. Ask yourself: are you experienced and respected enough in this business to run a company of that size and scope? Do you have the funds to keep the business running smoothly upon purchase?

Will you really, measurably benefit from purchasing this agency? Do you understand what it takes to run an agency, especially if this is your first attempt at running a business? Such questions might sound harsh, but they’ll help you evaluate your goals and driving force before you make the purchase. 

From the fine print in the agreement all the way to your financing plan, preparing yourself properly for the purchase will help you get started with your new company on the right foot. Remember, despite the fact that the industry itself is flourishing and there’s plenty of business to go around, it’s still up to you to make sure your company thrives, despite its pre-existing reputation and success. Use these tips to be certain that you’ve done all the work before you sign on the dotted line. 

seo for recruitment

The Importance of SEO for Recruitment

In today’s competitive market, being visible in search engines is critical for any business to thrive. So is driving web traffic to company career pages and social media accounts. Search engines and social media networks have become the top two resources when it comes to looking for employment opportunities.

But, there is more to this. Nowadays, people searching for a new job are screening their potential employers thoroughly. Before an applicant decides to send a CV and apply for a job, they will review the company’s website and social media pages.

Bear in mind that according to a study from MRINetwork, a bad reputation influences job seekers’ decisions significantly. If a company has a bad employer reputation, 69% of the job applicants said they would reject their job offer.

And with online search becoming prevalent in finding work, recruiters need to learn how to effectively use SEO to stay ahead of the competition and attract top talent.

How SEO works?

The purpose of search engine optimization techniques is to help businesses rank higher in search engines and improve their online visibility. Google and other search engines utilize algorithms to assess the importance and relevance of webpages.

Websites and pages that provide their readers with a lot of quality information about what they are searching for are more likely to get shown in the search results. The position of a certain website depends on numerous other factors too.

The overall quality of the website and how many and how often people visit it will also influence the ranking position.

Good SEO is a priority if you want top results. Optimizing many facets of the company website like keyword research, domain structure, and internal linking can impact the recruiting process and your efforts to find the best candidates for the job.

For example, due to bad internal linking, applicants may struggle to find the application form or the contact page on your website.

How can SEO help improve the hiring process?

Data from Australia indicate that the hiring time has nearly doubled in the last ten years. On average, it takes 68 days to fill in a vacant position. This can lead to diminished team productivity and a decline in revenue.

These data imply that recruitment teams and experts in Australia and all over the world need to think more strategically about how to hire the best talent.

Since many factors impact search engine rankings and Google’s algorithms keep changing, your company can profit from hiring an experienced SEO agency in Sydney. Search engine professionals specialize in optimizing websites and web content so they can help you boost your brand’s visibility and entice the most talented candidates to apply to your open positions.

Marketing and HR experts should work closely together, as their joint efforts can result in great benefits when it comes to brand messages. When HR departments are isolated, it can negatively impact the recruitment process.

HR plays an important role in internal and external brand communication. For example, a company’s website showcases its ethics, values, and goals, and it can attract either right or wrong job seekers for new positions.

That is why the design of the homepage and social media posts should reflect the voice of the HR.

Ensure your hiring efforts are successful

There are some valuable techniques every company should embrace to improve its hiring process. Using optimized keywords and phrases, page URL, page title, meta description, tags, and page length should all be taken into consideration when posting a vacant position online or publishing an article.

When crafting a job listing, it is vital to consider what specific terms and phrases you want the candidates to find you by. The description of the vacant position and the title need to include not less than three keywords relating to the most relevant qualifications your enterprise is looking for.

A clear job listing is a must, but you also need to inform the applicants about your company’s values and ethics. As mentioned earlier, people looking for a job are searching online to learn more about your organization’s reputation.

Make sure to tailor your job descriptions as well as your website to reflect the core values of your business. Including a page URL to the” about us” page or the official social media accounts increases the trustworthiness of the company.

It also helps the candidates to form an opinion about the company when deciding whether to apply.

The conclusion

Hiring workers with the right skill set and experience for the job can make a huge difference to the company’s performance and its profit. And even when unemployed, high-quality, engaged employees will carefully choose their next work engagement and employer.

So, finding qualified employees is all about creating more searchable job postings and proving that the company culture has something to offer them.

To achieve this, recruiters must invest in SEO. Crafting effective SEO strategies leads to quality candidates quickly finding open positions and applying to them. It also helps in developing a positive employer brand.

In other words, for a successful recruitment process in today’s tech-oriented world, a functioning, well-thought-out website with valuable content and user-centric design, adequate social media presence, and proper SEO techniques are essential.

5 Ways Candidate Feedback can Improve Your Recruitment Process

Nowadays, you can’t have an efficient and productive recruitment strategy that doesn’t include gathering feedback from your employees as well as your candidates. Why? Because we live in a modern day and age when people actually want to interact with their favorite brands, and no longer will they want to work for companies that don’t respect them, or have an amazing company culture. But having a positive workplace culture is not the only quality candidates are looking for nowadays, which is exactly why you need to gather relevant insights, listen to what they have to say, and use that information to optimize your recruitment process. 

Do this right, and you’ll be able to leverage that information to take your company forward as a whole. Your HR experts have a unique opportunity here to ensure all employees are treated equally and fairly while at the same time optimizing internal processes to maximize productivity, team cohesion, and long-term success. With all of that in mind, here are the five ways candidate feedback can help you achieve your goals. 

Discover what motivates the best of the best

The top candidate of today is a tricky beast to catch, and if you’re not careful, they will slip out of your hands just when you think the deal is done, and they will take a job at your competitor’s brand if the offer is more appealing. What makes their offer more appealing than yours, you ask? Nobody knows, at least we can’t be certain without the right information in our hands, and that’s why you need to gather candidate feedback and research the market thoroughly in order to find out what actually motivates the best of the best in your field. 

If you think they left for a better paycheck, you might be right, but it’s more likely that the top candidates choose some brands over others because of the additional perks they offer. Perks like more vacation days, flexible work hours, or a better, more wholesome company culture. Keep in mind that they might have uncovered something about your brand from your past employees that doesn’t sit well with them, but you won’t know that until you get in touch and ask them.

Strengthen your value proposition and brand

You can learn a lot about your brand, its strengths, weaknesses, or the unique opportunities you have and the threats you’re facing, by simply talking to the modern job-seeker. Now, it’s important to get the whole picture by gathering feedback from multiple sources, and these include your employees, potential employees, candidates who have applied for a position at your company, and the digital world as a whole. Be sure to monitor your brand’s reputation in the online realm at all times to see in what context people are mentioning your brand.

As far as your candidates go, they definitely have an opinion of your brand, one that they have formed on first contact. Their opinions can prove invaluable in shaping your employer brand and helping you build a better value proposition in time for the next cycle of talent acquisition. If you gather enough feedback from all these sources, you can create a more detailed analysis of your recruitment process and even your entire brand.

Obtaining continuous feedback with VoIP

Nowadays, it’s no longer enough to simply gather some feedback, craft a report, and think that you’re done for the year. Keep in mind that recruitment trends change continuously, and that the things candidates say today might completely change in the following weeks or months. This is why you need to continually gather relevant feedback by using a comprehensive communication system, something cloud-based like VoIP.

Given the fact that voice over internet protocol is a modern phone system with plenty of perks and handy tools, you need to find a VoIP provider that offers call analytics so that you can gather information quickly, but also conferencing tools, surveys, mobile communication, and more. These features will allow you to stay in touch with employees, candidates, and all other important actors on the job market so that you can keep collecting feedback to improve all of your processes throughout the year.

Make your onboarding process more efficient and effective

Onboarding new employees can be a grueling task even when you’re all working under the same roof, but now that you’re most likely hiring remote workers, the task can seem insurmountable. Luckily, you can make onboarding a breeze by adopting smart techniques, one of which is gathering feedback from your current and past employees, as well as candidates to figure out which parts of your onboarding process work well, and which should be improved. 

What you will invariably discover is that there are definitely some areas where your HR managers can make the lives of your candidates and new employees easier. The only way to discover them, however, is by listening to what they have to say.

Learn how to cultivate a winning company culture

Finally, keep in mind that no modern employee will want to work for a company that doesn’t nurture a winning workplace culture. Even if everyone is working remotely, you still need to create and preserve a positive company culture in order to welcome the new employees into your brand. To do this, gathering feedback will prove instrumental, so be sure to ask candidates what they consider to the ideal company culture, and then compare the answers to the feedback your existing employees gave. Collate your findings to craft a culture that works for all.

Wrapping up

Good business decisions are made on relevant, timely, and verifiable data. Instead of following your gut feeling, be sure to start gathering candidate and employee feedback to take your business forward and elevate your recruitment and onboarding processes.

How To Ensure Your Employees Are Treated Equally and Fairly

 

 

We often hear a lot about the importance of equality in the workplace. Equal treatment, equal pay, equal opportunities for advancement are all vital to the continued success of not just an employee, but for a business as a whole. However, many employees are also looking to be treated fairly, opening up the discussion of equality in the workplace even further. While fairness and equality might appear to be the same thing, they’re distinctively different and it’s important that companies strive for both at every level of their organization.

 

As managers, leaders, and HR staff, this means employees are expecting you to make the workplace environment one where the office policies are clearly stated and applied equally and fairly across the board. They also expect changes to be made if an individual or group is being treated unfairly. This is especially important as the world has finally started being more aware of what Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)  are forced to deal with at their place of work on a day to day basis.

 

So, how can companies and leaders ensure that their policies are not only providing opportunities for equality, but also fairness?

Equality Isn’t Always Fair

Equality is not always the same as fairness. Equality, while important, can leave out factors that contribute to an employee’s role within the company. Being fair involves considering all of the circumstances and making appropriate decisions based on those circumstances. Employees’ needs differ depending on their circumstances and equality can often leave out specific needs. Equality is like supplying every employee a work laptop, fairness is giving a visually-impaired employee a laptop with braille.

Always Be Prepared for Change

Every employee, wherever they work, wants to be shown by their employer that they’re valuable, their opinions and ideas matter and that they have equal opportunities for professional development and growth. This means that issues such as favoritism in the workplace can wreak havoc on employee morale and can breed resentment toward the company which is another reason why it’s important to treat all employees fairly in the workplace

 

It’s not only important to have policies that promote fairness and equality regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, and age, but it’s imperative to enforce those policies equally too. Taking a look at current policies and identifying where improvement is needed is one way to make favoritism less likely to occur. Are there any rules that favor a particular group of employees over the other? Are all employees aware of the company’s rules and policies, including disciplinary actions? Is there any room for questions or different interpretations within the company’s handbook? It’s also necessary to look at who is being hired and who is most affected by injury, job loss, and discrimination within the company. 

 

Being a fair manager means that “When you treat your employees fairly they focus on navigating the challenges in front of them. They feel respected, cared for, and they develop trust in you as a manager. Instead of focusing on gamesmanship or one-upmanship, employees focus on working towards individual and group goals.” When employees are respected and treated fairly, the whole company is often able to operate as a cohesive team with equal responsibilities and better communication. Moreover, fairness and equality not only contributes to better meeting these needs but can also protect vulnerable groups from getting injured on the job. 

 

While certain fields of work are more labor-intensive and thus have more opportunities for severe injuries to occur, it isn’t just the kind of work that is harmful. Oftentimes, there is an unequal amount of pressure to work in unsafe conditions, especially for Hispanic workers and other minorities. When the work environment and policies are centered around equality and fairness, employees are not only likely to be more productive and have higher morale but it can help protect workers from injury. 

Fairness Benefits Everyone

Working towards maintaining a fair and equal work environment is also vital to a business’s clients. Cultural diversity in the workplace not only benefits the company and its employees, but it could potentially save lives. For example, while discussing the dangers of a lack of representation, particularly in healthcare, some professionals explain that “A lack of cultural diversity in healthcare can lead to many problems, including stereotyping and unequal patient treatment — particularly in cases where cultural differences in healthcare expectations lead to poor patient outcomes. Indeed, negative results are arguably inevitable when there is an underrepresentation of cultural and ethnic diversity in leadership and throughout training.” 

 

Cultural diversity can be hard to achieve when a manager is constantly undermining, discriminating against, or holding BIPOC to a different standard than the other employees. A business is likely to have a higher turnover rate if its employees believe they are being treated unfairly. This can also lead to new talent avoiding the company for fear of discrimination. Businesses with such a lack of diversity are likely to suffer losses financially and, in certain fields such as healthcare, could be putting their clients at risk.  

 

One way to ensure that employees are treated fairly is ingraining that importance into the company culture. Make it something so valuable that the company, managers, leaders, and employees are always striving for fairness and equality. This will make the work environment a more welcoming place to report and discuss areas of discrimination or unequal treatment. It will also encourage employees to voice their opinions more to help further improve policies and practices. 

 

It’s never too late to start enacting change that will help ensure employees are being treated both equally and fairly. Having an open, ongoing dialogue on how to improve company policies and how leadership can deliver said policies appropriately can help businesses stay committed to being a welcoming, equal, and fair place for everyone.  

2020 The Year of Remote Work

It is only June, and thanks to COVID-19, people have declared 2020 as the year of remote work. While telecommuting seemed beyond reach in most industries only a few months ago, this year it has become a necessity. The pandemic has forced employers to come up with novel and successful ways to keep their businesses afloat. For this reason, many companies have asked their employees to work from home. Google has taken the whole matter a step further and advised remote work to its workforce for the rest of the year. Even though some might struggle with this work mode, it is actually quite beneficial for both employers and employees.

Most employees are used to going to work and spending eight or more hours in the office. At first, the sudden change of routine may be strange for them. However, once they recover from the initial shock, they stand to gain quite a lot.  Working from the comfort of their home can considerably boost their productivity and performance. Also, it can have a huge impact on their mental and physical health as well.

The employees no longer have to waste their time commuting. They will be more punctual because traffic jams and parking spaces don’t pose an issue for them in the morning. Once they log on to the selected platform, they are in the workplace ready to reach their daily goals. As a result, travel and accommodation expenses are significantly reduced. If the companies ultimately switch to this work mode, it will bring substantial benefits to the environment too. The reduction of toxic emissions and pollution raises awareness on environmental protection.

What worries employers the most in this situation is employee productivity and performance. There are many distractions at home and most employees are forced to turn their space for relaxation into an office. However, with the right internal communication app, the employers have nothing to worry about. Effective communication is one of the pillars of a successful business. These collaborative business solutions keep everyone well informed and on the same page. Dropbox, Google Hangouts, or Google Drive allows employees to communicate and cooperate on different projects and documents simultaneously. The social aspect of the workplace isn’t neglected as coworkers now use online group chats instead of the good old chatting by the water cooler. Still, for boosting employee performance, everyone has to agree on the preferred communication tool. Forcing tools and channels might cause the opposite effect.

While it seems the pandemic is coming to an end, its consequences are yet to be felt in the months to come. Among good things to come out of this mess is definitely a stronger bond between colleagues. When employees have good work relationships with their coworkers and managers, it positively reflects on the business. Friendship and team spirit largely contribute to creating a healthy work environment. Working under such optimum conditions improves employee productivity and spurs their collaboration. Managers now than ever have to invest time and effort in team building activities and a pleasant work atmosphere. As a result, the employees will maintain their sense of belonging and actively contribute to reaching the corporate aims.

In the long term, remote work may change the whole attitude about work and provide some new perspectives. Millennials are swooping in and along with talent, come with certain expectations about the workplace and work process itself. One of their priorities is having a healthy work-life balance. For this reason, the younger workforce is largely attracted by flexible schedules and working hours. This would enable them to provide for themselves and their families while also pursuing other activities. If the companies want to keep and compete for top talent in the future, they have to make fundamental changes in their management. Allowing the employees to plan their own schedule might prove to be crucial when offering jobs to potential associates. Similarly, instead of being compensated for the hours they spent working, they would like to be rewarded for their accomplishments.

To conclude, due to the unprecedented situation, most companies have started working remotely. Although it seemed quite a challenge, employers have discovered numerous perks of this work mode. Employees are right on time for work and the commuting expenses are significantly reduced. On the other hand, what is boosted are productivity, communication, and collaboration. Through proper communication channels, everyone gets timely updates. As a result, they complete work tasks promptly and without any delays. Besides, remote work enhances work-life balance which is one of the top priorities of the millennials. Their work-related expectations will without a doubt, shape the workplace and the whole work culture in the years to come.

HR Onboarding Techniques for New Companies

A startup’s onboarding process can be less process — and more improvisation. But as your company scales, a system is needed to get your new administrative hires started on the right foot. A Bamboo HR poll found that employees who quit in the first six months of being hired felt that the job wasn’t what they expected. More than half (54%) said they quit because they didn’t want to do the job any longer, or their role wasn’t what they expected from the interview.

Considering the amount of time and effort it takes to find and onboard a new hire, retaining staff should be a priority. And it all starts with the Human Resources manager and team — the employee’s first point of contact for onboarding. Across all industries, HR managers are hired for their abilities to communicate and present information. Here are some techniques and security tips for new HR managers to present the best possible onboarding process for their new hires.

Best Cybersecurity Practices for HR Professionals

The HR department is responsible for sensitive employee information, including:

  • Social Security Numbers (SSN).
  • Medical records.
  • Birthdate.
  • Home address and family member information.

In most cases, the sensitive information is kept digitally in computers or on the cloud. This practice is generally safe, but there are vulnerabilities you should look out for to prevent the data from being compromised.

Comply With Recordkeeping Regulations

Keep updated on federal, state, and local privacy laws on how records should be kept and make sure you and your department are following the rules. Regulations may change, so it’s essential to review your company’s process, compared to current laws, and update the company privacy policy as needed. Consider the following regulations:

  • Employee record retention: The S. Department of Labor outlines how long a company’s HR department should keep records. Employee payroll documents and collective bargaining agreements must be kept for at least three years. Time cards and employee schedules must be kept for at least two years.
  • Medical records location: The Americans With Disabilities Act requires employers to keep confidential medical records such as health exams, worker’s compensation history, and leave requests separate from employees’ personnel files.
  • Data breach reporting: HR professionals in California must notify employees if the company reasonably believes their personal information was accessed by an unauthorized individual.

Know the Proper Method of Disposing of Sensitive Paperwork

Disposing of employee data is a combination of company policy and federal, state, or local regulations. Know how long you should legally retain documents and data, as well as how your company disposes of it.

Sensitive records may need to be burned or sent away to an outside service to be destroyed in compliance with federal regulations. Following your company’s guidance on the disposal of data and documents is essential to avoid data being reconstructed, read, or distributed illegally.

Look Out for Internal Cybersecurity Threats

Most HR employees are aware of the danger of external cyber attacks from hackers, phishing, or viruses. But company software or an employee’s access to internal systems can also create threats.

An example of an internal threat is email. You send a requested employee file to the wrong email address and end up compromising your hire’s private information. To minimize internal threats, follow these steps:

  • Never use or disclose an individual’s full social security number in correspondence.
  • Turn off the auto-fill feature that remembers numbers or email addresses in your email and word processing programs.
  • Regularly run virus and malware checks on your company computers.
  • Take your cue from the healthcare industry and keep software and operating systems maintained and up to date.

Best HR practices for New HR Employees

Onboarding new hires is a critical aspect of the employee’s future in the workplace. The HR department is responsible for reinforcing the company’s image, projected during the recruitment process. Getting off on the right foot is essential. The HR department should implement specific practices to ensure new employees know what to expect on their first day and beyond.

Start the Onboarding Process the Day Before the New Hire Starts

The reasoning behind this step is so that everything is organized before the recruit arrives. Have employee handbooks and documents ready. Set up and equip the new hire’s work station. Create logins and email credentials beforehand. Make sure staff know about the new hire’s arrival and assign a mentor in advance. Having the important elements prepared in advance allows onboarding to go more smoothly on his or her’s first day.

Create a Welcoming Environment

The new hire’s first day sets the tone for the employee’s time at the company. A welcoming environment and a little creativity during the onboarding process doesn’t take much effort but makes a big impact on new hires. There are several elements that can create an ideal work environment — the office space, the initial point of contact, and the support team available to guide new employees. Consider these ideas:

Set the Stage With Good Lighting

The dark corner without a window can be demoralizing to staff. In fact, a study found that employees think good lighting is the No. 1 office perk. If your office environment lacks natural light, replicating the effect using certain lighting techniques can make a difference:

  • Create different lighting zones including overhead lighting, ambient lighting, and desk lighting
  • Use lightbulbs of a specific temperature (6500k) to replicate natural outdoor light and switch to LEDs to avoid overloading the office’s electrical system
  • Use light or white colors for surfaces and walls to reflect light and provide a brighter environment

Get Creative With Employee Perks

The best way to welcome a new employee to HR or other administrative role is with a surprise or an unexpected detail. Most new hires know what to expect on the first day — a pile of paperwork to be completed, handbooks to read, and an overload of information. But imagine welcoming them with a gift basket featuring a massage gift certificate, snacks, or a gift card. The small gesture could break the ice and shake the first-day nerves off.

Personalize the New Hire Welcoming Process

You’ve staged a well-lit environment that encourages productivity and created a thoughtful welcoming gift as part of the new hire onboarding process. Ensure new hires know what team members they can reach out to if they have any questions. Personally welcome each new employee and introduce them to key support staff, available to guide them through the initial work stages, to set recruits up for long-term success.

Onboarding for Future Success

Developing an effective onboarding process takes time. The effort will be worthwhile — your new hires are investments into your company’s future and should be given the best start possible.

Protecting their privacy with proper record keeping of their personal data, providing an environment that’s bright and conducive to productivity, supporting their growth in the company, and delivering on the promises made during the interview process will likely increase your chances of nurturing a long and successful work relationship.

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How to Build a Positive and Healthy Company Culture

If you think back to the different companies you’ve worked at over the years, each likely left a different impression on you. This is because every company has a different company culture consisting of different of unique values, ways of operating, and management style.

Company culture matters because it not only helps create a unified workforce, it can also be a key to success. In fact, Deloitte’s core beliefs and culture survey discovered 94% of executives and 88% of employees agreed that distinct workplace culture is imperative to run a business successfully. The survey also found a correlation between those who described themselves as being happy at work and their company having a distinct culture.

Positive company culture can lead to more engaged employees who are fully-present and passionate about the work they do. After all, ultimately, employees want to have a positive experience when working at an organization — and it’s your job as a leader to provide that. HR plays a significant role in creating an office culture as it begins with hiring candidates whose beliefs and values fit into that culture. As Jessica Herrin, founder Stella & Dot states; “shaping your culture is more than half done when you hire your team.” On that note, here are ways you can build a positive and healthy company culture.

What is Company Culture?

When you think of company culture, what first comes to mind? Perhaps it’s a state of the art gym and having access to unlimited snacks, or maybe it’s the daily flexibility and laid-back atmosphere. While these can be elements of company culture, there is so much more to it.

Edgar Schein, author and former MIT professor defines company culture this way: “Culture is the deeper level of basic assumptions and beliefs that are shared by members of an organization, that operate unconsciously and define in a basic ‘taken for granted’ fashion an organization’s view of its self and its environment.”

In essence, company culture is about deciding what your values and beliefs as a company are and ensuring you have a team of people ready to live by them. Harvard Business Review concludes that there are six components of great corporate culture, which include:

  1. Vision
  2. Values
  3. Practices
  4. People
  5. Narrative
  6. Place

When all of these elements are fused together, you should have a differentiated culture, improved performance, and a lasting organization. But how do you go about creating a company culture that supports the fulfillment of your overall mission and business objectives?

Hire the Right Team

Your staff are the people that will embody and create the company culture, so they’re a good place to start if you want to improve it. It is imperative that you hire new employees based on cultural fit as they will create your company culture.

A job interview is a good way to help you hire for culture fit, but you have to go beyond the information you find on their resume. Ask questions that will give you a sense of their values such as what motivates them to do their best work, or whether or not they’re still friends with old colleagues. Behavioral assessments are another good way to see how they approached work situations in the past and if they’ll fit well with your team.

Once you hire the right people, you also have to familiarize them with the new culture. Shoe and clothing retailer Zappos did this by creating The Culture Book, which consisted of employees’ definitions of company culture. This is a single example of how you can get new recruits to understand your company, what you value, and how to function within the confines of these beliefs daily.

Prioritize Job Satisfaction

Satisfied employees are likely to be happier, better engaged, and more productive. For this reason, if you want a positive company culture, you need to ensure your employees are satisfied. Monster composed a list of top ten companies based on worker satisfaction, and one member of this list includes a holding company run by Warren Buffet. Just a few of the reasons his company made it there are reportedly because of the fun atmosphere, great leadership, diversity, and flexibility.

To achieve employee satisfaction, you need to find out what their needs are and how you can help them create a balance between work and their personal lives. Know that it also doesn’t have to be a guessing game as you can get feedback directly from your staff to enhance their employee experience. For example, if you receive feedback that there isn’t enough opportunity for growth and development, you could put training programs in place. If not, your most valued employees could choose to resign in favor of another company where they see themselves growing. Seeing as turnover causes employers hundreds of thousands every year, it’s a cost worth avoiding.

Next, acknowledging employees for the contributions they make to your organization is important. Research by Gallup found one of the main reasons an employee leaves a job is because they don’t feel appreciated. Recognize yours in a way that’s meaningful to them, such as by verbally praising them or sending out an email. For those that like to be recognized with rewards, you could offer employee stock options or another form of physical of financial incentive. It’s a way of rewarding them for helping the business meet their objectives which can have good returns in terms of productivity.

You can learn more lessons about company culture from successful organizations like Apple, Virgin, and Airbnb. Two key lessons incude the golden rule — essentially, focusing on how essential it is to treat your staff how you want to be treated. Doing so not only ensures your employees are happy, but it’s also a way to preserve the reputation of your company.

Lead by Example

When it comes to company culture, it’s critical that you lead by example. Good leaders should be able and always willing to listen and show empathy, as these are integral components of a healthy business setting. Being empathetic towards employees sends a message that their feelings matter and they are seen as well as heard. This, in turn, can help you develop a staunchly loyal and more connected workforce. Additionally, you’re teaching them how to behave and treat others within your company. When you see others embodying positive company culture, champion and encourage them.

Building a positive and healthy company culture isn’t a single day’s work. It requires the upholding of core values and consistency, and at other times, it requires tearing down values or old traditions that don’t resemble the company culture you’re aiming to build for the sake of integrity. At the end of the day, positive company culture is an impetus behind a thriving business.

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Creating an Employee Benefits Package that Will Attract and Retain Talent

As you may have heard, our economy is doing quite well, and the unemployment rate is lower than it has been in many years. This boom has led to more opportunities for qualified applicants to find their dream jobs, and now is the ideal time for companies to bring in the best and brightest. However, there is a lot of competition among companies, often in your same industry, so you need to come up with a benefits package that will not only attract the top talent but keep them with your organization for the long haul.

Times have changed, and meager benefits such as free coffee and soda or the company lunch now and then are no longer enough to draw in the best people for your business. Instead, you need to think bigger, with benefits that both make a candidate’s professional life better and improve their personal lives as well.

Flexible Scheduling

The idea of driving into the office every day to work eight hours with a 30-minute lunch is no longer as appealing as it used to be. In fact, over 88% of candidates reported that having a flexible schedule was one of the most attractive factors when considering a job. People want to have a work-life balance, so they are not too stressed at the office, and they have time to care for their loved ones.

Flexible schedules could mean split shifts where an employee comes in a few hours in the morning and then returns later that evening. It could also entail a modified week where employees work four 10-hour days and have a three-day weekend. With either of these routines, people can schedule their appointments or set a predetermined day to spend with family. This schedule could also help the company: when employees know that management trusts them to work flexible hours, they can also be more productive.

The opportunity to work remotely for at least half of the week excites about 63% of applicants because it lets them skip a costly commute, save money on clothes, and allows the chance to work from the comfort of their own home. Providing this opportunity creates a feeling of trust between the employer and the employee and can also increase productivity and improve their health. Again, this benefit is a win-win for the company as it cuts costs on office space, utilities, and equipment.

Health Plans

These days, health insurance is more important than ever. When a company provides affordable, comprehensive, and easily accessible health insurance, they show that they genuinely care about the health of their workers, and potential candidates see that. In some cases, the only place that a person can afford health insurance is at their job, so it makes a big difference. 

A good health insurance plan shouldn’t drain the paycheck and should offer plenty of options and plans from which to choose. Great health plans will have a soft spot for pre-existing conditions. So if a warehouse worker had a bad back and wanted to go to a new job, they would want to know that if they were injured again, they would still be covered with the health plan, or at least under workers’ compensation insurance

Wellness programs are also great perks and could include complimentary gym memberships, smoking cessation programs, or healthy food or snack options at lunch. Some companies also have a wellness plan built into their health insurance premiums, so if the employee passes regular health assessments, their monthly payment would be lower. This is a unique benefit, so candidates will surely notice if your business includes this perk. The point is showing the potential employee that you genuinely care about their wellbeing.

Benefits for the Future

Getting a new job is no small task, so when people look for a place to work, they want a company that they can stay with for the foreseeable future. They also know that life happens, and things can change as the years go by. A company with great benefits understands this idea. If they offer perks that encourage employees to live their lives to the fullest, then the employee will appreciate the business even more. 

For instance, companies that offer extended paid time-off programs give the employee the impression that they are free to live a life outside of work. The time off also provides the employee the chance to refresh so they can return to the job more focused and productive. Your business should also offer a minimum of six weeks of paid family or paternal leave for both mothers and fathers. Again, this gives the impression that your company cares about their outside life and offers parents a chance to cherish their children, so they are happy when they return to work. 

A good retirement plan shows the candidate that you are hoping to retain and mold them at your company for the rest of their working career and people like that kind of job security. Retirement plans might include a pension plan or a 401k with an employer match. Some of the more highly ranked 401k plans include an incentive like a 6% match after the employee puts in 1% of their income or matching 100% of their first 6% of contributions. Companies that want to draw in more talent for the long term should highly consider such options. 

In the end, a company that genuinely values its employees will stand the test of time. People want to know that they are not working for a faceless organization, but instead, a business that truly appreciates its top talent. Incorporate these benefits now, and you could see an uptick in quality candidates.

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