4 Reasons Your Business Startup Needs Storage Space

In 2014 over 450,000 businesses were started in the United States. The constant economic growth post the 2008 economic crisis has been showing its face for a while now. One of the costliest expenses in any industry is space. Whether it is for storage, office or a production line, enough space is required for our enterprise to function properly. The ever-increasing prices of real estate make this a problem. Even more so for small businesses that are just getting started. The typical square footage being rented for a new small business usually revolves around 1,000. With the introduction of desks, electronic equipment, cubicles, and other office necessities, we do not have a lot of room left to work with. And renting additional space is not an option, again, because of the expenses involved. Here are the key points on how renting proper, adequate storage space is beneficial to our bottom line.

 

1. Optimizing space

 

When we lease some space, we need enough of it to house everything and everyone we need for business to run properly. And these are just the skeleton crew and the infrastructure. Even then, at the end of the day, we are left with very little room for anything else. In our beginner stage at least, it would not be a financially sound idea to rent additional space. This is the point where we can consider renting dedicated storage units. These are typically characterized by lower monthly rent, which makes it perfect for pure storage. Here we can leave advertising materials, filing cabinets, supplies of any kind, raw materials, desks, chairs, you name it. It is a good solution if you have a lot of assets of any kind that are not going to be immediately used.

 

2. Safety first

 

Another advantage of storage units over our garage is the level security it provides. Most facilities have constant video surveillance, guard personnel, pin-locks, perimeter fencing, and much more. The site manager will be onsite most of the time for any questions or need we might have. Also, we can distribute different pin codes for the locks on our units. What this will do, is provide us with detailed logs on who, when, and why has entered the storage unit. Also, there are contracts where we can ensure the contents inside our storage unit. For an extra fee, of course.

 

3. Redundancy

 

In the event of a catastrophe, heavens forbid, our stored assets will be safe off-site. Fires, especially electrical ones, flooding, and various natural disasters all pose a serious threat to our business. No matter where we find ourselves in the world, there is always some specificity we have to pay attention to. Sometimes it is just some cosmic joke or very bad luck at play. The saying “Do not put all your eggs in one basket” really starts to sound smart right about now. If we store our inventory, valuable equipment, and other company assets in the same place, that is a disaster waiting to happen. By separating our stored assets to multiple locations, we sever the chances of losing everything if worst comes to pass. This way if something does happen, at least we have a base to rebuild on, as we have not lost everything.

 

4. Going vertical

 

Since space is so expensive these days, we can maximize what we already have by going up, instead of to the side. Finding storage space with a higher ceiling, sort of speak will pay in the long run, greatly. By storing our assets vertically, we avoid renting greater surface areas which, obviously, cost more money. Yes, we would need to invest in scaffolding to form our giant storage shelves. Also, finding reliable electric forklifts in Australia, such as NFM Forklifts will prove to be very beneficial. They will save a lot of time and work hours by helping with the storing of assets at higher elevations. These initial investments will cost a bit more at the start but will save you money greatly in the long run. Not being forced to rent a second or even a third storing site can mean the difference between profit and going under. This reigns especially true for smaller companies in their initial phase of doing business.

 

Today’s global market is very atomized and competitive. There is always someone wanting their piece of the industry. By having a competitive advantage, no matter how small, these companies are at an advantage financially. Every dollar counts, especially when starting a business. One of the best ways to save money is to be rational with our leased-out space. Renting the smallest adequate space, but making the most of it is the winning recipe for running a successful business. No matter if your enterprise is a product based one or not, take as much away from these lessons and apply them yourself, today.

7 Design Tips For Your Startup Office

Workspace is not merely the place where people work, but it is a microcosm of its own. The design of an office space is by all means not trivial, especially for startups. For them, every little detail can make or break the newly founded company. Office space design can be used not only to boost productivity but the much-needed creativity which guarantees that the product or service provided by the startup will be a hit in the market. We have compiled a list of 7 design tips that you can use for your startup.

Colors

Choosing the right overall color is interior design one-on-one. When it comes to office space, then mild colors are the way to go. You can choose a shade to your liking, even orange or yellow. However, don’t implement tacky colors as they will distract the employees from the work beforehand. The safest option would be the color grey and all of its numerous shades. This can be coupled with brown furniture or black and white wallpapers.

Plants

Although office space is usually located in an urban area, that does mean that nature is unwelcome here. There should be plants all around the office if nothing, then at least small potted ones. If you really wish to make the space verdant, then use climbers that can be placed near window areas. They will act are sculptural ornaments and help the employees relax by reducing stress levels. This increases productivity and has many more benefits for the workforce.

Plenty of light

Placing plants in the office will ensure there is enough air, but there should be plenty of light as well. If the office is way high up in a skyscraper, make use of this by keeping the window panes unobstructed. Dim spaces make the workers sleepy or moody which is not the effect you want to achieve. Also, try not to pile up stuff inside the office since the impression of spaciousness and airiness is lost.

Mats

Your office should be trendy and modern. Believe it or not, but floor mats are the latest trend, so make sure they are in front of every door. Their sole purpose is not only wiping feet, but there are anti-slip and anti-fatigue mats as well. If the workspace is dangerous in any way, you might consider placing these around the hazardous area. Also, you can order personalized mats that the best employees could choose the design for each month, for example.

Books

Walls can be perceived as canvases for artwork, but there is an even better way to cover them. Order customized shelves that will be stocked up with books, and a lot of them. This will add to the uniqueness of the space and individuality you wish to develop in your employees. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to peruse through the books they like during the pauses. If you have trouble acquiring the books in large quantities, go to the local library, books are written off all the time. Some of them are even vintage-bound, which is another design point to adhere to.

Vintage and modern

If the office is all vintage styled, then you are turning it into a lounge for hipsters and not much work will be done. On the other hand, if it’s all modern, then it becomes too sterile for any creative work to be carried out. The answer is not in the extremes but in the balance between vintage and modern elements that will add a touch of luxury to the space.

The meeting room

So far, we haven’t discussed particular rooms inside the office. The reception desk and lounge areas have their importance, but it is the meeting room that should receive the most attention. This is the places where important decisions are made and where productivity and creativity should reach their peak. Design this room separately by choosing different colors and furnishing it differently from the rest of the office. If possible, make it more luxurious as well.

From the color palette to wall decorations, a startup office should be all about balance. Interior design should reflect the work-life balance you wish to accomplish in your employees. This way they will have a chance to be creative and show their full potential. Properly decorating the office space should be an integral part of any startup’s business strategy.

Common HR Mistakes Startups Make

Regardless of how small or large your business is, the team that you assemble to work for you is an essential component to its success. As soon as you begin hiring staff members to join your startup, you must take on important human resources responsibilities. In many cases, hiring and developing talent as well as maintaining relationships with each team member can be stressful and challenging, and serious mistakes can be made.

Approaching the hiring and management tasks professionally from the start is essential for the success of your startup. It can reduce the number of issues that you run into and their severity. This means that you need to develop and follow effective human resources policies and processes immediately, and these should be scalable to accommodate growth in the years to come.

Identifying common human resources mistakes that startups make can help you to avoid making these same mistakes yourself. These are among the more common mistakes that startups make in the realm of human resources.

Not Seeking Professional Assistance

It may seem like hiring an employee to join your team is a relatively straightforward process and that you require little to no help with it. However, hiring a human resource professional as soon as possible to facilitate the hiring and management processes can help you to choose the right individuals to join the team. This step could also help you to retain the talent that you have worked so hard to recruit.

A good rule of thumb is to add one HR manager for every 50 employees on your team. This ensures that each individual on your team is properly managed. It also can help your HR team to identify potential issues that need to be addressed, answer their questions to promote happiness in the workplace and more. It is wise to have your HR professionals hired before adding even more individuals to join the team.

Hiring the Wrong Individuals

Entrepreneurs may be stressed with many responsibilities related to starting and growing a young business. With this in mind, it is understandable that you may take the approach of hiring any individual to join your team who has the right skillset and experience. However, there are many other factors to consider when making a hiring decision than simply the credentials on a resume. For example, a new-hire should have the right mentality to fit into corporate culture, solid personal skills to be an asset to the team and more. Your hiring process should successfully screen applicants in all relevant areas.

When you hire the wrong individuals for your positions, you may have operational issues. These individuals or others in the team could become discontent when new-hires are a poor fit, and your employee turnover rate may escalate. This type of employee experience could ultimately cost the company a substantial amount of money. To combat this, you need to have a solid financial plan for your business, and you need to stick to it. This plan should focus on standardizing the hiring process and creating clear, effective criteria to make a hiring decision by.

Not Having Strong Company Culture

Many of the largest and most successful corporations have a strong and identifiable company culture. For example, Apple is known for its outside-the-box thinking and for hiring creative individuals with fresh perspectives. You may assume that a company’s culture simply develops over time on its own, but the reality is that culture is created by the business owner though individualized decisions. For example, the interactions between team members and management can lay the foundation for culture. Without culture, your business may flounder.

Because of how important company culture is in even small companies, you need to understand how to create it. Choosing policies and processes that are aligned with the culture that you want to achieve is important. Your management team’s interactions with staff members also should represent culture. As you create corporate policies and business processes, the concept of corporate culture should also be in mind.

Failing to Develop the Team

While you may go to great lengths to hire new team members by focusing on their experience and skills, the business world is constantly changing. You need your existing team to be dynamic, and their ability to grow to meet changing needs is directly tied to the training opportunities that you provide to them. Keep in mind that your team members may also be personally interested in advancing within their career. They do not want to feel as though their skillset is outdated, and they may have a goal of climbing the corporate ladder within your company.

Developing your team begins during the onboarding process, which is a time when a new-hire learns about company culture and professional development programs available to him or year. These development programs could include in-house training and mentoring, assistance obtaining certifications, college tuition reimbursement and more. Development opportunities should be offered, encouraged and available to team members free of charge.

Final Word

While many aspects of your business operations require constant attention and thoughtful effort, hiring the right individuals to join your startup team is essential. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs make serious hiring and management mistakes, and these can ultimately be detrimental and costly to the business. If you are preparing to hire team members soon or if you are facing HR and management challenges, it may benefit your business to reassess your human resources efforts and strategies.

5 Tips for Running a Startup from Your Home

Starting a new business out of your home is a financially-savvy decision in many cases. Approximately 69 percent of entrepreneurs make the decision to base their startup out of their home, and for good reason. When you run a new business out of your house, you can save a tremendous amount of money on overhead. With substantial technology now available to facilitate a work-at-home environment, many entrepreneurs are not hindered in any way by running operations out of their house.

In fact, many of the most successful companies known around the world today were started at home. Just a few of these include Apple, Google, Amazon and Hewlett-Packard. As smart as it may be for you to launch a business from home, there may be some challenges to overcome. These helpful tips will guide you on a surer path towards success with your new home-based business.

Establish an Organized Work Area

Even through you are launching a business from home, you still need to have a professional, dedicated space to conduct your work activities. This should be a space that is free from distractions and that will not co-mingle with living activities for you and other occupants in the home. One idea is to remodel a spare room and to transform it into a functional home office space. This space ideally will hold all of your business equipment and furnishings. For example, you may need a computer, a printer, a copier, a landline phone, a desk, a work table, seating for clients, storage space, shelves and more.

Remember to also focus on the environment. For example, lighting and temperature can affect your productivity level and your ability to concentrate. As you remodel your space to create a home office, remember to focus on these important elements.

Create a Realistic and Practical Work Schedule

One of the many benefits associated with starting a business from home and being your own boss is the ability to have a flexible schedule. With a flexible schedule, you may be able to enjoy a better quality of life and better manage a work-life balance. However, this type of schedule may also lead to the likelihood of wasting time throughout the day. For example, you may be inclined to sit down in front of the TV for a quick break, but that break could easily extend for an hour or longer unintentionally.

To avoid wasting your valuable work time and to maximize productivity, it makes sense to create a schedule for your workday. Select a firm starting time as well as a finishing time. You can give yourself small breaks during the day, but most of your personal activities should be tackled outside of your work hours. There are some excellent time management and project management applications and programs that you can use to schedule your time as well as to monitor your breaks and non-work activities.

Find Support

Some entrepreneurs try to handle every task associated with running and growing their business. This requires them to wear many hats and to try to be an expert in everything that they do. This essentially can pull your attention away from the tasks that you are truly good at and that require your personal attention. Some tasks may easily and successfully be outsourced to professionals. Because of their expertise, you may enjoy better results and be able to use your time more effectively in the process.

When you search for independent contractors or freelancers, look for individuals who have expertise in an area that you are weak at and who charge affordable rates for their services. An outsourcing relationship should ideally add value and help you to work more efficiently.

Connect with Others

It is easy to feel isolated and closed off when you work from home, but it can be detrimental to your efforts to seal yourself off. Reach out to other home-based business owners in different ways. These may be individuals in a related field that you may be able to work with professionally. It may be people in unrelated fields who you simply socialize with to get support as needed, get recommendations for service providers and more.

While there are online groups that you can join, try to find live support groups or networking groups as well. These could be professional groups and clubs, or the y could be informal groups that you pull together on your own and that grow over time. You can even use these groups to casually promote your products and services.

Choose Cost-Effective Marketing Strategies

Regardless of whether you run a home-based business or your base of operations is in a more professional environment, marketing is essential. However, you likely decided to launch your business from home at least partially to conserve funds. Understandably, you also want to conserve money on marketing without negatively affecting business profits and growth.

There are many cost-effective marketing options to consider, such as through social media, email marketing, cold calls, networking events in your local area and more. Remember to use your professional network to get the word out as well. You could spend a fortune on marketing, but a cost-effective campaign that is based on thoughtful, focused effort may have just as large of a return.

In Conclusion

When you run your own business out of your home, you have the flexibility and freedom to manage your activities in any way you desire. While there are no hard and fast rules regarding most aspects of your operations, you can see that these tips can help you to remain as productive as possible while also bolstering your chances for success. As you move forward, keep these tips in mind.

Referrals | The HR Tech Weekly®

What’s Going Wrong with Employee Referrals?..

We’ve been out speaking to HR teams about our new employee referral platform and one thing is abundantly clear — everyone thinks employee referrals are great! The problem is that, despite us all being more interconnected than ever, employee referral hires are, with a few exceptions, very low.

Do your referral hires account for less than 10% of your annual hires? Don’t worry, our research suggests you are firmly amongst the majority. Even if you’re getting more referral hires, unless you are securing 30% of your annual hires through referrals, we don’t think you are fulfilling your employee referral potential.

So, what’s the problem? We went out and spoke to employees across a range of industries to find out…

1. I’m not told about vacancies at my company

It was surprising to hear how many people cited a lack of visibility as a key reason. To be fair to the employees, there’s not much they can do if they’re not told about roles.

2. It takes too long to refer someone

What does that mean? Well, we weren’t sure either so drilled down a bit further.

Basically, a lot of employees said that, if they receive an email about a vacancy, they simply don’t have the time to draft messages and contact their network. They tell themselves they’ll come back to it later but, of course, they rarely do. Another common gripe was “archaic processes” to submit a referral.

3. No recognition unless a referred candidate is hired

There seems to be a feeling that, while it makes sense to only pay recruitment consultants if a candidate is hired, a company’s employees should be treated differently.

Ultimately, they feel that they have put a lot of effort in and recommended a strong candidate, albeit a candidate not hired for that role, and that should be recognised.

4. Companies could offer more interesting incentives

Are you telling me that a big fat referral bonus isn’t enough..? In fairness, it’s not as greedy as first glance suggests. The point made by a few respondents was that not everyone is motivated by money and their company could potentially offer other awards (e.g. a cookery course).

What’s the solution?

It’s pretty simple really. You just need to use our employee referral platform, Real Links.

While that may be a shameless plug, all the employees and companies that we have spoken to agree that Real Links goes a long way to solving the problems mentioned above and will increase employee engagement.

Find out how we can help you too by signing up for a free trial.


Source: What’s going wrong with employee referrals..? – Sam Davies – Medium

True Story

Through Their Eyes: Real Stories About Diversity in Tech

“I don’t even want to hear what you have to say.” Through their eyes: real stories about diversity in tech.

“I don’t even want to hear what you have to say.”

Estimations are that companies in the USA lose $64 billion a year — the cost of employees leaving their workplace — due to diversity and inclusion issues (not to mention discrimination). Of that figure, $16 billion is attributed to the tech industry alone (if you want to read more, download the full report by Kapor Center).

But these are numbers. Statistics. Behind them are real people, who have experienced actual events — and their feelings about it are very real. Part of solving the current situation is truly understanding it. We need to get down from our high horse, 1,000 feet above the surface, and feel what it feels like.

So, we decided to let them tell their stories.

The stories aren’t the goal. The goal isn’t getting support from people, either. The goal is to make those who don’t understand — to understand. And how do you do that? You’ll be surprised, but by using unconscious bias. If unconscious bias makes a person find solidarity and take a preference based on similarities (for example, a manager with an employee or a recruiter with a candidate), why not use it for good?

So, we removed all clues about the person’s identity from these stories. We kept only the story, so that people will use their own imagination, personal connections, and relationships to decide who is behind the story. You won’t know who they are, if it’s a woman, or a man, an Afro-American or a Hispanic, but they are real. So real, in fact, that they can be your spouse, your best friend from college or even the person sitting next to you at work right now.

This is the first story.

My story is one of disillusionment. When people ask me, I say that it’s one of the many stories I have (unfortunately), but that it is without a doubt the most defining story of my career.

Somewhere back in 2011, I took on the role of Director of Engineering for a tech company with 80+ employees, with only the CTO above me. I got into it quite quickly, thanks in part to my previous experience, but mainly because that same CTO left a few months later.

I successfully played the roles of CTO and VP of Engineering simultaneously while holding only the Director of Engineering title. I had experience in building and managing teams, but never to such extent. I grew the engineering team from 3 to 23, while hiring and matching the right people to the right positions. We launched several major initiatives, had the highest employee satisfaction rating in the company and always completed 100%+ of the features scoped at quarterly planning, in addition to new features that came in during the quarter.

This was the peak of my professional career. I felt e-x-c-e-l-l-e-n-t*

Yes, excellent with an asterisk. During the two years and change in this role (more like 3 roles), there was something that bothered me. The more we succeeded, the bigger the clients. Seeing as I had experience with such large clients, I wanted the company to make use of me and to help make the right decisions — especially when handling contracts that I thought weren’t as good for us.

But, every time I tried expressing my opinion, the burden grew stronger;

“I don’t even want to hear what you have to say,”

was the CEO’s favorite sentence whenever I talked to him. He liked it so much, in fact, that it’s all I ever heard. I didn’t make much of it at the time and just continued working. This went on for over two years, during which I continued to do successful work (and I say successful not because I’m one to toot their own horn, but because this is what all of the company’s executives told me).

At some point

I noticed that all of my colleagues, in other companies, are VPs and CTOs and I thought to myself, “Hey, I do exactly the same work as my colleagues, I have the same responsibilities and even more — why can’t I be a VP?” Those same executives who I’ve mentioned agreed with me. Everyone thought I deserved that title. Everyone except for one person. Care to guess who?

I decided to (finally) see the CEO, encouraged from the support I received and the confidence I had in myself and what I had achieved over the past two years. Let me start off by saying that this was one of the first times he didn’t say “I don’t even want to hear what you have to say.” On the other hand, he said

“You’re right, we need a VP of Engineering. I will open the position to candidates and I will *let* you apply for the job.”

Remember that this is a story of disillusionment? We’re not there yet. The only thing that went through my head was ‘OK, I’ll apply.’

Several candidates, including myself, applied for the position. Since I led the development team in previous years, I was asked to interview the candidates for the job. I interviewed my competition. Sounds absurd? Not to me, not at the time anyway. I interviewed all the candidates, and they all had their pros and cons. Nearly all of them lacked a methodology or plan to keep momentum going or maintain cooperation with the team. One of the candidates even bragged about that time he fired half a department during his first week on the job — just to start with a clean slate.

I was feeling confident. I had support throughout the company, I was commended by all of the executives who interviewed me (some of them even BCC’ed me in the summary email they sent the CEO). When it was my turn to interview with the CEO, I was tasked with devising an entirely new strategic plan for how the department will be run under my new/old authority. Being the model employee that I am, I made one. I was feeling confident and worthy of the job when entering the CEO’s office and excited about going over and explaining my plan.

That didn’t happen.

That didn't happen.Instead, he pulled out a piece of paper — literally, a piece of paper — listing all of the bad things I had done over the last two and a half years on the job. My “interview” with the CEO consisted of a list of every mistake I had ever made and I had to justify each of them. No mention was made of any of the major successes I ever had in the role.

And what was on the list? That I didn’t say the right thing at the right time. Or that I wasn’t nice in one case and how he especially didn’t like how I talked to one of the employees (that employee and I weren’t on good terms. To tell you the truth, he wasn’t on good terms with anyone). I’m not perfect, far from it, but there was not one strategic thing on this list.

At the end of the recruitment process, the CEO (contrary to the advice given by all of the other executives) decided to hire another candidate. I only found out about it incidentally through HR. I could understand the advantages he had

over me — he had much more experience managing big teams of employees — but at the same time, I knew him and I knew that he had been fired, twice, from similar positions in the past.

3 weeks later, on a Friday, the CEO and the new VP asked me to work on a huge project during the weekend, saying it was needed for a new prospect by Sunday evening. I did it. I worked on it for two days straight, did the research, crunched the numbers and made it happen.

On Monday morning, I come into the office, after a very rough weekend, and an HR representative and the new VP are waiting for me next to my desk:

“You’re no longer needed in the company.”

When I asked why they said the CEO was “doing me a favor” because “clearly, I wouldn’t want to stay.”

I was confused. I never said anything like that. Quite the opposite, I spent the new VP’s first three weeks on the job supporting, helping and guiding him so that his transition would be as smooth as possible. I worked in several successful startups and tech companies, I was never fired, I never failed. I still remember the shock on everyone’s face as I walked out of the office.

Karma is a bitch.

50% of my team quit within a few months. The CEO was fired a year later. The company is still not profitable. I went on to get a great VP role only 3 weeks later, helped that company become very successful and recently founded my own company. That’s the moment of my disillusionment.

When I was going through it, I took responsibility for it. I was the one to blame — I was at fault. I was the blind spot. I know that others like me, who I’ve talked to, have this in common. We all took on the role of the ‘bad guy’ in the story.

No more.


Source: “I don’t even want to hear what you have to say.” Real stories about diversity in tech. — Joonko Blog

5 Machine Learning Startups To Improve Your Recruiting Workflow

5 Machine Learning Startups To Improve Your Recruiting Workflow

Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 7.20.58 PM
This list was originally published on Product Hunt here. Below is an abbreviated version.

Sam DeBrule co-founder of Journal and voice of the Machine Learnings Newsletter has curated a list of top startups using Machine Learning to automate work-related tasks. I’ve pared this down to my favorites for simplifying recruiting and team building efforts.

1. Textio | Spell checker for gender bias and more

Job descriptions are often vague and unintentionally biased, which affects the quality and diversity of applicants applying to your jobs. By generating insights from your job posts, Textio teaches you how to better message an open job role in a way that is both non-discriminatory and eye-catching to applicants.

2. Slack | Real-time messaging, archiving & search

Slack facilitates quick, real-time communication using ML-powered search, allowing you to chat with your team and candidates without the lag-time between emails. It automates many internal status updates and meetings regarding candidates as they move through the pipeline. Additionally, with hundreds of groups, it’s a great place to source candidates and learn tactics and best practices from other recruiters.

3. Wade & Wendy | AI chatbot for engaging & interviewing candidates

Wade & Wendy has developed an Applicant Experience Chatbot, Wendy. She serves as a first-round interviewer and candidate engagement tool. By chatting with applicants at the top of the funnel, recruiters and hiring teams can spend more time building relationships with candidates and sourcing hard-to-fill positions.

Disclaimer: I work at Wade & Wendy! 😎

4. Grammarly | Clear, effective, mistake-free writing everywhere you type

With nearly 1 in 3 employees searching for new opportunities, many often communicate with recruiters when a few spare minutes arise while at their current job. When candidates have a small window of time, recruiters need to move fast with their communication. Grammarly is a seamless way to side-step embarrassing typos when quickly emailing (or Slack-ing) back and forth.

5. X.aiAn AI personal assistant who schedules meetings for you

Between, texting, calling, emailing and messaging candidates, it’s tough to keep your calendar straight. X.ai uses AI scheduling assistants to automate this process. Cc’ing Amy to emails eliminates the time-consuming task of scheduling phone calls, interviews and coffees with candidates.

Any other tools keeping your recruiting efforts on track? Drop them in the comments section.👇

About the Author:

Bailey Newlan is the Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy, a New York City-based startup on a mission to make hiring more human. Wade & Wendy is a conversational engagement platform for recruitment automation. To connect, reach out to Bailey via LinkedIn, Twitter or Medium and join the private beta list.


If you want to share this article the reference to Bailey NewlanWade & Wendy and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

Head of Catering Jobs in NYC

Google for Jobs: Opening the Door for Applicant Experience Chatbots

Google for Jobs: Opening the Door for Applicant Experience Chatbots
Source: TechCrunch

Recently, the Google Cloud Jobs API team unveiled Google for Jobs. By aggregating similar job titles into groups of jobs, job seekers can search and discover relevant jobs in a centralized location, rather than visiting multiple job boards and company career pages. Google says recruiters can expect “more, motivated applicants.”

Google’s entrance to the job search space, brings much needed innovation. In a recent blog post, Google for Jobs: Disrupting the Recruiting Market?, Josh Bersin, details today’s frustrating landscape:

“The bottom line is a lot of headaches and inefficiency in the job market: the average open position receives more than 150 resumes, more than 45% of candidates never hear anything back from the employer, 83% of candidates rate their job search experience poor…”

With Google doing what they do best — organizing information and making it searchable and discoverable, the job search experience will improve. This further catalyzes an already budding, industry-wide movement towards improved candidate engagement.

When coupled with the increasing pervasiveness of “Quick Apply” options, Google’s enhanced job discoverability has officially knocked down all barriers to applying. Recruiters will experience a massive increase in inbound applicants.

As applicant pools grow, recruiters’ needs will shift from, “How do I get applicants to apply to my jobs?” to “How do I engage this new and much larger applicant pool?” The application floodgates have opened and recruiters, already stretched thin, lack the bandwidth to engage.

Here’s where chatbots come in.

Chatbots engage on candidates’ schedules.

Most applicants and recruiters have tight schedules, which makes it hard to find time to connect. With narrow windows of time to communicate, recruiters and applicants often miss each other. Unlike recruiters, chatbots are not limited by time. Rather, they engage with applicants at their convenience.

Chatbots are patient and listen attentively.

In order to move through the ever-growing queue of applicants, recruiters often rush through the most important aspect of their job: building relationships with candidates. Recruiters strive to listen to candidates, to empathize with their situation and to provide thoughtful feedback and context about the job. Unfortunately, buckling under the pressure to quickly engage, screen and assess, recruiters lack the bandwidth to provide such a thoughtful experience. Chatbots, on the other hand, can be patient when recruiters cannot. Chatbots fulfill the outcome recruiters desire, but are too overburdened to achieve themselves.

Chatbots allow recruiters to make data-driven decisions.

Lastly, similar to “Quick Apply” applications, rushed interviews reduce the data available to recruiters. Short, distracted phone screens provide an incomplete picture of a candidate. Not only does this force recruiters to make decisions based on data they know is incomplete, but candidates are left feeling misrepresented. Chatbots patiently listen to applicants in order to gather a complete picture of their experiences and skills as they relate to the role in question — effectively replicating the outcome recruiters seek in the initial phone screen, but with more holistic data.

Candidates deserve a hiring experience that is un-rushed, attentive and personable. Recruiters want this too, but lack the bandwidth to provide such engagement at scale. The introduction of Google for Jobs further compounds this dilemma.

🙋 ️Enter Wendy.

Wendy is an Applicant Experience Chatbot. She automates the experience recruiters wish they could provide for every applicant. She does not seek to replicate the candidate-recruiter relationship itself. Rather, she replicates, at scale, the outcome a conversation between candidate and recruiter achieves. She aims to engage candidates in an attentive, empathetic way that makes them comfortable enough to open up about their professional accomplishments and career goals — just as a recruiter seeks to do.

What other implications do you think Google for Jobs has on the industry? Let us know in the comments or start a conversation with us on Twitter: @wadeandwendy.


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Statistics

Hiring Statistics You Need to Know for 2017 (Infographic)

Statistics

While we are aware that the job landscape is always changing – with new technology, automation and outsourcing removing jobs, and new startups popping up everywhere you look – it’s sometimes hard to see the big picture. But, as a hiring manager or even business leader, it is important to know where the industry is headed. Background check company, EBI, has put together a list of 60 hiring statistics that are important for every HR professional. Looking at everything from the hiring process to gender and diversity breakdown in the workplace, it paints a telling picture of the issues HR professionals face every day.

You can see the highlights in the infographic below:

Hiring Statistics You Need to Know for 2017 | Infographics by EBI


Source: 60 Hiring Statistics You Need to Know for 2017

5 successful leaders' advice: I wish I knew this as a young manager

5 successful leaders’ advice: I wish I knew this as a young manager

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Good leadership is an essential for any successful company, but it’s not always easy for junior or first-time managers to adapt to their role. Many times, leaders look back on their career and have a whole host of new insights and knowledge they wish they’d known all along.

When we started Impraise 3 years ago, the focus was on the product. As the company grew and we brought more people on board, we faced the challenges of also becoming first time leaders. Managing people for the first time, whilst challenging, was also rewarding, but it was always helpful hearing from people with more experience, and understanding what helped them progress and become the best leaders possible.

With recent failures at Uber showing many young leaders were neither trained or equipped for their roles, we wanted to find out just what people wish they’d known when they began on their leadership path. We talked to five top leaders to find out what they wish they’d known when they started their management careers, and collected their most valuable insights…

Harry WestFrog Design

“In an organization that’s fast moving, with lots of young people… we need to be proactive. We shouldn’t expect people to know how to manage without any training.”

CEO Harry West shares with us the things he’s learnt whilst managing the rapidly growing design company.

Historically, he shares, during the company’s earlier days, when potential future leaders were trained, there was a lack of knowledge and structure in place concerning the skills required and how they should be developed. The company now have in place a management training program to ensure these things are addressed before young leaders are put in charge of teams. Reflecting on earlier practices, he muses that this less than thought out approach to systematic training was not good enough for such a fast moving, young tech company. West soon learnt that this wasn’t working, and began reshaping their training process to be more systematic, now ensuring young leaders go into their positions equipped and confident.

Martin Jellema, Werkspot

“One of the most important elements is the people themselves.”

Martin Jellema, Werkspot & Instapro’s Chief Commercial Officer, responsible for a 70+ team, shares the top three lessons he’s learnt since he began managing.

Jellema maintains that, after all his years of managing people, one of the most important elements is the people themselves. Finding and recruiting candidates that fit the company and can handle every aspect of the role remains one of the most important aspects of managing.

Besides this, he maintains, asking for help where needed remains the second most important thing. He now values collaboration over feeling the pressure to perform flawlessly and prove yourself as manager, saying it’s more useful to discuss issues, allowing people to help you come up with solutions you wouldn’t necessarily think of. In Jellema’s experience, both your boss and your team will see you reaching out for help as a strength not a weakness: understanding that something needs to be done or changed and using the resources you have to make that positive change won’t be frowned upon. You have a great team around you for a reason: use their knowledge and skills! He also outlines the importance of keeping focus on ‘high leverage’ activities: rather than taking time on minor activities, delegate, and dedicate the time to things like team training which ups productivity.

Bob Kastner, Meeting Tomorrow

“If you have great team members, and you get them energized by a great scoreboard, then you’ll be unstoppable.”

Bob Kastner, Director of Marketing at Meeting Tomorrow shares the one thing he wishes he knew as a junior manager: how useful scoreboards are when it comes to keeping the team engaged, energized and on track.

Kaster says things should be easy to read at a glance. People should be able to tell what’s going on by looking at a few, important metrics: only use the ones that are essential to productivity. Kaster’s next must-do for these metrics is keep things constant: update the board as often as possible; keep information relevant and updated in real-time, and have it on display, keeping things in the forefronts of people’s minds, and discussing them regularly in team meetings or daily stand ups.

You can decide whether to create a competitive friendly vibe, seeing who tops the scoreboard, or create a collective vibe: how close is the team to hitting goals? Kaster has learnt to put this focus on striving for more motivating ‘best’ results rather than encouraging people to beat averages, always ensuring most importantly, to celebrate these successes as a team when they occur!

Brett Remington, Wisconsin Centre for Performance Excellence

“Trust holds everything together. It takes huge amounts of time to accumulate… As a manager, your success depends on the preservation and enhancement of trust.”

We spoke to Brett Remington, of the Wisconsin Centre for Performance Excellence,  and he outlined the things he’s learnt: his experience based ‘truths of management’.

Remington’s first learning was the importance of trust and fostering good relationships with those around you. He shares he’s also learnt to see managers as administrative functions, believing that “if you’re going into management because you want to change the face of what’s possible in your organization, you are applying for the wrong job.” The second, he says, is it’s essential to have a curiosity about the processes your team use: you could have a great team, but, if the processes being followed are ineffective, they’re going to be disengaged and unsuccessful.

He also sets a lot of store by keeping metrics simple and useful, and learnt to focus on 3-5 key performance metrics. He says attempting to stay on top of more than 5 performance measures at once makes for accomplishing less, whilst having focus on fewer than 3 at any time means you’ll likely miss opportunities for continuous improvement and innovation.

His next learning? Humility and the need to embrace change.

“You are only about 2/3rds as good at your job as you think. The 1/3rd you don’t know about, don’t believe, or don’t pay attention to is going to determine how long you’ve got left in this job. Find ways of eliminating blind spots and practice humility. Eventually, you may find that your role as manager is vastly different than when you started. People, processes, policies, and potential change. Know when the accumulated changes no longer fit with your skills, aspirations, or interests. When that time comes, be ready to change out of your manager role and reflect on what you have accomplished as you pursue a better future for yourself.” 

Barry Curry, Systeme

“Most importantly learning how to react and behave when you are out of your comfort zone will better prepare you for being out of it.”

Barry Curry, Technical Director at Systeme, also brings back the key point of positive feedback, recognition, and acknowledging your team for their accomplishments: it’s always key to ensure people know they’re valued.

He shared his biggest learnings with us, beginning with the importance of keeping sight of the big picture. It can be easy to get drawn into the small details: stay focused on key details, and don’t take things personally. If things become heated during stressful projects or periods, it’s okay to let people vent. Acknowledge people’s perspectives, never make responses personal and keep things respectful, with co-workers and clients alike.

He also suggests using goals to ensure what you’re doing has direction. This ensures that problem solving for others doesn’t totally overtake your other responsibilities. Another learning is resist the temptation to always check your emails first thing: first complete one of the daily tasks you’ve set yourself, without distraction or prioritising other’s needs.

He also says that although sometimes sharing problems is difficult, having thought about solutions before sharing the problem will show you’ve thought things through and instill confidence in you. Similarly, having a process in place for when unplanned or unexpected things arise is key: have a consistent process in place to help you deal with things more efficiently.

For more information and expert advice on becoming a great leader, check out our free eBook and white paper.


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