Monthly Archives: June 2016

Avoid Candidates Can That Hurt Your Hiring Process

How you treat the job seekers you don’t hire could affect your chances of finding the best employees in the future, new research finds.

A study from CareerArc, an HR technology provider, and Future Workplace, revealed that 60 percent of job seekers have had a poor candidate experience, and of those, 72 percent have shared that negative experience online on an employer review site, on a social networking site, or directly with a colleague or friend.

“Companies need to start humanizing their candidate experience because job seekers can easily share their negative experiences online and decide never to apply to that company again,” Dan Schawbel, research director at Future Workplace, said in a statement. “Treat your candidates like you would your employees or customers because they have the power to refer strong candidates even if they don’t get hired.”

“This survey reveals a critical blind spot employers have when it comes to candidate experience, and that is the experience of the declined candidate,” said Robin Richards, CEO of CareerArc. “In this tightening labor market, companies can no longer afford to overlook this vocal majority of applicants who didn’t get the job, but simply expect to be acknowledged.”

Despite nearly all employers seeing the value of keeping in touch with declined candidates, less than half actually do so. Those surveyed said re-engaging with job seekers who weren’t hired is a good opportunity for their company to build their talent community and protect their employer brand.

The technology many employers are using as part of the hiring process is also leaving job seekers with a poor impression. With nearly 40 percent of employers relying on technology that pre-screens or preselects candidates based on the data they’ve submitted, 85 percent of job seekers doubt that a human ever even reviewed their resume when they don’t hear back.

Although applicant-screening technology might save employers time during the hiring process, it also might not be revealing the best candidates. More than 60 percent of the employers surveyed admitted that these types of programs could be overlooking qualified candidates.

The problem for many businesses is that they have no idea whether or not they are providing a good experience for job seekers. Only 25 percent of employers regularly request feedback directly from candidates on their experience, with 78 percent of job seekers saying they’ve never been asked to give feedback on the process.

The good news is that many employers plan to work on improving their hiring process. The study discovered that 70 percent of companies have invested, or plan to invest, more resources in improving the candidate experience in the next year.

“This presents a tremendous opportunity for employers who recognize the need to reframe the rejection process, improve on candidate care, and prioritize the needs of all applicants today so they return to reapply tomorrow,” Richards said.

What is The Boomerang Employee

When an employee resigns, most bosses would assume that they won’t see or hear much from that person again, even if they’re still on friendly professional terms. So most of them might be surprised to find that someone who voluntarily left their company is coming back for that new job opening.

While some professionals would never dream of returning to work for a former employer, it’s actually becoming more common: Research indicates that workers are open to reapplying for a position at a company they once worked for, and the majority of employers would welcome them back with open arms. But is hiring a “boomerang” employee the right choice for your team?

Regardless of how either party felt upon the employee’s resignation, there are a few clear advantages to rehiring someone who used to work for you. Amber Hyatt, a certified senior professional in human resources (SPHR) and director of product marketing for HR software company SilkRoad, noted that the boomerang employee will already have some important pre-existing knowledge about your company.

“Hiring former employees means familiarity with your business — the mission, culture, values, players, training and organizational structure are already in place,” Hyatt told Business News Daily. “This familiarity lends itself to an expedited time to productivity, greatly benefiting the organization.”

“Since less time would need to be spent training on those areas, more focus can be put toward training for the new role, objectives and goals,” added Judson Van Allen, director of recruiting at Computer Task Group.

Boomerang employees can also boost morale among your existing staff members, said Samantha Lambert, director of human resources at Blue Fountain Media.

“These employees can attest to the improvements in processes, quality of work and management from when they first worked here,” Lambert said.

Hyatt agreed, noting that a returning staff member may also perform better than when he or she originally worked for you, since the person likely picked up new experiences, skills and perspectives during his or her time away.

Hiring a boomerang employee

On the other hand, this person shouldn’t automatically get the job just because he or she worked for you before. Like any other candidate, boomerang employees need to go through the interview and onboarding process to make sure they’re the right fit for the job.

“Do not shortchange the interview process simply because the candidate is a known quantity,” Van Allen said. “The candidate should go through the same process as all other candidates. Also, be sure to validate with HR that the candidate is eligible for rehire.”

You’ll also want to think about the circumstances under which the employee left, to ensure that he or she is going to stay and grow within the organization this time around, Hyatt said.

“There are many reasons why people leave, including family responsibilities or relocation, or the desire to experience new challenges and grow new skills,” Hyatt said. “Several questions should be considered when evaluating a boomerang to ensure organizations are learning from past experiences: What was their performance like before they left? How did they exit the organization? Most importantly, why did they leave the organization? Is this still a potential concern?”

If you do ultimately decide to hire a boomerang candidate, Lambert advised employers to point out any major changes in policy and process that have been put in place since he or she last worked at the company.

Hyatt added that you should also leverage the returning employee’s prior experience with the company as he or she adjusts to the new role.

“Especially in cases of a high performer, the organization has a tremendous opportunity to immediately build confidence in [that person’s] abilities with the new team, including how he or she has embraced the organizational culture and been a brand ambassador,” Hyatt said. “A boomerang returning provides a real-life example to current employees that ‘the grass isn’t always greener’ elsewhere.”

How to manage your employee

One of your employees has been acting strange lately. He or she has been taking a lot of time off for doctor’s appointments and sick days. The employee may have asked to shift his or her work schedule without an explanation. Perhaps the person’s productivity has been on a downward spiral in recent weeks, or he or she has seemed particularly withdrawn from the team.

Whether you’ve heard rumors from other staff members or you simply have a gut feeling, the writing is on the wall: This person is probably going to quit.

Disengagement: The biggest sign of a quitter

Many career and HR experts agree that the above-named behaviors are among the most common signs that an employee might be looking for a job elsewhere. But overall, the biggest indicator that someone is planning an exit is a consistent drop-off in engagement at work.

Asher Weinberger, CEO and founder of menswear company Twillory, noted that managers should be on the lookout for sudden withdrawal from office social activity in particular.

“Even if the quality and commitment to their tasks is maintained, once a person knows they are leaving, they no longer feel at home in their environment,” Weinberger said.

Karen Hsu, vice president of marketing at business gamification company Badgeville, agreed, adding that an across-the-board drop in an employee’s collaboration, interactions and enthusiasm could indicate that the person is looking elsewhere.

“There’s less output,” Hsu told Business News Daily. “Even in meetings, [the person has] less energy and excitement.”

Should you intervene?

Depending on how vital the employee is to your organization, the thought of losing him or her might be overwhelming and upsetting, and your first instinct may be to confront the person about it. But you don’t want to outright accuse someone of job hunting or planning to leave: If it turns out to be untrue, it will only hurt your relationship with the employee.

However, there are ways to subtly assess the person’s plans and possibly even address whatever issues are making him or her look elsewhere in the first place. Hsu said if you suspect an employee is going to quit, try to open a dialogue focused on the employee and determine if there’s something going on in his or her life that’s contributing to the disengagement.

“Usually, there’s some core issue the employee is dealing with,” she said. “Address the employee, [and ask] what’s going on. If it’s personal, be understanding, but if it has to do with the company, talk about it.”

Hsu said there are two main fixable reasons that may lead employees to consider leaving: They feel isolated for some reason, or they don’t see a clear career path. The former often happens with remote employees, or those who frequently work independently.

“[If they] don’t have day-to-day interactions in the office, it can lead to feeling that they don’t belong in the organization,” Hsu said.

You can bring the employee back into the “tribe” by providing more frequent feedback and checking in with them often.

“When they do something [well], come by and tell them they did a great job,” Hsu said. “Even if they’re remote, a manager can still do this digitally. It makes the employee feel good, like they’re part of something.”

If the employee expresses concerns about his or her career path, Hsu advised taking the opportunity to discuss the person’s long-term goals and what the company can do to help him or her reach them.

“Repeatedly check in on a periodic basis,” Hsu said. “Go back [and ask,] ‘Are you getting what you think you should be getting out of this role?’ As long as people feel like they’re making progress, they’ll feel like they’re reaching their goals.”


Successful Workplace Fundraisers Tips

If you’re worried that a workplace fundraiser will make your employees feel obligated to donate money they can’t afford, think again.

New research from Gallup shows that the vast majority of employees who donate money to fundraisers at work do so because they want to, not because they feel they have to. Just 13 percent of workers donate money to charitable organizations because they feel obligated to do so, while only 4 percent contribute money because their employers support the charity.

“Few employees feel pressured by workplace fundraisers, perhaps because their motivations for donating to them have little to do with their employers,” the study’s authors wrote. “External forces, including their employers, have little sway.”

Employees listed several other motivations for donating that are more important than what their employers do. Those included that it’s the right thing to do, the charity supports someone in the employee’s life, someone in the person’s personal life asked him or her to donate, and the individual sees a personal story of someone the organization is helping and wants to help.

The key to getting employees to donate money to workplace fundraisers is to make the process easy, the research found. More than two-thirds of the employees surveyed said they are likely to donate moneyif their employer makes it easy to do so.

“These findings suggest that employees are more likely to donate money at work if it’s convenient for them,” the study’s authors wrote. “To encourage employees to participate in workplace-giving programs, charitable organizations and employers need to find ways to make the giving process seamless.”

Employers who want run successful workplace-giving campaigns need to be very careful when selecting a charity to support. The researchers suggest choosing charities that have a strong positive organizational identity and that successfully engage their donors.

“Though employees do not necessarily feel pressured by workplace fundraisers, they are more likely to contribute if they believe their money supports a powerful mission,” the study’s authors wrote.

Businesses that do a good job keeping employees engaged are also likely to see better results from workplace-giving campaigns. The study found that people in work groups that had the highest levels of engagement with their employers were more likely to donate. Additionally, these employees donated 2.6 times more money than did people in less-engaged teams.

The research was based on a Gallup Panel web study of 17,174 U.S. adults who had donated to a charitable organization in the previous 12 months.

Fire an Employee Tips

It’s never easy to let go of a worker, especially one who has devoted time and hard work to your company. But the unpleasant reality of running a business is that sometimes, people must be fired. Prolonging the process only leads to further issues that can stunt your company’s growth.

Terminating an employee is complex, and going about it the wrong way may result in an angry former staff member at best, and a hefty lawsuit at worst. Here’s how to go about this difficult process properly, from both a legal and a professional standpoint.

Before the meeting

Firing an employee is never as simple as saying, “You’re fired.” Proper termination is not a rash, spur-of-the-moment decision, but a well-documented process that must prove that you, as the employer, are justified in your actions. Otherwise, you’re inviting the potential for a wrongful termination lawsuit.

“Throughout the entire termination process, HR leaders need to work with the employee’s manager on properly documenting instances of performance and/or behavioral discussions,” said Deb LaMere, vice president of employee engagement at Ceridian, a human capital management technology company. “When it comes to terminating an employee for performance reasons, having those facts documented and vetted by the organization’s legal department or a contracted attorney will not only make the process easier, it will also help validate the reason for terminating the employee, in the first place.”

Employees should not be surprised at a notice of termination. LaMere recommends sharing feedback with employees on a regular basis to ensure you are on the same page.

“Having regular performance discussions — especially when performance needs improving — acts as a warning,” she said. “If managers are not having these types of constant conversations about performance and areas in need of improvement, the employee will be surprised and they may end up feeling that they have been discriminated against and terminated without any kind of valid reason.”

The situation can be a little trickier if an employee is being let go as part of a downsizing initiative. Kathie Caminiti, a partner at labor and employment law firm Fisher & Phillips LLP, said that documentation is necessary to justify not only the reduction in staff, but how you determined which employees got cut. [See Related Story: Should You Fire That Employee? 4 Questions to Ask]

“With a downsizing or reduction … what is the business justification and what is the selection criteria for the person to be terminated?” Caminiti said. “If you’re letting go of three people, the next question is, why those three people as opposed to [other employees]? That’s where companies get into trouble.”

To make sure you’ve covered your bases, Caminiti advised asking yourself these five important questions when preparing for a termination meeting:

  1. What is the reason for the discharge and what documentation exists to support that decision?
  2. What is the employee’s background and history with the company? (Consider age, gender, protected class under EEOC laws, union versus nonunion, whether employee has made complaints against company, etc.)
  3. Am I treating all other employees the same? (i.e., if the employee is being fired for violation of policy, would any other employee also be fired for the same violation?)
  4. Is this termination achieving business objectives?
  5. Am I following my own employer policies and procedures for discipline?