AlignMark Recruiting and Selection Blog

... from a recognized expert in the field of assessment!

Better Recruiting and Selection in Today’s Economy

Driving better hiring, development and promotion decisions. The recession is mostly behind us; and with the economy continuing to strengthen, many organizations will need to staff up while trying to retain their current workforce. Are you ready for this? Do you have the tools? Do you know the questions to ask? Today talent leaders are under pressure to help business managers make smart talent decisions within a climate of flat or reduced HR budgets. But retaining key employees has an immediate and financial impact. Talent leaders can stem a probable tide of departures and lay a strategic foundation to acquire new talent by making an organizational commitment to create a workforce culture based on talent measurement. Begin With the End in Mind – Measure Success Strategic talent programs need to measure success and demonstrate value to the organization, proving their impact on business outcomes. Success measures must be considered and prepared for in the early stages of a program’s inception. What are the business goals? How will program impact be measured? What data is available, and is it linked to the talent program? Does the organization value those particular data points? Most seasoned recruiting professionals know what it’s like to make tough decisions and manage staffing challenges through up and down cycles. They then, work with business leaders within their organization to set goals and rely on objective data to monitor and improve the overall function of their talent management programs – Scientific measures guide their strategy and inform their tactics. We have to constantly find new ways to measure, report and, most importantly, take action based on our... read more

What Does It Take to Hire the “Right” Talent?

Despite thousands of applicants applying to organizations with job opportunities, businesses today are facing a long-term talent shortage unlike anything experienced over the past several decades. Leading editorials as diverse as The Economist and CNN Money have pointed out that the problem is the shrinkage in highly skilled work force, increasing worldwide demand for highly skilled knowledge workers and globalization of the economy will create difficulty for even the most creative and successful businesses in managing their talent pipeline. Over the next 5-10 years, the demand for talented people will far exceed the availability of skilled workers – at all levels, and in all industries. Before proceeding further, let’s put things into perspective. The recruitment and staffing department within each organization is responsible for recruiting the primary assets of the company – its workforce. For a company to make sure that their recruiting department is effective and efficient, proper performance metrics must be employed along with the aid of tools and techniques to source and screen talent. How do I know I have a problem? I have fewer applicants than I’d like showing up at my door Resumes never give me the right picture I am spending too much time calling each candidate I am spending too much time talking to candidates that are not really qualified My applicant to hire ratio is very low Line organizations constantly differ with the candidates that are shortlisted As we speak with staffing and talent acquisition executives from around the world, they all express frustration in creating a measurable means that drives one main objective – getting the right candidate for the job. In order... read more

Online Talent Acquisition Processes Still Miss the Boat

When it comes to the early stages of acquiring talent most companies have it WRONG. Most companies are using outdated technology, and more importantly outdated methods to actively engage with job candidates. Today’s candidates expect more from companies and those companies that are on the forefront of using new recruiting techniques will win the continuing war for talent. As part of a large research project, AlignMark assessed and evaluated over 100 online applications from well-known companies across a variety of industries. This is the first installment of our findings. Company Online Applications Most businesses have implemented at least an online application process (96%). However there are still 4% of businesses which had no online process at all, and a much greater number of business (36%) that had an online process for only “higher level” jobs (e.g., management and above). In fact, the majority of companies in the retail industry still require candidates at the associate level to simply “show up” at the store to talk with a manager. Job Seekers Expectations Today’s job seekers (especially passive ones) are looking for an experience where they can learn about the company and job opportunities without having to invest too much time and without having to share personal information upfront. Over 95% of the businesses with an online process required the candidate to “register” before actually starting the application process. While information is included in a careers page most passive job seekers do not want to “register” first, they’d rather learn first and make an educated decision on whether it’s worth going further or not. Engaging Job Seekers with Multi-Media Obviously companies... read more

Five Steps to Hiring Better Salespeople

Traditional hiring methods aren’t enough anymore. Especially when it comes to recruitment and selection of salespeople, you need to find the right overall match for your company. Ability and past experience are good, but equally important is the potential to thrive in your business environment. A holistic approach is essential in today’s complex and rapidly-changing business environment. And a more fully integrated process will enable you to achieve profitable, long-term results. 1. Use all the tools available. Hiring is essentially marketing. You want to attract the most promising prospects, but to close the sale you have to sell your company as a desirable workplace. Limiting your search or failing to promote your company as a great place to work could cause you to miss out on someone truly special. Use every avenue to find prospects. Savvy professionals are online, and social media can be an effective means of inbound recruiting. Even your own employees can be valuable recruiters. You can’t “just tell” if someone is the right choice. Well-planned recruitment, selection and sales assessment strategies create a comprehensive process that will assure a higher success rate. Incorporating technology and online tools into your application procedures refines the winnowing process, assessing knowledge and competency but also key personal traits and values that best fit your company. 2. You need a plan and specific processes. In effect, recruitment and selection are a matter of data management. Using all available tools to optimize that process and streamline your procedures will give you the most compelling results. Since you’re hiring a “whole person,” base your plan on company goals and culture as well... read more

Quality Still Beats Quantity when Searching for Job Candidates

Even though you have sufficient numbers of candidates are you finding the right people? Hiring the right people can be as difficult and time consuming as searching for a shiny, sharp needle in the middle of a haystack. Over the past 5 years most companies have been comfortable with the quantity of candidates available to fill openings. During this time difficulty in filling openings remained at a historically low level. When the job market is tight, applicants applying are not always suited to positions advertised resulting in sifting through dozens or even hundreds of resumes, culling out those suited for interviews. Companies are in this conundrum now, and you realize there is huge risk associated with ignoring quality, when quantity is sufficient. Assuming a large number of applications will result in finding employees with the critical skills to be successful is a risky and costly supposition. Because of this recent history, most companies have lost focus in recruitment and selection, assuming there will be plenty of talent available whenever they need it. Upon further probing, many companies are citing increasing difficulties attracting the “right” employees, those with the critical skills a company needs to compete in its market. Over the past five years this difficulty has continued to increase even though there are plenty of candidates available for the “average” job. For example, a national hospitality company was easily able to fill 2,200 open sales positions last year. However, performance was still down. By focusing their recruiting and selection process on the critical skills needed and communicating their true employee value proposition to those candidates with the “right” skills,... read more

Companies Need to put Candidates’ Wishes before Recruiters’ Needs

Given the sophistication of technology available today, one would think that companies would do a remarkable job communicating with their job prospects throughout the entire recruiting process. You would think that they would do an even better job of telling candidates about their employee value proposition from the beginning. Ideally you would also think that they could make quick decisions and let candidates know the status of their decision making process in an ongoing manner. In fact, for over 80% of companies recruiting – this isn’t true. Even with sophisticated Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), staffing operations within companies do a poor job catering to their job candidates (i.e., their consumers), and despite the fact almost all companies use some form of an ATS.  However most companies implement an ATS to make the job of collecting data, processing data, and reporting easier for their company personnel, often times at the frustration of the job candidate. Today’s web generation of job seekers have different expectations.  Five years ago, when job candidates began to apply online it was still ok to ask them to spend 45 minutes going through an online, text-based job application before even telling them about the company.  Today it is not.  Job seekers are still willing to spend a little bit of time to determine if the company is right for them, however, they expect something in return – information about why this is a good place for them to work.  If they don’t find that employee value proposition quickly you will lose them.  They also want a process that is interactive and makes use of video (or... read more

Your Candidates are Your Customers

Hopefully you’ve realized that your job candidates are also your customers (existing and potential).  If your customers have a bad experience – what do you think happens?  And how do you think they’ll feel about your company?  Do you think you have a high probability of keeping them as a customer?  Probably Not! And that ultimately will hurt your talent acquisition process.  5 Bad Things You Shouldn’t Do To Your Job Applicants: 1.      Ask them to spend more than 10 minutes before they understand what your company and the job has to offer them. 2.      Spend too much time registering for and filling out a long, text-based application. 3.      Leave them in limbo at the end of each part of the hiring process.  In other words give them very specific information at the end of each step as to what they can expect and what their chances are of getting the job. 4.      Don’t treat all job candidates the same.  Each candidate has a different perspective on what they want to know about the company and the job before committing too much time to the hiring process. 5.      Don’t ask job candidates to complete a boring process and application that you wouldn’t be happy to complete yourself. 7 Good Things To Do For Your Job Applicants: 1.      Create an interactive experience where they get information based on their answers to questions on the application. 2.      Use video so they feel engaged with the entire process. 3.      Create a process that lets you spend more time with your high potential applicants and less time with your low potential applicants. 4.     ... read more

Are you losing quality applicants?

Companies want to choose who to hire.  The same holds true for job candidates. They too are making a choice – the choice of which company they want to work for.  If companies take that for granted they will continue to lose quality applicants during their hiring process. Companies are spending billions of dollars advertising jobs and trying to attract job candidates to apply to their job openings.  Too many qualified candidates never make it through most companies’ application process because they are too long and boring.  Career sites today are largely text-based, difficult to navigate, and ask too many questions. And this happens all before the candidate has enough information to find out if they even want to work for the organization. It has become difficult for candidates to find relevant information about the company and positions during their decision making process. Long online application processes create barriers for candidates that result in a lot of practical problems for recruiters, such as spending way too much time with low probability candidates, and not enough time with the best qualified.  Plus, the lack of interactivity and engagement within the company’s career pages turn away the passive job seeker – potentially blocking them from any more visits to your site. Ultimately these factors reduce the quality of hires, which is costing companies millions each year by hiring the wrong people. Companies need a recruiting system to both attract and pre-screen talent.  They need a system that sources more candidates and recruits more efficiently. Each applicant should have their own unique experience that is engaging and most relevant to them. Companies... read more

What is an Automated Online Interview?

Technology is transforming talent acquisition rapidly. Some technology applications are gimmicks and some provide a real benefit and a return on investment. While a remote interview delivered via the internet does provide some convenience and cost savings, it’s really no different in substance than a live interview. In fact, there are potential downsides of the remote interview as well. For example, if a third party is conducting the interview, the quality of the interview will not be as good as using your own internal managers/recruiters that are best familiar with your company, its culture and its value proposition. But you still need to ask: Where is that initial interview in your overall process? Applicant tracking systems (ATS) were built to manage the job posting but are now expanding to deliver assessment questions, publish job descriptions and much more. As a result, many companies are ending up with an online application process that is cluttered, and requires too much information from the job seeker. In turn, many quality candidates drop out of the process because it’s requiring the job seeker to sift through too much information and provide too much detail in order to show interest in the job. Technology is needed to transform the talent acquisition process versus simply improving an existing process. It can replace the first interview, saving companies significant resources and provide so many additional benefits than the traditional interview and/or “fill out this application.” Technology is necessary to change the way information is delivered and the quality of information provided. When evaluating the quality of your talent acquisition process use the following chart to see... read more

8 Key Criteria for a Successful Sales Assessment

There are hundreds of consultative sales assessments out there. Perhaps you use one of them. If not, you should as we know that better decision-making (i.e., improved selection and targeted development planning) will result from the use of an assessment that provides more accurate information both for candidates and incumbents. If you already use a consultative sales assessment, however, you need to ask yourself whether the instrument you are using is truly world-class – – how does it “stack-up” against the well accepted benchmarks that define “the best.” Does your consultative sales assessment? Measure both “can do” (i.e., sales skills) and “will do” (i.e., behavioral tendencies and personality) components. Provide a “green light” and “red light” metric. In other words, does your assessment yield a probability of success score to be used for selection. Provide sales skill, behavioral and personality information that is easily interpretable based on a massive users database (hundreds of thousands). Utilize job simulation — where candidates and incumbents experience a “day in the life of” and they use their situational judgment and skills to successfully handle typical sales challenges. Provide accurate selection information and rich developmental information to kick-start a newly hired salesperson’s development. Provide you the opportunity to benchmark the skills and behavioral tendencies of your incumbents — so you can determine where training is required to make your sales force world-class. Generate a custom interview based on the candidate’s assessment results? Meet all EEO and ADA... read more