Employers: Paying Attention to Your Candidates in the Waiting Room (Part II)

office folks getting a tour

In our last post, we gave you a primer on making your candidates wait in the waiting room and what it means for your candidate experience.

As we mentioned, the candidate experience is a vital part of your company’s success. From defining your employer brand and your company culture to affecting the efficiency of your recruiting efforts, all of these things are impacted by a candidate’s experience in some shape or form.

For the most part, employers know the major target areas when it comes making a great candidate experience, but where we see them falter the most is when it comes to the waiting room.

On Tuesday, we gave you three reasons why you should pay attention to your candidates in the waiting room. Today, we are going to give you a few ways on how to do so. Take a look below:

  • Welcome them. Change how you think of the waiting room. Instead, think of it as a welcome center where you still have an opportunity to wow your candidates. Everyone in the office should make an effort to approach the candidates if they happen to walking by the area. Instilling this kind of behavior is a great way to expand your company culture as well allow your employees to get a feel for what could be a new teammate, making it much easier for this future employee to acclimate themselves with the company.
  • Take care of them. Do more than just offer them a seat. When someone has to wait for an extended period of time, it is common courtesy to at least offer them something to drink. If you want, you could also give them a quick brochure or handout that can help them get more acquainted with the company (if they don’t know already)–though we prefer that there is someone there who can actually converse with them.
  • Give them a tour. If you anticipate a long waiting period, consider giving them a tour of the office. Sure, most companies don’t have the resources to hire a full-time tour guide, but with plenty of notice, you can ask each employee to put in their time and give at least a quick 15 minute walk through the office. This not only buys you time with your other candidates, but also helps those on the tour get a feel for the office and the culture.

Have any tips that you’d like to add? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Employers: Paying Attention to Your Candidates in the Waiting Room (Part I)

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We talk about the candidate experience a lot.

As we’ve mentioned in the past, treating your candidates right begins way before they ever seat themselves in the interview chair. From your job site, to social media page, to how they perceive your company culture, everything will affect the outcome of whether or not they want the job.

But, that’s not all. One thing we think is commonly overlooked when it comes to the candidate experience is their time spent between when they walk through that office door and when they sit down for the interview. What we are referring to, of course, is the dreaded waiting room.

Waiting can be a pain, and most candidates are forced to do it. So this week, we are going to talk about just that. For today, we will give you a few reasons why you need to pay attention to your timing, and your candidates as they wait for their interview.

  • It can increase stress. As you would suspect, tension and anxiety for a candidate can already be pretty high as they prepare for an interview. Plop them down in the waiting room for a while and we can guarantee that the stress will double. To make matters worse, sitting down with other candidates can hurt confidence. A little pre-interview anxiety isn’t going to be a deal breaker, but it can leave a bad impression.
  • It can be a waste of time. Sure, you might be having a great time chatting with another candidate about your shared alma mater or favorite basketball team, but those in the waiting room most certainly don’t appreciate the wait. It’s one thing to spend extra time with a candidate because you have more questions for them, and another to kill time with niceties—the latter can set off your schedule and force you to cut things short with everyone else.
  • It’s not polite. Even if they don’t know that you are idling their interview time away, putting candidates in a position where they have to wait excessively is just plain rude. Remember, employer branding is essential!

Employers, what do you think about making candidates wait? Good or bad? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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3 Tips for Building a Better Company Culture

office space

On Tuesday, we gave you three reasons why you need to vamp up your company culture.

As we mentioned, having a great company culture is an extremely important part of running a successful business, which is why just about everyone is talking about it.

But just because you know that having a great company culture can make you successful, doesn’t necessarily mean you know the best way to go about vamping up your own. To help point you in the right direction, we thought we’d talk about exactly that. Take a look below:

  • Match culture to your goals. First things first, you need to figure out the main goals of your company and match your culture to those goals. The main focus of your company culture is that it should reflect the goals that you’ve set in place for your company. Always consider how the culture, characteristics, and work ethic of your company will affect the goals you have in mind, because if you don’t, then you run the risk of missing your goals altogether.
  • PrioritizeWhen you decide to change or improve your company culture, the last thing you want to do is to have a complete and sudden overhaul. These kinds of improvements–at least, the successful ones–don’t just happen over night. You need to make sure you do your best to figure out what matters to you the most and execute those priorities first. From there, you can go down the line until you’ve successfully built up a top-notch culture that strives towards the goals you have in mind.
  • Be authentic. Above all, you need to be authentic. Don’t try do something that won’t jive with the goals of your company, because chances are you probably won’t meet those goals as successfully as you’d like. Throughout this whole process, you need to do your best to ensure that what you are doing actually means something. If your candidates see a disconnect in what you want and how you execute it, then that will reflect poorly on you, which is definitely not what you want to see happen.

What do you think about company culture? Is it as important as people say it is? If you have any tips you’d like to add to our list let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

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Employers vs. Candidates: Who Is Interviewing Who? (Part II)

interviewers

 

Yesterday, we talked about why it is important for employers to not take the hiring process—and the candidates—for granted.

Despite the common belief that candidates must bend over backwards to get the job they want, they actually have more power than employers think. In reality, they also have a pretty good amount of influence over a company’s success.

In our previous post, we gave you a handful of reasons why you as an employer should feel like you are being interviewed by candidate. To round things off, we are going to give you a few tips on how to go about doing that, hopefully leading to a more fruitful and fair interviewing process. Take a look below:

  • Come prepared. When a candidate comes in for an interview, we always expect them to come fully prepared to answer or tackle whatever it is that we throw at them. The same should go for the hiring manager as well.

    Don’t go into an interview thinking you can get away without reading the resume, or worse, knowing exactly what the position entails. You are a representative of your company, and when you look unprofessional, it reflects poorly on your company, which may affect your candidate’s final decision.

  • Nail your values and goals. This one follows pretty close to our first tip but deserves a category of its own. Simply put, this means figuring out exactly what is important to your company. Candidates these days, especially Millennials, are very keen on authenticity; if the values of the company they want to work for don’t relate to what they believe in, they’re likely to either leave the job quickly or struggle to find a sense of purpose.

    Avoid this problem by being up front with them. It’s better to have things not work out in the hiring process than it is to have an employee discover your values later on and cost your company time and money.

  • Don’t waste their time. This one is a pretty common problem that most employers run into. Be quick as possible when it comes to letting them know of anything new, whether that means a brief update about when they’ll likely heat from you next, or if another candidate has already been selected for the job.

    Your candidates have lives as well, so it should go without saying that their time can be better spent elsewhere than patiently waiting by the phone for any updates on the job. Employer branding is important, and courtesy is an essential part of keeping a positive employer brand.

The hiring process is a two-way street, so don’t take your candidates for granted. By being as courteous to them as they are to you, you’ll not only make your candidates happier—you’ll also have a better chance of retaining the top talent you need to be a successful company.

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Exit Interviews: Are They Worth the Time, Money, and Resources? (Part III)

speed interviewing

Over the past few days, we’ve been discussing the practice of exit interviews.

As we mentioned, the world of HR is pretty divided when it comes to implementing exit interviews, which is why we’ve decided to outline the pros and cons in order to give you a better idea of what you should look for when deciding if exit interviews are right for you.

Now that we’ve gone through the pros and cons, it only makes sense for us to go a little more in depth with a few tips on how to run a successful exit interview, as well as several alternatives should you decide to go a different route. Take a look below:

Exit interview tips 

  • Mandatory but not pushy. If you want to conduct exit interviews, then it is best to not make them optional. More often than not, your employees probably won’t want to go through the trouble of an exit interview.

    That being said, don’t be pushy when it comes to administering the exit interview. Not only will it leave a bad impression on some employees, but it’s most likely not worth it if they come into the interview with a bitter mindset (especially those who already quit on the spot).

  • Who’s conducting? It’s best to leave the exit interview to HR or a third party. While it might sound like a great idea to have their supervisor conduct the interview, if the supervisor had something to do with a person leaving, a third party will help lead to a more productive and honest exit interview.
  • A “no repercussions” policy. Make it clear from the beginning that there will be no repercussions for what they say in the exit interview. This will give them the peace of mind that they won’t miss out on their next job due to a bad recommendation, as well as hopefully give you the honest feedback you want.

Alternatives to the exit interview 

  • The exit “conversation”. If you like the idea of exit interviews but find the formalities a little too much or disingenuous, then you might want to consider the exit conversation. This casual approach helps to ease the tension because of its informality, allowing you to gain valuable, honest insights, and prevent your employee from thinking they’re just part of the “big data” now. 
  • The follow-up. This one comes from Humetrics CEO and TLNT contributor, Mel Kleiman. Mel suggests waiting until your employee is settled into their new job before you contact them. If they find that their new job is less than satisfactory, simply checking in and letting them know they’re missed may persuade them to come back.
  • Re-recruiting. If you don’t like the idea of dealing with employees after they’ve left, you should try convincing them to stay while they’re still an employee. Re-recruiting is a great way to prevent turnover because it tells your employees that you are looking out for their best interest even before they consider leaving.

Are exit interviews worth it or would you rather choose one of the alternatives above? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Exit Interviews: Are They Worth the Time, Money, and Resources? (Part II)

entrance to old employer

Yesterday, we started our series on exit interviews.

As we mentioned, take a survey among the HR world, and you’ll find that opinions over the merits and disadvantages of exit interviews run all over the board. As such, it can be hard for those outside of the debate to really make an educated decision on whether or not exit interviews are right for them.

That’s why we thought we’d give you a brief guide on the matter. We already talked a little bit about the pros, so to balance things out, we thought it would only make sense to give you the cons as well. Take a look below:

The Cons of Exit Interviews 

  • Misleading feedback. In a perfect world, all the feedback we would get during an exit interview would actually be useful. Unfortunately, though, that isn’t always the case. 

    Even though your employee is leaving, it doesn’t mean that they’ll be honest and straightforward with you on the time they spent working in the company. In some instances, this can be because they’re afraid of how it will affect your future recommendation, or perhaps because they’re just too jaded/burnt out and don’t feel the need to go through the exit interview process. 

    As a result, you’ll most likely get answers along the lines of “everything was great, it just didn’t work out” to “I hate this place and would never consider working here again,” both of which provide little to no concrete feedback that you can actually use to improve your company.

  • Shows lack of foresight. Another issue that is raised when it comes to exit interviews is that it shows a lack of foresight on the part of the company. It’s obviously much too late to actually do anything to keep your employee from leaving, and taking the time to prevent future hires from going down the same road seems like a disingenuous effort to tie up loose ends on the part of the former employee. 

    As a result, you end up actually putting your employer brand at risk in some cases. Those who are strongly against exit interviews believe that a proper strategy should’ve been put in place way before the employee ever thought of leaving, which in turn would’ve most likely prevented the turnover from ever happening, saving you the trouble of dealing with any exit interviews.

On Tuesday, we’ll go a little deeper into exit interviews and give you some tips on how to conduct them, as well as alternatives you can take. In the meantime, what do you think about these cons? Are they valid? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Exit Interviews: Are They Worth the Time, Money, and Resources? (Part I)

highway signs on a grey background

When we think about what goes on in the world of HR, we tend to focus on the hiring, recruiting, and managing aspects of the department.

But there is a fourth element to HR that we tend to neglect. We are, of course, talking about the importance of how a company and their HR department handles when an employee leaves or wants to leave.

One way to handle employee turnovers is by conducting an exit interview. However, take a look around the web, and you’ll find dozens of opinions on exit interviews that sway from calling them a super valuable tool to something that isn’t even worth mentioning.

To help you navigate the conversation, we thought we would go ahead and outline some of the pros and cons associated with exit interviews. For today, we’ll focus on the pros of exit interviews. Take a look below:

The Pros of Exit Interviews 

Check back tomorrow when we give you our cons list on exit interviews. In the mean time, what do you think are the advantages of exit interviews? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Should We Be Concerned about Twitter’s Sluggish User Growth?

Yesterday, Twitter’s market value plummeted amid concerns over the social media platform’s slow-moving user growth, with shares falling as much as 24%. 

Twitter has also seen a drop in its “timeline views,” its own advertising metric, which the company uses to gauge existing user engagement (timeline view is measured every time a user refreshes a page on a desktop or mobile device).

Not surprisingly, loss of interest in the social media platform among its current user base, coupled with the sloth-like user growth has left investors unimpressed, with Twitter showing just 3.8% (9 million) users more than the previous quarter, down from a 6.4% growth in the previous period.

As a result, Twitter now finds itself in a similar predicament to Facebook. However, Facebook’s growth peaked at a much higher number than Twitter’s–around 1.23 billion.

Changes are coming 

Fortunately, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo admitted that there are certain changes that need to be made if the company wants to improve their user numbers.

The hope is that new features and updates to the service will help to make the platform much more user-friendly (such as organizing conversations by topics)–a concern that some think has kept Twitter from becoming as popular as the social media giant, Facebook.

One good thing we can point out is Twitter’s rise in revenue, which jumped from 97 cents per 1,000 timeline views in the previous quarter to $1.49 currently, which that shows Twitter is drawing more revenue from its users. However, as it stands, that’s still not enough to keep investors confident in the company, which means that Twitter needs to act fast.

How concerned should we be about Twitter’s future? While we don’t think you should jump to any conclusions and abandon your Twitter account, we do think that you need to keep on eye on the social media platform, just like you would for any other recruiting tool in your arsenal.

Things can always take a turn for the worst, which is why it’s always important to have a backup plan if and when you need to get things back up and running–and one way to do that is to ensure you have a well-rounded and fine-tuned recruiting arsenal.

What do you think about Twitter’s current situation? Do you think these new updates will help improve the platform? Let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

Are You Engaging with Twitter Followers More or Less than Top Brands?

In the past, we’ve talked about why engaging your followers is an essential part of using Twitter for your business. Yet, as we noted, there is an abundance of businesses on social media who rarely try to communicate with their customers. 

But we’re not just talking about small businesses that simply make Twitter handles and never use them—we’re talking about some of the top brands who frequently update their Twitter multiple times throughout the day.

Recently, Simply Measured, a social media analytics provider, did a study during the final three months of 2013 on the Twitter accounts of 98 of Interbrand’s top 100 global brands.

Here is what they found:

  • About 92% of the top brands tweeted at least one per day.
  • The average company tweeted at least 12 times per day
  • However, around 54% of these brands sent less than one @reply per day
  • Simply Measured noted that “while top brands are dedicating resources to brand promotion, many aren’t engaging with users in a one-on-one capacity.”

One limitation of report, as noted by Simply Measured, is that some brands may engage customers with direct messages to their inquiries, which Simply Measured does not track.

Still, one-on-one engagement in a public setting (i.e. Twitterverse) is an important way of showing all of your followers that you are listening. One company who understands the kind of impact this can make is Pizza Hut, which Simply Measured said was “one of the most engaged brands on the list,” averaging about 33,659 @replies during the three-month span –accounting for nearly half of total @replies (68,000) of all Interbrand companies on the list.

Other companies paled in comparison, with top brands like eBay only averaging 5 @replies during the three-month span, Amazon with 4 @replies, and Disney at a measly 1 @reply.

While looking at these numbers may put you at ease for the time being, it should also be a great incentive to push you towards engaging your followers more often. Sure, top brands like eBay and Amazon might be able get away with not replying because of their strong presence, but smaller companies can’t really afford to let customer inquiries slide by. Make sure you make a conscious effort to engage your customers and show them that you care.

What do you think about this study? Do you think you engage your Twitter followers more or less than these top brands? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

3 Things We Can Learn From the Obamacare “Brosurance” Marketing Wreck

A few months back, the Internet was a bit befuddled by the joint-marketing campaign of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and Progress Now.

What they were trying to do was encourage young adults to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, but what they ended up getting was a lot of angry Millenials and a marketing campaign that went silent only a few months after it went public.

Fortunately though, we have The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, who found the opportunity for a few laughs too good to pass up.

Recently, Jon Stewart and co. rekindled the flame of the Obamacare Brosurance marketing disaster with a report that highlighted how far off the marketing campaign was from reaching its target audience (i.e. Millennials).

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart might seem like the most unlikely of sources for some great HR tips, but it looks like that’s been proven wrong with this analysis. Here are three things we took away from the piece:

1. Don’t alienate your target audience

The last thing you want to do is make your target audience feel like you don’t understand them, because you’ll run the risk of coming off as disingenuous and offensive.

In terms of creating an employer brand, this can really turn away your target audience, especially the Millennials, who really value authenticity.

As one of interviewees said to Aasif Mandvi, “They’re basically portraying you as someone whose only goal in life is to sleep around”–in short, if it doesn’t speak to your target audience, then it doesn’t do you any good.

2.  “Not all publicity is good publicity”

Sure, being provocative may get people to talk about your brand, but it doesn’t guarantee they’ll want anything to do with it. In fact, you’ll probably end up losing more than you gain.

As one person said, “I was shocked that that was an actual insurance ad, advocating for falling off of kegs and getting really drunk.” In her case, the ad did nothing positive for her.

Apply that to an employer brand with a bad rap, and sure, people might talk about your company, but if it is not in a good light, then it’s doubtful that it will do you any good.

3. Make sure your message actually does its job before you send it to print

The most important thing of all is that you actually get your message across. As was the case with the brosurance ads, the goal was to encourage people to sign up for healthcare insurance. But as one girl put it, “I don’t think the ads answer any healthcare questions.” If no one understands what your message is, then you’ll just end up with pointless marketing and a big waste of time.

Marketing can do wonders for your company, whether it’s for your employer brand or for a company product, but if you don’t work through your marketing campaign thoroughly, you could end up in a wreck like the brosurance campaign. Take your time and make sure your marketing is foolproof. If you do, then chances are you’ll be in a much better position than the brosurance folks.