It’s a new year, but many companies are facing familiar challenges when it comes to finding top talent. Some organizations are meeting these challenges head on with innovative hiring and onboarding practices.
Not surprisingly, the ball dropping on 2023 has not magically made all the “Help Wanted” signs disappear. Customers continue to experience long wait times, product fulfillment problems, and unpredictable business hours while companies try to fill open positions. Recruiters continue to experience candidate ghosting, low applicant response, and high turnover.
With talent pools drying up and candidates receiving (and rejecting) multiple offers, hiring managers and recruiters are feeling the pressure to constantly pivot to find the right people and bring them onboard.
According to a country-by-country analysis conducted by global organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry, “…by 2030, there will be a global human talent shortage of more than 85 million people...” The shortage seems mostly linked to demographic shifts. Some countries have been seeing declining birth rates. In the US, Baby Boomers are retiring before their replacements can acquire the experience needed to take over.
Here are some of the trends HR professionals are embracing to overcome these hurdles.
With a projected 6-million-person labor deficit in the US alone, job seekers have more options than ever, and employers need to find ways to stand out from the competition.
According to Page Up, the objective of recruitment marketing is not just to connect with more candidates but better candidates. To do this, more organizations are using the same strategies they use when attracting clients to attract candidates.
This includes developing an employer brand, tailoring campaigns to open positions, and creating warm leads (prospective recruits) which can be tapped as soon as positions open.
Reducing barriers between applicants and employers is another popular tack recruiters are taking. It’s still important to vet candidates properly and gather the pertinent information, but the initial outreach doesn’t need to be overly complicated, especially with advances in technology. Some ways to make things simpler include:
While selecting candidates whose experience matches the position will always be the ideal, that’s not always possible. You can’t attract what doesn’t exist. As a result, there has been new focus on targeting candidates who have favorable soft skills with the plan to train them on the job.
Behavioral assessments like the Omnia Assessment (a quick and powerful word selection tool) can help you match candidates’ traits to the ones that best suit the position, like leadership, communication, problem solving, and flexibility. Preemployment assessments can also help you compare the personalities of your top performers with applicants.
Preboarding is the time between the signing of the acceptance letter and the employee’s first day. This time has traditionally been used to do some additional paperwork or send a welcome letter. But due to an uptick in new hires ghosting before their start date, some companies are doing more with this time. The objective is to help new hires feel confident that they made the right choice when signing the offer letter. HR departments are ramping up their efforts to connect during the preboarding period by:
According to Charthop, an onboarding buddy is “an employee who is matched with a new hire to educate them about day-to-day processes, introduce them to the rest of the team, bridge social connections, and answer questions as they arise.”
Especially in remote settings, having an onboarding buddy can help new hires feel more connected to the company and increase engagement. Knowing there is one person specifically available to the new hire can improve productivity and reduce early turnover.
It’s great to have a trusted partner to help navigate the changing talent management landscape. Whatever your hiring and onboarding challenges, Omnia can help! Our skilled Customer Success team is available to provide guidance throughout the recruiting and hiring lifecycle. Our behavioral assessments are quick, powerful, and now mobile friendly.
Season’s Greetings! Omnia’s second annual Talent Trends Survey closes on December 31st. We look forward to unraveling what’s happened in employee selection and development over the last 12 months. Moving on from 2022, I’m reflecting on the first stage of the employee lifecycle: the selection process. I’m eager to explore what’s new in recruitment and hiring that we can take into 2023 and make it a fabulous year.
Our first survey showed that the turnover rates across companies increased from the year prior for most respondents. This means it’s more critical than ever to hire right the first time as your first line of defense against unwanted turnover.
As the initial impacts of the pandemic become a distant memory, we are left with a new work-world order. It will be interesting to see what’s been happening with turnover over the last year when our new survey results emerge, especially amid continuing headlines about the great resignation, the great reshuffle, and the great reprioritization. And now that new trends have emerged, like quiet quitting, how will those numbers shift? If you haven’t already, please take a moment to share your experiences with us. Click Here.
As we all know, this has become a major perk for job seekers and existing talent and, therefore, something many companies are using to recruit top talent and keep their best people. It’s simply a competitive advantage.
Luckily, this perk often has other benefits for the company, such as a healthier workforce. Employees with better work-life balance find themselves less stressed all the way around which leads to better productivity.
Also… cost savings. Many companies have been able to reduce office space overhead. Score!
Candidate engagement looks at how responsive a candidate is during the selection process. It measures the communication and interest of your candidates as they move through your selection funnel. It also measures how well they feel they were treated by your company. A great candidate experience is an opportunity to set your company apart from the competition.
Of course, like most things in life, candidate engagement relies on having a focused plan that everyone is committed to. It’s an ongoing strategic process that involves your employer brand, communication, and technology.
How modern is your experience? You want it to be as quick and painless as possible without losing the ability to examine whether or not candidates have what you need to do the job. This can be accomplished with more modern approaches, like automation, virtual outreach, and making data-driven decisions.
Take a look at your candidate processes. Are your platforms mobile-friendly? Do you have language choices? Can candidates schedule their interviews?
The Omnia Assessment and Omnia Cognitive Assessment are great ways to add some objective decision points to your process. And because each one takes less than 15 minutes to complete, the candidate experience is a positive one.
Make your core values clear from the very beginning. By being upfront about who you are as an organization, you will attract workers who share the same philosophies and that’s taking a step towards better retention.
Companies with inclusive cultures and supporting policies attract top talent. It’s another way to stay competitive in the talent market, and it’s just the right thing to do. Even better, inclusive companies are seeing increases in innovation and buyer interest per the International Labour Organization.
Diversity is all about the ways people are different, such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, education, religious beliefs, marital status, where people live, job function, hair color, you name it. It’s basically anything that helps define our identity. A business that employs a diverse pool of people will benefit from those distinctive viewpoints.
Equity acknowledges differences in order to provide fair treatment and opportunities. Equality is providing the same treatment and opportunities to everyone, which isn’t always fair. For example, someone with a learning disability might need more time to take a written test. If you give everyone the same amount of time, that’s equality, but it doesn’t factor in the disability and puts that individual at a disadvantage. The difference is significant in that the tools and resources needed to succeed are not the same for everyone.
Inclusion focuses on making sure everyone has a voice and feels welcomed in the work environment. It’s kind of like putting your money where your mouth is. At the end of the day, does your organization practice what it preaches?
This trend is about listing the position’s salary on job postings, and it largely exists to reduce pay equity issues. On the plus side of this, you can weed out people looking to make far more than a job pays right from the start. While there will certainly be pros and cons related to salary transparency, it is something companies will need to deal with, especially as some states enact pay transparency laws. Even without a law in your state, you should be ready to embrace this new reality; otherwise, your organization may be seen as having something to hide, especially as the number of companies with salary transparency rises.
That’s a brief look at five hot selection trends for 2023. Let’s make the year sizzle!
If you’ve had your hand in hiring for more than a minute, chances are, you’ve chosen the wrong candidate on at least one occasion. So, when I polled a group of managers about having recruiting regrets, I wasn’t surprised that everyone admitted to experiencing hirer’s remorse.
Finding the right fit for your team can be a real challenge — especially since the customer service role is often entry-level, where you hire more for personality and potential than you do for well-honed skills. To that end, I want to share five customer service hiring horror stories with you as told by those who lived through them*.
You may chuckle in understanding amusement or shed a tear in solidarity with the storyteller. But I can guarantee you’ll also cower in fear of these scenarios happening to you (perhaps again!).
*All names have been changed to protect the guilty!
We unwittingly hired a woman with a bad temper. Ava was sweet on the surface, but as soon as she experienced conflict, her attitude soured, and she got angry fast.
After about a week on the job, we overheard her screaming at a customer because they displayed frustration over a drawn-out problem. Rather than try to diffuse the situation, she escalated it instead. Unfortunately, Ava’s profanity-laden rant cost our company a major account, which also cost her her position.
We hired Courtney because she was so courteous and organized. For the first couple of weeks, everything went well. But then we started to get escalated complaints from our customers — and other customer service representatives.
Apparently, Courtney avoided contacting customers if she had bad news or knew they were already unhappy. That delay caused irritated customers to become irate, making everyone else’s job much harder. We tried to coach her so she could handle difficult situations calmly and confidently, but she ultimately quit days before we were going to fire her.
We loved Sam’s charming disposition. He could de-escalate any challenging conversation in minutes. However, after reviewing Sam’s output, we realized he was only taking half as many calls as the other customer service agents, putting more work on everyone else’s plate.
It turns out he was befriending many of the customers and having personal conversations with them. In fact, much of his time on the phone involved chit-chat and making social plans — not solving customer problems or selling products. When we called him out on it, he got defensive, saying his presence was boosting customer retention. We offered him one more shot, but he resigned effective immediately.
Bob had ten years of customer service experience in our industry and glowing references. So, hiring him seemed like a no-brainer. However, about a week after the initial training period, we started getting complaints that Bob’s service was less than stellar.
Apparently, he never took the time to learn about our products and services, so he kept giving customers the wrong information. His oversight sometimes led to customers making bad purchases (and always led to them getting angry!). We told Bob he needed to shape up fast and offered to help him learn the information. However, his mindset was that he knew the industry inside and out, so he didn’t need to invest more time studying. Ultimately, his poor attitude and work ethic cost him his job a few weeks later.
Laura’s resume checked all the boxes, and she interviewed like a champ. However, once she started fielding calls on her own, we noticed a major issue: she wasn’t entering notes into the system after each conversation. That meant customers had to repeat themselves when they called back because we didn’t have the history as a reference.
Laura’s failure to enter notes caused customer frustration, which often got taken out on other agents. We never figured out if Laura didn’t want to do that part of the job or if she consistently forgot about it. Either way, she didn’t last long at our company.
Are you shaking in your boots yet? I am just typing up these tales!
But there’s good news. You can reduce your chances of hiring an Ava, Courtney, Sam, Bob, Laura, or any other poor fit by having a thorough hiring process. Your hiring process should include a resume review, interviews, background and reference checks, and pre-employment testing. That last part is where we come in.
Omnia Group’s behavioral assessment can help you ensure your top candidate has the personality traits required to perform like an all-star. The assessment quickly measures their preferences, communication style, work approach, and more. The insight you gain will either confirm your hiring instincts or send you back to the resume pile. Either way, you’ll spend less time and money putting together a frighteningly effective team!
It’s Spooky Season at the Omnia Group, and we’re here to inform you that hiring does not have to be scary! Over the last few weeks, we’ve collected some hiring horror stories and tips to avoid their mistakes. We’ve kept all of these stories anonymous to protect the innocent, but make sure you learn from their mistakes!
This is probably the most important tip. Finding the right cultural fit is absolutely essential in both your hiring and retention practice. It’s estimated that 63% of people who quit their jobs in 2021 left because of a bad coworker or boss. Companies can’t afford to lose anyone due to poor fit anymore.
“I made the worst hiring decision in over 30 years of my human resources career. I hired someone that I had a gut feeling would not get along with the team, but their resume was extremely impressive, and they seemed on paper to be a great catch. The fact that they were accepting our offer, lower than their previous employer, should have been a sign. This person was tasked with managing a team of 28, and by the sixth month, their turnover had gone up to 60% within their department. Not only their direct managed team, but other department heads were leaving because they could not put up with the unsupportive, unfriendly, and downright rude behavior. We will never make this mistake again.”
Assessing cultural fit is tricky, and we’ll address some ways to handle that later in this article, but one key takeaway we can point out now is that the Omnia Assessment is a key tool in assessing cultural fit. Using the tool to determine communication styles, behavioral traits, and other culture indicators can help you find the right people for your team.
The resume only really gives you half the story, and really, who knows what on a resume might be a flat out lie. While we like to think people wouldn’t lie to get a position, it’s becoming a common trend for job-hoppers to say they’re skilled in certain areas, collect a few paychecks during the onboarding process, and bounce as soon as they’re actually required to do their job.
“My worst hiring experience was finding out someone had lied about their graphic design experience and falsified their portfolio. We hired someone, we’ll call him Ted, who said he had over 10 years of experience with graphic design and video editing. We have a thorough onboarding process that includes asking people to really learn and study our products, company culture, and in doing so, we give plenty of time to ramp up to actually producing work. We value a thorough onboarding. Ted took advantage of this, even requesting we extend his onboarding by a couple of weeks.
When it came time for him to start producing, we would get excuse after excuse on why there were so many delays. We found out he was using a popular $5 graphic design site to produce work and was having to do multiple rounds of revisions. Simple projects would take weeks. When confronted about this, he admitted he didn’t have a design degree, had no experience, and was outsourcing all of his work!”
How can you combat this? Make sample projects a must in your hiring practice, and ensure you check with previous employers or references if you feel you aren’t getting the whole story. You can even offer to pay for completing sample projects, but keep a firm deadline (in most cases, 24 hours is fine to complete a basic project).
Some people say that references are outdated and everything you need to know about someone can be found on their social media profiles. That’s not true, especially with everyone putting their best foot forward 95% of the time. That glorious Fiji vacation came with 28 hours of air travel, a cramped airplane middle seat, lost luggage, four buses, and two boats to get to that island resort, but you only see the champagne and crystal-clear waters. Much like asking a travel agent for advice on getting to your destination, you should probably ask references for advice on hiring.
“We always said during our hiring process that we would be checking references, but we figured just asking would weed out people that didn’t have quality references. We let one slip through the cracks with someone that wanted to join our customer success team. After we made the offer and started down the onboarding path, and before their actual start date, they started making demands and asking to change the terms of their contract. We decided, out of precaution, we would go ahead and check references for the first time in our hiring…
We found out A LOT about this person, just given that all of the phone numbers were incorrect, and all of the emails were answered very quickly, and all mostly said the same thing. We pressed on these emails and asked for a voice to voice conversation and found out these references were forged! Thankfully, we were within our rights to withdraw the offer, but we lost several weeks going down this path with the wrong person.”
This one is easy: always require references, and always check them. People will tell you a lot if you give them the chance to talk. Listen more than you speak on these reference calls. And, keep your questions open ended.
As we noted above, we’d cover some strategies to ensure a good cultural fit, and group interviews are probably the most important aspect of this, other than behavioral assessments, which can give you a much deeper level of understanding. Still, a group interview can uncover some very interesting tidbits of information.
“I was part of a group interview recently where the candidate had gone through several rounds with several members of our leadership team and was finally advancing to the final round. All of the references checked out, the background check was clear, and employment history was verified. We thought we had found the best candidate for the job.
When he got on the call, he was horribly inappropriate. He made jokes about how people looked, about wanting to take the group out to bars, and even asked one of the team members if she was single. When the leader on the call (who had not been a part of any of the other interviews) informed him he was being inappropriate, he said this was his opportunity to really bond with everyone. The whole team confirmed that was NOT the way to bond.”
Needless to say, the offer was not extended.
Obviously, that’s the worst-case scenario. Still, a group interview can give you great insights into how someone will fit into the team and their true behaviors. Allow everyone in the group to ask their questions!
For this one, we’re going to flip the switch a bit. Let’s talk about a horror story on the other end of the hiring process. When promoting your company, you have to be clear with talent on advancement opportunities, career growth potential, and any other relevant culture information your potential talent should know. This next story comes from a hiring professional who experienced their own horror story as the one being hired!
My last company was an “up or out” culture meaning everyone was expected to continue to advance their position in the company. If you weren’t being viewed as one to promote you were viewed as one on the way out. This meant you had to be constantly thriving to do more, give more, and produce more. You weren’t evaluated by how well you were doing your current job but by what you were doing to advance to the next one. At performance review time if you only exceeded the core requirements of your job but didn’t find new things to do and create new value, your performance was rated “marginal.” I had no desire to make partner – I just wanted to do well in the job I was in and to continue to learn and thrive in that role. As you can imagine, this culture also created a cutthroat mentality and behavior among peers. Everyone was in competition with others to get put on projects, or even to do basic volunteer activities. Nobody really looked out for each other – they were all in it to win it for themselves. I still have some PTSD from that experience. It was not a culture fit for me at all.”
If you’re looking to avoid these hiring horror stories, consider using the Omnia Behavioral Assessment to take some of the guesswork out of hiring. Find the right cultural fit, learn more about your potential hires than their resume can tell you, and make offers with confidence. If you’d like to learn more about the Omnia Assessment, get in touch with us, or try it here free!
Also, don’t miss our upcoming webinar, Hiring Doesn’t Have to be Scary, featuring ways to use the Omnia Assessment to your advantage!
It may not seem like a college basketball tournament and your hiring process have a whole lot in common. But, think about it. Both scenarios start with a large pool of potential winners who go through a series of competitive rounds to narrow the field. In the end, one team (candidate) comes out on top and celebrates their victory. So, let’s take a closer look at how recruiting is like March Madness — no matter what month it is!
During the initial round, 64 hopeful teams kick off the tournament, knowing that only half will advance to the next contest. Similarly, in response to a job posting, you may receive 64 (or more) applications from potential candidates who want to work for your organization. Naturally, you’ll want to whittle down that list to a manageable number fast! Fortunately, the knockout questions on your company’s application will automatically weed out those who clearly aren’t a fit for the position advertised, leaving you with those who are at least minimally qualified.
In the round of 32, 50% of college teams play another game, and 50% of your potential candidates get the first set of eyes on their applications. During this phase, you'll review the remaining resumes for education, experience, credentials, skills, and achievements. Then, you'll rank the applicants and cut the bottom half of the field from the competition with an encouraging note to apply again in the future.
The Sweet 16 round starts with only a quarter of the teams and applicants still in the running. During this series, you'll make initial contact with your strongest contenders, officially making them job candidates. During the phone screen, you'll get a feel for each candidate’s communication style, personality, attitude towards work, and level of interest in the role. You'll start to get to know them beyond what you see on paper. After your last scheduled call, you’ll divide the field again, advancing the most promising professionals to the next round.
While it may feel like crowning a tournament winner or selecting the top candidate is still miles away, you’re actually closing in on the finish line. During the Elite 8 round, just 12% of teams and original applicants remain. But, before you schedule interviews with the hiring manager, it’s a good idea to shorten the list even further. Pre-employment assessments can help you with this task.
Pre-employment assessments are standardized tests that measure aptitude, cognitive capabilities, and personality traits, giving you a glimpse of how a professional would perform on the job. The hiring team can use this insight to rule out candidates who obviously don’t hit the mark and formulate targeted interview questions to draw out specific information from the frontrunners. The bottom line: Assessments provide additional data points about each person, giving you a more holistic view of their candidacy and allowing you to compare them in greater depth.
The results of the pre-employment assessments are in, and it’s clear who deserves to advance to the next round. During the Final 4, the last few teams can barely contain their excitement. One of them is going to win it all soon! Your top candidates share the same level of enthusiasm, knowing that they just have to make it through the in-person interview process. During the interview (or round of interviews), your hiring manager will gauge each candidate’s soft skills, industry knowledge, and company fit, jotting down their impressions.
The basketball players, your candidates, and your hiring team have played a long game, and they are exhausted. Fortunately, the time has come to select the winner! Your hiring manager will consider everything they’ve learned about each professional, often referring back to the pre-employment assessment results to support and frame their thinking.
Finally, they’ll rank the finalists, drop the bottom two candidates, and choose their next employee. Once they reach their decision, they’ll partner with you to put together an enticing job offer. (Unlike the tournament, though, you’ll keep the #2 contender on deck in case the champion declines your offer or fails post-interview screenings.)
Your recruiting process determines who will join your organization, and your employees ultimately determine your company's success (or failure). Therefore, it’s a smart idea to refine how you hire talent continuously. Here are some tips that can help:
Bonus tip: Survey your candidates to see what they liked and disliked about your hiring process. Then, take action on their feedback whenever possible.
Do you need to add pre-employment assessments to your hiring process (or make some changes)? We’re here for you! We offer proven, reliable, and highly insightful behavioral and cognitive assessments.
Our cognitive assessment measures how your candidate thinks, learns, adapts, and solves problems. Our behavioral assessment measures the personality traits that influence how your candidate works, such as assertiveness and communication style. Between the two tests, you can be sure a potential employee is the right fit for your team and the position.
Since we know time is of the essence in the recruiting process, our assessments are fast and easy to fill out. Plus, you’ll receive instant results so you can take immediate action. (And if you want us to analyze the data further to give you even more information about your candidate, we can do that, too!)
Contact us today with questions or to try one of our assessments for yourself!
Comparing the recruiting process to March Madness is a fun exercise. While the two are entirely different events, the similarities are striking. Both seek to systematically whittle down a large pool of contest entrants until a victor is named. As we root for our favorite college basketball team, we’ll be rooting for you to make your next successful hire — hopefully with as little madness as possible!
You probably have at least one employee like this: your go-to, “set it and forget it” person, the one you’d trust with just about anything. If they were a house, they’d be called “turnkey.” If they were an electronic device, they’d be “plug and play.” When talking about these people, our Omnia clients say, “I wish I could clone her!” or “I’d be all set if I had four more just like him.”
Unfortunately (or fortunately if you really think about it and start digging into the ethical ramifications), cloning hasn’t come that far yet. But, with some planning and preparation, you may be able to do the next best thing: Use your go-to people as benchmarks to help you hire and train new employees just like them.
As my colleague Wendy Sheaffer mentioned, “Benchmarking is finding out what works and using it as the model for making future things work.” This applies to figuring out how to hire for a new or empty position, as she mentioned, and it’s also an effective strategy for finding someone just like your one or two stellar employees.
What is it about these star performers that makes them so amazing? And how do you find someone else just as amazing? I don’t know your go-to employees personally, but I can make a pretty good guess at what makes them awesome.
Did I miss anything? Ask around and find out what makes your go-to employees so wonderful to their colleagues. The more information you have, the better you can clone benchmark them.
You’ll definitely need to dig a little deeper than your standard resume gathering and interview process for this. You may luck out using the traditional methods, like winning the lotto, but do you really want to risk it? Here are some simple ways of improving your odds.
Bonus: Ask your star employees if they can recommend someone. We’ve already established this person has great judgment, so they’re not likely to recommend a dud. Hey, maybe they have an identical twin? You can’t get much closer to a clone than that! Even better, ask them if they see promise in anyone already working in the company. They tend to build relationships around the organization and may be able to identify someone promising before you do.
Once you have your promising new star, consider having them spend some time shadowing your top performer. Let them learn from the best.
While you’re on this quest to replicate your top employees, don’t forget to show appreciation for the ones you already have! Trust me, people are out there looking for them, and you want to make sure they are happy and fulfilled right where they are – with you!