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    Top 10 Tips to Avoid Ghosting Your Candidates

    A bad candidate experience can have a detrimental effect on both brands and those applying to work with them. During the pandemic, we saw a huge increase in volume of applicants for different positions. Rumors ran rife about being ghosted deep into the recruitment process. We wanted to investigate the scale of the problem and the damage being done, so we commissioned some research.
    The findings were shocking. 65% of people have been ghosted, according to our research of 2000 UK adults. 86% said their experience of being ghosted left them feeling down and 43% said it took weeks, or even months, to rebuild and move on. The damage to brands also became clear, with 94% saying it left them with negative thoughts or feelings towards the company they applied to.
    Most small companies manage with spreadsheets and simple trackers while large companies and recruitment agencies invest in technology, customized to their needs. Here are some tips to ensure your company can confidently avoid ghosting candidates.

    Get everyone on board. Recruitment is an area that most department managers get involved in as well as HR teams. Step one is to take the facts about the impacts of ghosting and educate everyone internally. Once you have company-wide support to ensure this doesn’t happen in your organization it’s time to make a plan on how you’re going to tackle ghosting head-on.
    Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. What sort of communication would you want at each stage? A quick email takes seconds and can really help a candidate.
    Set up automated emails. If you have one, use your applicant tracking system (ATS) to set up automated emails to candidates at each stage of the application process. This means they will always be kept informed of the stage of their application.
    Send updates promptly. No news is good news, except for when you’re waiting to hear about an application. As soon as you’ve made a decision, positive or negative, then let the candidate know.
    Make notes straight after a call or interview. ‘Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today’ as the old adage goes. Take thorough notes each time you speak to a candidate, this will make it easier to make a decision and also give you plenty of information to use when you go back to them.
    Use bulk email or SMS. Communicating with multiple candidates quickly and simply, a standardized message is better than no contact at all.
    Use your ATS reporting feature or keep a log. This helps to ensure that no candidate gets forgotten, know how many candidates have applied to each role, what stage they’re at, and when you last contacted them, save all that inbox searching time.
    Close down the role. When you hire someone make sure to go back and check you have processed and responded to all of the other applicants.
    Get feedback from your applicants. They’re the ones that have been through your process so can offer some valuable insight. Make sure you speak to both successful and unsuccessful candidates for a well-rounded view.
    Review and improve your process. There’s always room for improvement, ensure you revisit your plan and the tactics you’re using every few months to make sure they’re still impactful and to implement any new ideas.

    Telling candidates they haven’t been selected is a tough call to make, especially when you’ve been positive up until that point. But doing so quickly and kindly provides closure and allows them to move on with their career elsewhere.
    No one ever intends to ghost a candidate part-way through the recruitment process, but it’s important to acknowledge that it does sometimes happen. We need to tackle this problem together. By supporting this campaign and following the best practice guidelines, employers can show that they care about each applicant as an individual. We invite readers to join the campaign or share their stories at www.end-ghosting.com.
    By Neil Armstrong of Tribepad.
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    Why Organizations Need to Show an Empathetic Approach to Recruiting Post-pandemic

    Many industries were forced to halt their recruitment initiatives at the start of the pandemic and have since had to place existing employees on furlough or make redundancies. But as the UK economy is beginning to bounce back, so is employment, with record vacancies continuing to be reported in the UK. At Cognizant, for example, we are looking to hire more than 2,000 new recruits in the UK&I in 2021 alone.
    One of the key conversations to have come out of the pandemic is how it has fundamentally changed the workplace and the way we work – in many cases, for the better. The rise of remote working is the most obvious trend many of us have been talking about. Recent research shows that flexible working is now a basic expectation, with 66% of employees backing a hybrid approach to remote working.
    But this isn’t the only trend to have been sparked by the crisis. Businesses’ approaches to hiring are also changing – and if they’re not, then they need to if they are to reflect the changing attitudes towards work and culture. This needs to start by placing empathy at the core of the process.
    A new recruitment landscape:  Why we need a high level of candidate empathy
    The remote working boom enabled a private, digital window to open in employees’ and colleagues’ lives – as a result, we’re now all used to family members and pets making brief appearances on video calls. The psychology behind this is powerful, humanizing personnel in a way that has never been experienced before. This has created a drive to emphasize and improve the fickle work/life balance, highlighting the need for businesses to conform to employee and candidate needs, instead of expecting individuals to conform to the organization.
    At the same time, the pandemic brought with it a lot of anxiety and stress for individuals whose jobs were put at risk or lost altogether. It has left many wondering what the future of work will look like and reimagining their careers, making it even more crucial for companies to make a conscious effort every day to create the appropriate environment for everyone to thrive. So, while competitive salaries, benefits, and perks can be attractive, it’s also important that organizations consider a more empathetic approach to their recruitment processes to fall in line with this new landscape.
    This starts by demonstrating a clear effort to understand what each individual’s values and interests are right from the beginning of the interview process. Companies should also be making a proactive effort to involve employees in their culture as well as any extracurricular initiatives that are in place, to help create a more fulfilling and satisfying work experience.
    This will help organizations to take a step back and understand more about the individual and their circumstances and values, instead of just their qualifications, which will lead to better long-term results for staff retention.
    How to make the recruitment process more empathetic
    Business leaders need to demonstrate themselves to be inclusive leaders. This means being deeply aware of and empathetic towards others, with the courage to harness the power of diversity in everything they and their company does. Embracing this approach helps to elevate our work and create a powerful ripple effect on our teams, clients, and communities.
    In fact, empathy should be a key attribute in all organizations’ wider diversity and inclusion initiatives as well as their recruitment processes. There are a number of steps and considerations businesses can make to improve their recruitment processes and put empathy at their heart, including:

    A humble point of view: Interview assessors need to demonstrate throughout the recruitment process a humble point of view. If organizations seek to set a perfect environment, they won’t come across as authentic, but instead misleading – no company is perfect.
    Retrospect: It’s important to retrospectively refer to how organizations have supported people through the pandemic to demonstrate a company’s value for their employees. It’s a good litmus test to show where an organization has shown resilience and compassion.
    Never underestimate the value of listening: Understanding what a candidate’s career aspirations are can be achieved by having an open dialogue with them in the interview. This will help a business understand how they can support that individual with the right training to help them achieve their goals, which is incredibly important.
    Involve the candidate in the journey: Most successful organizations today know they must continuously evolve to maintain their success. Demonstrating how a business is doing this, for example implementing new digital tools or adopting updated ESG goals, in an interview can help build a picture for the candidate of the journey that they can be a part of, which aligns with their values.
    Demonstrate trust: Ultimately, people want to contribute to driving change and influence. It demonstrates cultural and social empathy. It also allows people to feel as if they can be a true representation of their authentic selves. With this in mind, candidates should be given the opportunity during the interview process to express their values and opinions.

    A new approach to recruitment strategy post-pandemic
    Empathy is and should be considered by all a crucial attribute in today’s business leaders. This includes being proactive and persistent in working towards creating an environment where each and every employee feels welcome, heard, and equal. And this must start with the first step of an employee’s experience: the recruitment process.
    Organizations need talent to build themselves back up and make a success of the future. To do this, they must demonstrate themselves as a collaborative and supportive workforce – one that individuals want to be a part of. Putting empathy at the core of any recruitment process will not only help businesses attract the right talent, but it will help them to build honest and open relationships with new employees right from the start and ultimately improve retention.
    With remote working here to stay, it’s vital that recruiters and businesses as a whole find new ways to engage with their remote workforce. Adopting an empathetic approach shouldn’t just be applied to recruitment, but to all areas of business. It helps to ensure candidates and staff feels cared for, which keeps them engaged in their roles.
    By Rob Walker, Managing Director UK&I of Cognizant.
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    Hired Candidate Spotlight: Jason Awbrey, Engineering Manager at Tanium

    Working with over three million candidates on the Hired marketplace, we celebrate diversity in the career paths, experiences, and skills people bring to the table. Professionals are more than their resume and we’re committed to helping everyone – including those who took the path less traveled – find their dream job.  We talked to Jason […] More

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    A Renewed Focus on Candidates in the Ever-Changing Market 

    Change is afoot in the world of work. We are in the midst of a concentrated shift from a client-driven job market to a candidate-driven one, meaning recruiters and HR teams need to adopt a new stance when it comes to sourcing talent.
    The enormous upheaval of the coronavirus pandemic means candidates are in high demand. However, many companies are struggling to find the right people as the pool of suitable candidates is scarce. To add to the challenge, prospective employees also have a refreshed set of expectations around a more hybrid approach to working in this ultra-digital age.
    As such, striking a balance between recruiting the best talent for the job while quickly fulfilling businesses’ urgent need for staff is becoming a challenge, particularly when looking to maintain desirable levels of staff retention. Perhaps recruitment strategies need a rethink as the world changes?
    A striking set of statistics
    The latest figures from Reed and the ‘UK Report on Jobs’ survey by KPMG and REC lay out how the most recent lockdown developments and further reopening of the UK economy have impacted recruitment:

    Permanent placements have hit record growth
    An upturn in temp billings is the fastest it has been for six years
    May 2021 was Reed’s best month for job postings since before the 2008 financial crash
    The demand for workers has increased at the fastest rate for over 23 years
    The supply of permanent and temporary staff fell at the quickest rates on record.

    However, although these results may be good news for job seekers, they present new challenges to recruiters looking to help businesses hire, as the spike in demand brings the labor and skills shortages that already existed in the UK into sharper focus.
    With overall candidate availability declining at the quickest rate since May 2017, recruiters and HR teams must now pick out top talent from a rapidly shrinking pool. Plus, both starting salaries and temp pay are expanding at a sharp rate. Coupled with a growing desire for flexibility and a more hybrid approach to working, companies are under more pressure than ever to match up to candidates’ increasing expectations if they want to attract and retain the best staff.
    Leveraging the opportunity
    The shift from a client-driven market to a candidate-driven market means recruiters must adapt their approach to finding new talent by targeting passive candidates. When the demand outstrips supply, speed is of the essence, and consultants must move quickly if they want to snap up the best candidates for their clients.
    As a recruiter, top talent will rarely fall into your lap — particularly in a highly competitive job market. Plus, just because someone is not actively looking for a new role does not mean they are not open to discussing and learning more about new opportunities. So, it is essential to proactively search for candidates already in employment and reach out to them to capture their interest in vacant positions.
    Sourcing passive candidates, rather than waiting for them to come to you, has consistently garnered highly effective hiring success rates, with candidates sourced in this way proving to be more than twice as efficient as independent applicants.
    For this strategy to be effective, recruiters and HR teams must make the best use of the digital resources at their disposal — as well as their professional network. For example, there are a wealth of finance and accounting candidates on social media, and platforms like LinkedIn are ideal for ‘headhunting’ skilled and high-level talent.
    Step into the digital era
    Recruitment is more competitive than ever before. And now that the market has become increasingly driven by candidates and their desires, it is the employer (and, in turn, their recruitment specialist) that needs to stand out and impress.
    Candidates have come to expect more from prospective employers, and not just in terms of substantial pay packets and training programs — although these are also important to consider. After over a year of home working, many have come to enjoy a more flexible way of working and expect companies to offer it as a benefit. In fact, a recent survey by Barnett Waddingham found 34% of UK workers said they would resign from their current position if their employer failed to offer flexible working options.
    In a climate where unsatisfied staff may be approached for — or seek out — alternative employment, employee retention is also more crucial than ever. Benefits such as flexible working can greatly improve productivity and job satisfaction, meaning staff is more likely to stay at a company.
    Retaining new hires starts with the hiring process. The process must be tailored to employees’ new drive for a more remote and digitized experience while ensuring clear and consistent communication. To do this, recruiters need to make the most of the abundance of digital platforms available, using them in conjunction with more conventional hiring practices to provide the smoothest recruitment and onboarding experience possible.
    By Julie Mott, Managing Director at Howett Thorpe. Julie is a highly respected and well-connected recruitment individual with over 20 years of experience working in the ever-changing industry.
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    The Marketing Metrics that Matter for Recruitment Brands

    When it comes to crafting and delivering an email marketing campaign that attracts candidates and encourages them to find out more about the latest vacancy, measuring how each piece of content has done can help recruiters to truly understand if what they’re saying is hitting the mark.
    As 300 billion marketing emails are sent to people’s inboxes every single day – on a global scale – it’s often difficult to not only achieve the desired cut-through when there’s so much competition from brands, but also know how well it’s been received… or not.
    To overcome this hurdle, many recruiters might take this opportunity to analyze open and click-through rates to determine the success or failure of their latest email campaign – after all, many free email marketing platforms have this insight available at the click of a button. However, while these measurements are giving some of the detail, are they really telling the full story? Perhaps not.
    That’s because this data doesn’t delve into the fact that several recipients might’ve seen the email and given it a short glance, but then hit ‘delete’ without truly engaging with it. Others could’ve accidentally clicked on the comms before discarding it altogether.
    The point is, open and click-through rates never truly tell the whole tale. Yes, they might show how the latest email campaign has achieved above-industry rates because recipients have opened it, but there’s no bearing of the level of engagement that’s also been involved. And, for a savvy recruiter, they want to know that their vacancy or top tips email is driving the type of interaction that helps to get the right person into the right job.
    So, while other recruiters are still accessing these so-called ‘vanity metrics’, forward-thinking professionals – who want to get ahead of the competition – should be exploring another form of analysis to truly cut through the online noise. That means plugging in marketing automation and tapping into the powers of lead scoring.
    What is lead scoring?
    This is where imaginary numbers are placed above the heads of every individual who has engaged with the recruiter. For those who have interacted with the brand lots – for example, downloaded a guide on interview techniques or spent time on a specific webpage covering a sector they’re interested in – they’re classed as being the ‘hottest leads’ and could therefore have a figure of ‘9’ or ‘99’ attached to them.
    These individuals are the ones recruitment firms should be prioritizing with hyper-personalized comms because they’re already ‘bought in’ to what the organization has to say. What that results in is typically a greater level of engagement too because they want to hear from the company.
    By focusing on those who are the most interactive, there is also a greater chance of a conversion-rich opportunity via a human touchpoint – such as a one-on-one phone call – and this can go a lot further than sending an irrelevant message that’s loosely received by all.
    Always segment the audience
    Technically this isn’t a metric, however, it plays a pivotal role in exactly how a recruiter analyses if their latest campaign delivers the correct message to the desired person, at the perfect time.
    Segmenting individuals into specific groups based on their of-the-moment interests and interactions with the brand means that recruiters can send hyper-relevant content the recipient wants to read, rather than what the organization thinks they might be interested in.
    This is a great way for recruiters to have a laser-beam focus on who to speak to, and when – all of which can be made possible in minutes, rather than hours, via savvy marketing automation.
    Web engagement can tell a far greater story
    Having discussed the powers of lead scoring and the importance of segmentation, another step recruiters should take if they’re to evaluate their campaigns effectively is via website interactions.
    For example, is a candidate viewing videos on the ‘most frequently asked questions in an interview’? Or maybe they’re trawling a top tips guide on how to craft a must-see cover letter. These are critical areas that a recruiter can respond to in terms of personalizing their content. If they’re not tracking this type of activity, it’s a missed opportunity.
    Plugging in marketing automation and accessing website data can equip recruitment brands with a deeper level of insight from each individual’s online experience, and provide detail into what they’re most interested in, in real-time.
    While these metrics only scratch the surface at to what recruiters can do when armed with marketing automation, the important thing for them to remember is that they must be responsive to what the data is telling them. And, while it might seem disheartening to have unsubscribers or discover a piece of digital comms has received little engagement, it often tells a lot about a contact base – from the level of interaction to identifying whether they need to address the ‘send frequency’ or refresh content… before a competitor does.
    About Sam Duggan: Head of marketing for marketing automation platform Force24, Sam has a laser-beam focus on driving bottom-line revenues by utilizing customer data. 
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    Get to know – Hired CTO Dave Walters

    Tell us about your career journey. I graduated from SUNY Stony Brook with a BS in Mathematics. In my final year of studies, I started to form an interest in software development and took some introductory courses.  Ultimately, post graduation, I was recruited into my first job as a Webmaster at a fast growing startup […] More

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    Video Interviewing 101: How To Impress In The Digital Age

    You passed your phone screen with flying colors. Next up? The (often-dreaded) video interview. A mainstay of the modern era, video technology is used by at least 60% of hiring teams. But while virtual interviews eliminate the need for time-consuming commutes, they also bring their own stressors—like spotty internet connection or unanticipated background noise.  Wondering […] More

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    5 Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore During Your Interview

    In a pre-pandemic world, the idea of interviewing for a new job without meeting the team in person would have seemed strange at best. Now, as many companies have shifted to remote work, many job candidates and employers have happily adopted remote interviews as the new standard.  Remote interviews come with their benefits, but figuring […] More