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    Combating Pregnancy Discrimination in the Hiring Process

    Three-fourths of American women will carry a pregnancy at least once while employed, according to a recent study. With as many as 64% of Americans looking for or considering a new job, it’s reasonable to assume many women will go through the application and hiring process while pregnant.  One concern of expectant mothers is that […] More

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    How Has the Recruitment Process Changed in the New ‘Virtual’ World?

    It is fair to say that 2020 shook recruitment (along with most other sectors) to its core. Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, changes to the recruitment industry that were expected to take years have happened in mere months.
    But now that we are almost halfway through 2021, are these changes likely to stick around?
    Out of necessity, many employees were forced to work from home for the majority of last year. But this necessity has created new opportunity, with many companies realizing business can carry on, as usual, no matter where their teams are based. Now, many organizations are adopting an increasingly hybrid approach to the workplace.
    As such, the definition of ‘workplace’ has changed dramatically — a lasting change that will undoubtedly continue long after the pandemic is over.
    But what does this momentous shift mean for financial and accountancy recruitment going forward? In short — digitization.
    The rise of hybrid working
    Thanks to the pandemic, the traditional hiring process has been flipped on its head, with many recruiters (and clients and candidates) scrambling to adapt to a fully remote experience. But remote work has become the new norm for many, meaning virtual recruiting is not going anywhere.
    The past year has seen many companies take a haphazard approach to recruitment, attempting to hastily fill talent gaps in a panic. However, digital hiring solutions such as online assessments and video interviewing should not be seen as a short-term patch for the COVID-19 era. Instead, they should form part of a long-term hiring strategy. Virtual recruitment requires just as much care and attention as traditional hiring options, and retention should always be a top priority. The cost of a bad hire is monumental, so it is essential to get recruitment right the first time.
    With hybrid working on the rise, many firms are now also casting the net wider when recruiting new hires. As a result, recruiters must adopt hiring technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to enhance the recruitment process and improve efficiency when sifting through a larger candidate pool. For instance, algorithms and AI can automate the CV screening process to ensure all candidates are replied to and even schedule interviews. Candidates expect a smoother experience when applying online, and in 2021, there are no excuses for clunky application processes or not getting back to candidates.
    However, despite advances in technology, it is vital to keep recruitment personal. Attention to candidates makes for a lasting workforce, which is why an effective hiring process should still include people at both ends. Rather than replacing human connection, intelligent automation should supplement the recruitment process by filtering through data quickly, transparently, and without error.
    On-screen talent assessment and selection
    Although the recruitment world has changed dramatically over the past year, the hiring process itself still follows the same steps — albeit with some adjustments to ensure the caliber of hires when recruiting virtually.
    Social media and online job sites have long played a crucial role in sourcing candidates and will be instrumental in remote recruiting, opening up an entirely new world of finance and accounting candidates to consider. For senior positions which may not be advertised due to sensitivity, recruiters can also use social media platforms like LinkedIn to ‘headhunt’ talent, combining their connections and expertise to source the best candidates for the role.
    Given that new hires are now less likely than ever to engage with recruiters face-to-face before onboarding, post-2020 recruitment must also be able to assess and select talent effectively from a distance. As a result, there is a growing demand for online psychometric and aptitude assessments as recruitment tools. When recruiting remotely, it is also important to translate the organization’s culture and values into tests or surveys to determine whether a candidate is a good ‘fit’ and will stay with the company.
    Even with advancements in technology, this screening process can take a long time and requires close attention to detail to ensure only the best candidates with the relevant qualifications and skills for the role are put forward to the client.
    The final hurdle
    With remote hiring becoming the norm, we can expect to see in-person job interviews become a later stage of the recruitment process when both the recruiter and the candidate are sure the role is a good fit.
    It is, therefore, vital for recruiters to maximize new assessment tools available to facilitate virtual recruitment. Unlike email or telephone interviews, video interviews give the recruiter a more comprehensive perspective of potential candidates. With video conferencing now widely accepted, the interaction can still be personalized and used to establish a connection. As there is no travel involved with digital interviews, they are also easier to schedule and can be recorded and shared amongst relevant stakeholders (with the candidate’s permission) to enhance the selection process.
    Plus, everyone’s time is precious. From a candidate’s perspective, it is much easier to find the time for a virtual interview, meaning they can accommodate availability sooner than in person. With the traditional recruitment process, many hybrid candidates would discount themselves due to availability and having to come up with a plausible reason as to why they were not present at work. With virtual recruitment, this is no longer a problem.
    Taking the recruitment process further
    To ensure the quality of new hires, it is imperative that organizations take the time to adapt the traditional hiring process to the new, more digital way of working.
    But why stop once new hires have accepted the job offer? In order to retain these recruits, equal efforts should be put into post-hire talent acquisition as the pre-hire onboarding process.
    When done right, remote recruiting can not only save time, free up resources, lower hiring costs, and provide opportunities to broaden the pool of candidates — but it can also ensure companies RETAIN staff.
    After all, is that not what good recruitment is all about?
    With over 50 years of experience, Howett Thorpe has evolved to become one of the South East’s premier accounting and finance recruitment agencies — offering workforce solutions across multiple specialisms. The agency also has a strong foothold in practice and business support roles, such as office admin and HR.
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    Combating Imposter Syndrome

    Have you ever felt like you’re in way over your head in your career? Or maybe read a job description and thought, ‘there’s no way I’m qualified for that’? If so, you may be experiencing imposter syndrome.  Imposter syndrome is the appearance of anxious thoughts and feelings that lead you to believe you’re out of […] More

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    How Recruiters Can Adapt to Major Shifts in Candidate Attitudes

    This past year has greatly altered the dynamics of the U.S. labor market, including job seekers’ expectations of employers, according to a new 2021 Job Seeker Nation Report from Jobvite. It is predicted that many of the changes experienced will be here to stay, bringing about what many believe to be the rise of the optimized workforce. As a result, talent leaders and recruiters must understand how to adjust efforts for the job market today and into the future.
    Remote work & company culture.
    The pandemic has created profound changes in workplace preferences for job seekers, including the desire for remote work. Per the Job Seeker Nation Report, 35% have declined or would decline a job offer that required them to work full time on location, in an office, or at a worksite, and 100% remote work is preferred by 33% of workers.
    Despite an increasing number of employees working remotely, the importance of company culture in applying for a job has continued to rebound. Nearly half of workers believe company culture is very important in their decision to accept or reject a job – a 21% increase since 2019.
    Employers need to implement a hybrid and culture-centric work environment to lure top-quality talent. Likewise, talent leaders must incorporate these company values into the hiring process. This can be accomplished by implementing a cohesive recruitment marketing strategy that includes social media, as more than 33% of job seekers use social media networks to learn about an employer’s culture.
    Diversity hiring is vital.
    With this year prompting many Americans to reflect on what is important to them, it is fitting that those beliefs and priorities are being brought into the job search. This year’s report found a significant number of workers (42%) would turn down a job if the company lacked diversity in its workforce or had no clear goals for improving diversity in hiring.
    Separately, 49% have inquired about employer’s goals and efforts around improving diversity in the workplace during interviews. Based on these results, it’s evident that recruiters need to embrace diversity initiatives, as it significantly influences workers’ decisions to apply, accept, or even reject a job.
    To do this, recruiters must create employment opportunities for all regardless of race, religion, color, gender, identity, age, ability, location, or creed by mitigating challenges in the job-seeking process due to unconscious bias. This can manifest itself in how a job description is written, how a job opening is marketed, what schools an organization recruits candidates from, how a candidate is interviewed, and much more.
    Balance in today’s always-on workforce.
    The majority of surveyed workers report increased stress levels since the onset of the pandemic. In today’s world of competing priorities and unexpected distractions, remote workers are also struggling to transition between “work time” and “home life.” In 2021, 42% of surveyed workers said they are working longer hours compared to the year before.
    Employers must deliver a more thoughtful approach to helping employees achieve a more balanced life based on workers’ individual needs. Talent leaders can then highlight how the company supports its employees through these practices, both now and into the future. This can be delivered through information and videos on the employer’s career site, which continues to be one of the most powerful recruiting assets.
    Interviewing tactics & preferences.
    Here’s the good news for recruiters. Over the past year, an overwhelming majority of surveyed workers consider their most recent candidate experience to be primarily positive. Excellent communication from recruiters, ease of scheduling, and easy job application process were the top reasons for positive candidate experiences.
    A preference for texting is also on the rise. This year’s report found that a majority of job seekers prefer texting for scheduling interviews in comparison to email or phone. This is especially true for workers with children, as 30% are comfortable participating in an interview via texting. Like consumer behavior, candidates have renewed expectations of their job-seeking experience, especially while on a mobile device.
    However, lack of access to adequate technology or Wi-Fi has negatively impacted 35% of job seekers’ ability to participate in a video interview. Recruiters need to consider how this may affect a candidate’s participation and outline strategies to overcome this challenge, as virtual interviews continue to be leveraged in the recruiting process.
    The Rise of the Optimized Workforce.
    The expectations of job seekers and employees have changed forever. As a result, recruiters need a complete understanding of how to adjust efforts to meet the demands of varied realities for today’s workers. To do this, talent leaders must equip themselves with the right skills, knowledge, and strategies to effectively navigate the current reality and engage high-quality talent.
    Kurt Jones is a Senior Manager of Product Marketing at Jobvite, a leading end-to-end talent acquisition suite provider that serves thousands of customers across a wide range of industries.
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    Owning Every Moment of Your Hiring Experience

    Companies often believe candidate experience begins and ends with the job application on your website. It definitely does include the job app, but there’s so much more to the hiring experience that deserves close attention.
    To create an overall amazing hiring experience, you first have to define its wider boundaries. The experience starts when people become aware that your organization exists; in other words, it’s your brand. It’s how you show up in the world, what you say on relevant current events, and how you portray life at your company through pictures, videos, words, and anywhere your brand is present online. The next touchpoint is when candidates apply for a job and hear (or don’t hear) from you with an enthusiastic, transparent and timely follow-up. Then hopefully they get an interview, then an offer and they accept.
    But it doesn’t stop there. The candidate experience extends beyond accepting their role to the first day on the job, and even through their onboarding period. There are easily dozens of touchpoints in the candidate experience, whether organizations realize them or not. That means dozens of opportunities to impress or fall short of expectations in the eyes of the people who are going to help you achieve your business goals. A negative or inconsistent candidate experience can damage your brand’s reputation and your ability to hire and retain the right people you need.
    Here’s some much-needed guidance on how to think about and shape candidate experiences to make them as meaningful and beneficial as possible, both for candidates and for everyone involved in the hiring process in the company.
    You no longer directly control your reputation
    The days when companies controlled what information was released about them are long gone. Today, in the time it takes to eat a ham sandwich, a person can get a full data dump about your company from Glassdoor and corroborate that information with other social media and connections on LinkedIn.
    Mathematically, most applicants and candidates for your jobs will never get an offer from you. However, many won’t hesitate to describe the experience, no matter how far they got in it, on Glassdoor and on very public social media channels. And these channels will help inform the decision of the next star candidate that you so badly want and need to hire.
    You’re no longer in control—at least not in the same way as 10 or 15 years ago. The only way you can be in control of your employer brand now is to think about the hiring experience and make it so good at every step that perfect strangers will interview with you and write you glowing reviews, even if they don’t get the job.
    What are you posting?
    Many organizations do not make a clear distinction between three documents:

    A job description is the internal document which outlines the responsibilities, requirements, expectations, pay and so forth;
    A job post lists the open role on an organization’s website, with enough information and enticement to appeal to talented people so they decide to submit their information; and
    A job ad is a placement on an external site like Indeed or ZipRecruiter, meant to get people to click through and apply.

    Don’t post your job description. It’s usually paragraph after paragraph of dense, bullet-point language and meaningless jargon. Instead, create job posts and ads that are customized and tailored for specific audiences that actually aim to attract great talent and give a real feel for what taking on this role entails.
    What are you mapping?
    Have you mapped every impression and interaction of your candidate experience? If not, you should. Mapping all your interactions with prospects during the hiring process will help you understand where you can improve and how you can stand out from competitors. A few areas to consider:

    Emails that go from your organization to applicants
    Which employees are contacting an applicant and coordinating an interview
    Creating useful materials to provide candidates before they interview (from employee profile blogs to brand videos to company milestone timelines)
    Understanding how to correctly pronounce a candidate’s name
    For in-person interviews – who will greet the candidate; where will the interview happen; is the candidate left alone in a room; is a beverage offered
    During any interview, regardless of stage – is there an agenda; does the candidate get a chance to ask questions; will someone share what next steps with the candidate without being asked
    After the interview – how do you provide updates on timing and follow-up interviews; how do you inform candidates you won’t be progressing with them.

    Have you asked how you’re doing?
    While mapping out every interaction will help give you think about the candidate’s experience from their perspective, you won’t actually know how well you’ve executed unless you ask them.
    Sure you should monitor Glassdoor, but it’s often the case that only a small (yet loud) percentage of all candidates will leave a review. Forward-thinking companies gather useful information through candidate surveys in addition to monitoring Glassdoor and other similar sites. We’ve found that around 20 percent of the surveys get filled out — giving us more data than what we’d gain with Glassdoor. These surveys should go to both candidates who received an offer and those who didn’t get the job.
    Having a consistent flow of feedback and information will help you continuously refine and improve your hiring process.
    Onboarding
    Many companies think of new hire onboarding as the logistics of getting people a desk and a computer, with a side of paperwork to sign and documentation to complete. While that’s partly true, a new hire’s onboarding experience should include a whole lot more.
    Onboarding should be about how a candidate becomes part of the community as an employee. It should include opportunities and information to help them learn the real culture and philosophy of the company. During the interview phase, we may have established that a candidate will be able to do a particular job. During the onboarding phase, we show that person how to do that job, and how to begin to navigate the company teams, processes, and culture.
    You have the ability to transform onboarding from a boring bureaucratic function into a customized experience that will blow away new hires and compel them to want to tell everyone about how you gave them the red-carpet treatment.
    Add to that the efforts you make to improve the hiring experience in general, and not only are you likely to have increased the Employee Lifetime Value of this person, but you may well have your newest, enthusiastic referral source.
    Take ownership of the hiring experience
    By owning every moment of your hiring experience – from job post to onboarding – you are making the process easier and more productive for both candidates and your organization.
    The experience of applying for a job shapes how candidates form their impressions of your brand. Unless you’re a company like Google or Facebook, and maybe even then, most people don’t know what it’s like to work for you. If your hiring team is disorganized or unprofessional, that’s how the candidate will perceive your entire company.
    By taking ownership of the process to ensure a candidate has a good experience, you can improve your ‘talent brand’ and make it easier to hire great candidates who are excited to work with you.
    By Jon Stross, Co-Founder and President of Greenhouse Software, and Co-Author of TALENT MAKERS: How the Best Organizations Win Through Structured and Inclusive Hiring.
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    What to know before starting a remote job

    PrepareDon’t wait for your start date to begin getting ready. Preparation should start immediately! Decide where your dedicated workspace will be and set it up to be a comfortable and productive area for you. Make sure your WiFi connection is strong and that you’re near an outlet. Living with family or roommates? Be sure to establish ground rules with the people in your home. Getting a jump start on the little things will make a difference when you get started and will let you focus on your new role. Check out our expert tips to help you get into the right mindset and ease the transition into remote work.Next, if your new company sends over any onboarding material (whether it’s an employee handbook or remote work best practices), be sure to read it! If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to the hiring manager or recruiter as soon as possible so there are no roadblocks on day one. If they send you any IT-related material, make sure all applications and extensions are downloaded and ready to go. Lastly, ask if there’s an IT representative in case there are any hardware or software issues in your first week.The best preparation will ultimately alleviate a lot of the stress that comes with starting a new job — especially a remote one.Understand expectationsWith remote work, you don’t have the luxury to turn to your manager with questions as you acclimate to your new role. This can make it difficult to know if you’re on the right track. On your first day, clarify what you’re accountable for — to your manager, your team, and the company overall. Use the time spent with your manager to understand how the business and your team measure success, and plan how you will make an impact. Confirm your standard work hours, communication preferences, daily priorities, and other metrics/KPIs that are being measured.Take initiative, and see what you can do to get ramped up as quickly as possible. Are there specific training materials that you should reference? Should you shadow certain colleagues? Don’t leave day one without a clear grasp of what’s expected from you.While it’s easy to stay hyper-focused on your specific role when you first start, remember to think of the big picture too. Recognize how your new responsibilities roll up into the success of the business overall. How? One idea is to set up meetings with different departments to learn about other areas of the company. These are also great opportunities to meet with coworkers that you might not work with on a daily basis.Ask questions to show that you’re engaged and thinking ahead. Which coworkers prefer which communication methods, or are there company-wide guidelines to follow? For example, would certain teams prefer a video call while others respond quicker to an email? Should instant messages only be used for urgent questions? In time, you will observe and adapt to the norms, but it’s a good idea to get familiarized early.As you continue to work, more questions will pop up. Instead of pinging your coworkers or boss every time you encounter a hiccup, bundle your questions so you can ask them all at once.Establish relationshipsWorking remotely doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice company culture. Socializing with your teammates is still a must — especially when you’re new!Start by introducing yourself to the necessary individuals (think: teammates, Human Resources, IT, etc.) Set up a quick video call to get to know these people better. It doesn’t need to be considered a “meeting.” Make it a quick coffee chat or a lunch hour – try to mimic the social interactions you would normally have in an office space! Use this opportunity to ask questions such as general icebreakers, perks, and benefits they enjoy, or tips on how to succeed at the company. Forming these relationships early on will make it easier to work with them down the road and give you great insight into your new company.When a colleague helps you during your first week, be sure to thank them. A little bit of gratitude can go a long way. Lastly, ask your manager what meetings you can join in on and observe. Simply showing your face in meetings can help establish your presence at the company and make future introductions more seamless.We recognize that starting a job remotely can be challenging. As you adjust to your new role, be sure to cut yourself some slack. It will take time to figure out a remote setup that works for you, but these tips will help you hit the ground running and ensure an all-star first day! More

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    5 Ways to Prepare Yourself for a Job Market Bounce-back 

    Despite a lull in business for some agency recruiters over the past 12 months, the UK job market is expected to take off towards the middle of 2021, thanks to the vaccine rollout and easing COVID-19 restrictions. This means we can look forward to better, busier times ahead in recruitment! Here are a few actions you can take to ensure you’re fully prepared.
    Familiarize yourself with industry changes
    If you haven’t worked with clients within a particular industry over the past 12 months due to low hiring activity, now is the time to make sure you’re up-to-date on any industry-specific changes or new legislation. By reading up on sector publications and subscribing to newsletters from companies who work in that space, you’ll soon get up to speed on areas such as the sector’s unemployment rate, the impact of Brexit and competitor performance. It will also give you clarification on government policies, like furlough or other COVID-related schemes.
    Take advantage of the talent pool
    As we’re all aware, there has been an influx of fantastic candidates over the past 12 months. If you’re not as busy with live roles, it’s a great idea to register as many of these candidates as possible.  This will ensure you have access to a strong talent pool from which you can quickly pull candidates when jobs are called in. You can also take advantage of the people who are on your radar by communicating regularly with them. They can tell you how they’re finding their job search and where else they’re interviewing, giving you a better understanding of the market. It will help you to develop a relationship and a degree of loyalty among your candidates, which will be extremely important when the market improves.
    Showcase your expertise
    If you’ve always wanted to invest your time in developing your personal brand, take advantage of this opportunity and put yourself out there! As recruiters, we have a unique insight into the market, and our conversations with our clients mean we are well informed on workplace trends such as diversity and inclusion, wellbeing, and remote working. So, use your expertise and start producing your own content. Whether you want to try your hand at writing articles and publishing them via LinkedIn, or you want to start your own podcast or video series, the possibilities are endless.
    Prepare your candidates
    When talking to your candidates, it’s a good idea to give them an indication of when you expect the market to pick up, so they can prepare for it. Help them by working through their CV to ensure it’s up-to-date with no errors, and by practicing common interview questions. It’s also a good idea to go through any gaps on their CV, so they know how to explain them to an employer during the interview process.
    While we’re expecting an influx of new roles over the coming months, the competition for jobseekers is also likely to be fierce. As a result, you should prepare your candidates so they’re as responsive as possible. Let them know you will likely be moving very quickly from receiving a job spec to sending over a shortlist, so they need to jump on any opportunity they’re interested in.
    Keep your clients informed
    When reconnecting with your clients, remember that they may not have prioritized hiring lately. They’ll likely be interested in hiring trends in their industry, so prepare a handful of key points you can share. As many companies are likely to retain more flexible working practices moving forward, your clients may also have questions around remote hiring and onboarding processes. By preparing your best-practice tips, they will feel encouraged and supported as they tackle a new way of hiring while positioning you as a thought leader in your space.
    As recruiters, we can take advantage of quieter periods in hiring, allowing us to prepare ourselves for when activity picks up in our sector. If you know how to spend your time wisely, it will put you in good stead for the hiring boom to come.
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    5 Tips to Advance Your Career as a Technical Recruiter: The Path to Professional Development

    You want to get ahead. At Hired, we’re here to help make it happen. 
    In this step-by-step guide, we’ll outline five actionable ways to advance your career as a technical recruiter: from implementing automation to tracking market trends and more.
    Together, these strategies will strengthen your recruitment process—and put you on the path to measurable hiring success. 
    Ready to reach your next career milestone? 
    Let’s get started.
    Download the Guide More