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These 7 Deal Breakers Could Be Costing You Candidates

These 7 Deal Breakers Could Be Costing You Candidates

Modern-day candidates have different priorities than even just a few years ago. And when a hiring process is less than ideal, they aren’t settling. Top talent will wait for an opportunity that matches their wish list and a hiring process that demonstrates they would be a valued team member. “Each touchpoint in the recruitment process vitally matters to job seekers,” explains Richard Wahlquist, ASA President and CEO. During challenging economic times, companies cannot afford to miss important details that prevent candidates from applying to their jobs or accepting job offers. Here are seven deal breakers that could prevent candidates from accepting job offers.

Inappropriate Interview Questions

Over half (53%) of U.S. people say that inappropriate interview questions would deter them from accepting a job offer from a company. These inappropriate questions can range from flat-out illegal to simply distasteful. So, what questions should you ask? Here are a few of our recent favorites.

Unrealistic Job Or Skill Requirements

51% of candidates simply won’t apply to a job that lists unrealistic job or skill requirements in the description. Consider dialing it back on your job description to cast the widest net possible for diverse and qualified candidates. You can always narrow down necessary skills later on in the job process.

Misrepresenting Job Duties

Similar to unrealistic requirements, candidates tend to feel tricked if the job turns out to be a complete 180 from what they first applied to. In fact, 50% of candidates won’t accept a job offer if they feel the duties have been misrepresented. So, even when simplifying your job description, be sure to keep it honest and in line with the actual job. (If you’re looking for more job description advice, check out what makes a great job description here.)

Aggressive Behavior Of Recruiter Or Hiring Manager

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, and in the case of candidate pursuit, that certainly seems to be the case. 49% of top talent doesn’t want to be aggressively pursued or given unrealistic ultimatums. Instead, they value a recruiter or hiring manager who prioritizes their needs during a hiring process.

Not Responding To Questions About Open Positions

Job applications are a significant time investment for candidates. And for 38% of candidates, it’s a deal-breaker if questions go unanswered. If they reach out with questions during the application process, it leaves a lasting impact if they get an immediate and direct answer. Similarly, during the interview process, great candidates will come prepared with a list of important questions. They will value interviewers who take the time to answer thoughtfully.

Poor Follow-Up By Recruiting Or Hiring Manager

We’ve all heard horror stories from both sides of the desk regarding ghosting during the hiring process. 37% of candidates will be turned away from a job if the communication process is lacking. Be sure to layout clear next steps and follow through with timelines throughout the entire hiring process. (Yes, even if you’re turning a candidate down!)

No Face-To-Face Contact During Hiring Process

Admittedly, this one can be challenging amidst the recovery from a global pandemic. However, face-to-face interaction is still important to 30% of job applicants. If your area is still in some form of lockdown, you can achieve this via video interviews. To go the extra mile, allow your final candidates to meet the entire team on video chat so they can envision themselves as part of the team.

Interested in more interviewing and hiring tips? Explore our client resources here.

3 Ways To Effectively Narrow Down Your Job Applicants

3 Ways To Effectively Narrow Down Your Job Applicants

In a candidate-saturated job market, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the number of applicants you receive for a job opening. However, there are a few things you can do to narrow down your job applicants effectively. Doing so will create a better application experience for candidates and a smoother hiring process for your team.

At The Application Stage

One of the most powerful ways to narrow your candidate pool is during the application stage. This helps save you, your recruiters, and your applicants time. There are a few effective strategies to weed out candidates who may not be qualified. First, make sure your job description is specific. Include any and all must-haves, including qualifications, location, and experience. Next, don’t be afraid to ask for additional materials. Whether that’s a cover letter, portfolio, or writing sample, supplemental materials can significantly deter unqualified candidates from applying. We recommend asking for something that will add value to your decision-making process and take the time to factor those documents into your consideration process.

During The Interview Stage

Another great time to narrow down your job applicants is during the interview process. You can do this by asking well-crafted and intentional questions. Skip the usual “what are your weaknesses” and dig deeper to actually imagine candidates in your position. (To get you started, here are some of our favorite questions.) Additionally, aim to give interviewees a realistic view of what it’s like to work at your company and on your team. Yes, this includes the good, the bad, and the ugly! Cover challenges, expectations, and celebrations. This will help to weed any candidates out that won’t be a culture fit or are looking for something different.

When It Comes Time To Offer

Once you’ve made it through the entire hiring process, you may face a tough decision in this candidate-saturated market. To narrow down your choices, picture your top candidate in the position. How would they get along with the rest of your team? What does their long-term growth trajectory look like? Would they go above and beyond to push your team to the next level?

Additionally, don’t forget to factor in diversity initiatives, budgets, and future goals. When it comes time to offer, make a decision quickly and put your best offer on the table. While many people are currently looking, the job market is rapidly changing, and the best candidates are getting swept up swiftly.

These are just a few of the options you have when it comes to effectively narrowing down your job applicants. Doing so as you move through the hiring process will result in a better application experience and a more productive employee in the end. Looking for more hiring advice? Explore our client resources here.

Hiring Resolutions For The New Year

Hiring Resolutions For The New Year

Ah, the new year. A chance for a fresh start, a time to implement changes, and an opportunity to reflect on what hasn’t worked in the past and how we can improve. Everyone loves to make new year’s resolutions to improve in the new year. And this year, we’re sharing the best hiring resolutions you can make in 2021 as a manager. These five resolutions will help your team start off on a strong note, even during these uncertain times.

1. Do not ghost candidates

Alright, hiring managers, we know this is a tough one. Especially in today’s market, you’re receiving an influx of qualified candidate resumes. So many, in fact, that it’s nearly impossible to keep up with! But hear us out; today’s candidates are desperate for open communication. They will respect you and your brand all that much more if they receive a simple automated rejection email. And as we’ve learned through economic times, both prosperous and dire, reputation is everything!

2. Streamline our hiring process

Many of you are probably still hiring remotely, making this resolution challenging. However, as your competitors start to regain speed throughout 2021, you will get left in the dust with a slow and antiquated hiring process. Instead, take this time to focus on improving your strategy – getting people face-to-face (or on video chat) immediately, reducing the number of required interviews, and sending a solid offer as soon as possible.

3. Write better job descriptions

Believe it or not, one thing that will help you attract better candidates (and reducing the number of resumes you have to sift through) is writing a stellar job description. Not too long, not too short, enticing enough to grab people’s interest, but simple enough to retain it. Does your current job description paint a vivid picture of your company culture? Do you share your company’s stance on hot button issues like diversity, equality, and benefits? Today’s candidates want to know all of this information upfront before they invest time in submitting an application.

4. Retain the great employees we already have

Yes, we know these are “hiring resolutions,” but if you do a great job retaining the talent you already have, it will make hiring new talent that much easier. Especially while working remotely, be sure to check in with your employees often. Ask them how they are coping – both professionally and personally. The first few months of the year can be tough on people, particularly cooped up in their own house juggling home and work life.

5. Ask for help when we need it

You can refer to this resolution as “work smarter, not harder.” When you’re balancing managing your team, working remotely, hiring great team members, and a global pandemic, it can be overwhelming. However, you are not alone. Let us carry the burden of hiring your next talented employees, so you can keep the focus on what you do best. Your team needs you now more than ever, and when we work together, you can be more available to them.

Partner with Johnson Service Group in 2021 to help you check off all of your hiring resolutions this year.

What You Should Look For In A Mid-Level Employee

What You Should Look For In Mid-Level Employee

The talent market is crowded right now, and hiring managers are overwhelmed (to say the least.) Many companies are seeking assistance in narrowing down their prospects to hire only the best employees. However, that can be tricky when assessing the mid-level range. When hiring for a mid-level position, you’ll receive resumes from candidates across the board. Some may boast stronger education, while others have experience that speaks for itself. How can you ensure you’re hiring a candidate who will be talented and loyal to your company? Here are a few things to keep an eye out for when hiring a mid-level employee.

Drive To Succeed

You may be surprised that our first point isn’t “related experience,” but hear us out. There are millions of candidates on the market right now. Some may be overqualified; some may be pivoting their career. Not all candidates will have matching experience. Don’t get hung up on line-by-line qualifications on paper. Simply look for candidates that have the drive to succeed. Have they worked their way up throughout their career? Can they provide concrete examples of times they’ve gone above and beyond?

The Ability To Talk Through Situations

Behavioral interview questions were made for mid-level employees. These candidates aren’t so well-rehearsed that they have an answer for everything, yet they have enough experience to walk you through situations they’ve encountered throughout their career. Craft behavioral interview questions specifically tailored to your mid-level employee role. Dig deep to find out how a candidate would react in different situations and don’t be afraid to push them a little out of their comfort zone. How a person responds will be a great indicator of how they will work under pressure if hired for your position.

A Culture Fit

“Culture fit” has been a hot topic in hiring this year. Many have accused the term of perpetuating hiring bias. However, keep in mind that you define what culture fit means in relation to hiring for your position. Hiring for culture fit typically means assessing candidates based on their alignment with your team and company’s values, beliefs, and behaviors. And for a mid-level employee, it’s often a crucial metric for success. To hire for culture fit, be upfront about your culture early and often throughout the hiring process. Include it in your mid-level job description, explain it during the interview, and detail it well in your offer-package. That way, candidates gain a clear understanding of what you stand for, and they can make an educated decision accordingly.

When hiring a mid-level employee, look beyond the resume. Of course, you need someone with experience, but soft-skills will be what sets a winning candidate apart from the rest. 

Looking for more hiring advice? Check out our articles on hiring senior-level and entry-level employees.

What You Should Look For In Senior-Level Employees

What You Should Look For In A Senior-Level Employee

Senior-level employees can bring a wealth of talent and stability to your company. They are essential to establishing your company culture, leading your lower-level employees, and pushing your growth goals. That is why it is vital to seek out talented candidates that will drive your company to success. Here are three things you need to look for when hiring senior-level employees.

Strategic Vision

By the time you become a senior-level employee, you have had at least a few years of experience in the working world. Whether this position will be a management role or straight senior-level, you need someone with vision. A vision for themselves and their future, and a vision for your team and company’s success. During the interview process, be sure to ask questions related to vision and goals such as “where do you see yourself in five years?”

Passively Looking

Historically, the best senior-level employees are not actively looking for a new position. This is why it’s beneficial to partner with a recruiting firm to source and hire your senior-level talent. We have connections with your competitors, and we’re used to selling the latest and greatest, even if your candidate is currently happily employed. However, we are experiencing challenging times, so there are millions of incredible candidates actively on the market today. As a result, don’t just count a candidate out because they are currently unemployed.

Versatility

Senior-level employees will most likely be working with a variety of personalities in your workplace. From the Executive suite to temporary interns, your senior-level employees need to work well with everyone. They should demonstrate versatility in their communication and leadership styles. To assess this, it will be essential to check references thoroughly. For management roles, don’t be afraid to request a subordinate reference to better understand a candidate’s management style.

Hiring for a management-level position varies significantly from company to company, team to team, and even position to position. Always look for professional maturity, including the ability to tackle a variety of tasks and personality types.

Looking for more hiring advice? Check out our articles on hiring mid-level and entry-level employees.

What You Should Look For In Entry-Level Employees

What You Should Look For In Entry-Level Employees

Now is a great time to hire entry-level employees. There are some incredible new grads on the market that are eager to jump in and make an impact on your organization. However, it can be intimidating to hire someone with little to no experience. But instead of piling on unnecessary requirements like meaningless years of experience or a laundry list of hard skills, look for these three things.

Strong Work Ethic

Recent findings show that 85% of managers believe that work ethic is crucial for employees to have. Rather than focusing on experience, look for employees who will simply work hard. To determine if a candidate has a strong work ethic, look at their past. Do they have volunteer opportunities listed on their resume? Did they hold a job or internship throughout high school or college? Then, when you get to the interview stage, ask them to explain their work ethic and style. Listen for cues that will tell you they are the kind of person who goes above and beyond, someone who is self-motivated, and will dive in and get stuff done.

Willingness To Learn

Hear us out on this one; it can actually be advantageous to hire someone without experience! A great entry-level employee will come in as a sponge and soak up all of the knowledge that your team has to offer. In order to judge a candidate’s willingness to learn, ask them a behavioral interview question. Here’s an example, “Let’s say we teach you how to perform a task that will be part of your everyday duties. However, you think there is a better approach to that task. How would you handle this situation?” The candidate doesn’t necessarily have to say they would do it your way, but you want them to be open to trying different strategies or talking it out with you.

Time Management

According to a recent survey, only 13% of managers think that time management can be taught. This means it should be moved to the top of your hiring priorities! An entry-level employee needs to be self-motivated and able to prioritize. With excellent time management, work ethic and willingness to learn will follow suit. To assess a candidate’s time management skills, ask them how they prioritize multiple projects at a time. Take it a step further with a behavioral interview question about a time they had to juggle a lot of tasks at once, or even have them explain a time they missed an important deadline and how they handled it.

We hope you’re ready to rethink your entry-level job descriptions! By limiting your requirements to unrealistic expectations, you miss out on incredible candidates with little to no experience. Interested in more ways to take your hiring to the next level? Explore our client resources!

Your Diversity & Inclusion Hiring Playbook

Your Diversity & Inclusion Hiring Playbook

Diversity is a hot topic in the world today, and many companies are scrambling to recognize deep-rooted unconscious biases and improve how they hire and manage their teams. While the first step of identifying and admitting bias can be the most challenging, it is also the most important for implementing actionable change. However, once you’re ready to tackle injustice and be a part of the change, where do you start? We’ve gathered just a few resources for diversity hiring that will get you started. 

→ You will probably need to overhaul your hiring process. Here’s a great breakdown of how to begin:

Recruiting For Diversity

→ For more on how browsing candidate’s social media profiles could be leading to bias hiring decisions:

Should Employers Screen Candidate’s Social Media

→ Learn about false-positive and false-negative hiring decisions and how you can avoid them, thus building a diverse and qualified team:

How To Avoid False-Negative Hiring Decisions

→ Creating a diverse team doesn’t start with hiring. Learn more about action steps you can take starting today:

Diversity in Hiring Doesn’t Start With Hiring

→ For more insight into the modern gender hiring landscape:

Modern Women Make Strides In The Workforce

Did you know that “hiring for culture fit?” actually leads many teams to lack diversity? Learn more here:

Don’t Hire For Culture Fit, Do This Instead

→ Take a few (free!) courses on LinkedIn Learning that cover everything from bias in all of its forms, cultural competence, communication, allyship, and accountability.

Diversity, Inclusion, And Belonging For All

This is just the beginning.

Learn more about how partnering with a recruiting firm can help you achieve your diversity hiring initiatives. Johnson Service Group has been assisting companies to implement diverse recruiting programs for over 35 years. Start the conversation today to improve the world tomorrow.

You Need To Interview Differently, Starting Today

You Need To Interview Differently, Starting Today

It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has changed the hiring landscape. The effects of this pandemic will be felt throughout organizations for years to come, and it will permanently change how we do business. One thing you can start changing now is how you interview. By making a few adjustments, you’ll be able to continue hiring talented candidates during uncertain times. Try incorporating these three things into your interview process while hiring for your next role to get ahead of your competition!

Be Open To Long-Distance Hiring

Gone are the days of flying candidates across the country to interview for a position. We do not know how long the effects of the Coronavirus will last. Even after the threat of COVID-19 has passed, it will be good practice to limit exposure as much as possible. In order to hire top talent before your competition, we are coaching our clients on how to hire virtually. Over the phone or via a video conference, you can still get a thorough understanding of whether someone will be a good fit for the position or not. It all comes down to asking the right questions.

Stop Grilling Candidates About Employment Gaps

With unemployment claims now reaching over 33 million, there will be just as many gaps on resumes. It’s time we stop judging candidates on resume gaps or presumed “job hopping.” Instead, focus on the value they can add to your team. To ensure that they are in it for the long haul, be sure to ask questions about why they want this position, and where they see themselves in the future. (It’s okay to press for more in-depth, realistic answers to these questions to make an accurate assessment!)

Be Upfront About PTO & Benefits

In the past, it was considered in poor taste for candidates to ask about PTO and benefits during an interview. However, in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, these policies have become more than just “work perks.” Moving forward, candidates will want to ensure that they can take adequate time to heal and recover or care for family members. They will also be comparing company benefits such as healthcare, 401k matching, and wellness initiatives. It will work to your advantage to explain your benefits package during the interview. As a result, candidates can make an informed decision about the next step in their career.

For more articles on the Coronavirus and how it is affecting the job market, head here.

social media

Should Employers Screen Candidate’s Social Media?

According to a 2017 study by Careerbuilder, nearly 70% of employers screen their candidates’ social media activity. And given the steady growth of social media since then, it’s safe to assume that number only continues to grow. However, in a world of online information, a lot of questions begin to arise surrounding this controversial topic. Is it even legal to screen based on a candidate’s social media? If so, is it ethical? And even further, is it causing you to miss out on qualified talent? We’re breaking these questions down to give you an in-depth look into the role that social media plays in today’s recruiting practices. 

Is it legal?

So, technically viewing any public social media is legal. You can’t fault anybody for that! However, it gets tricky when it starts affecting your hiring decisions. Employers must abide by laws prohibiting discrimination when it comes to employment practices. Even a quick glance at a candidate’s social media exposes you to the risk of making judgments based on protected classes. These include but are not limited to color, race, sex, religion, or national origin. You may even fall victim to your own unconscious bias, walking a thin line of legality. 

Is it ethical?

Many employers are of the mindset that if something is public online, it is part of your personal brand. Thus, if they hire you, your brand becomes an extension of the company’s brand. While this may be true, it’s important to tread carefully with judgments based solely on social media presence. There have been a few controversial cases over the last few years where candidates were not hired because of something seen on social media.

Remember the viral story from 2019 about a girl who was not only turned down for a job but publicly shamed on a company’s social media for posting a bikini-clad photo on her personal account? While this action was technically not illegal, it certainly was not ethical. In fact, it caused the entire company to implode – completely deleting its website and social media accounts altogether.

Is it limiting your talent pool?

Legal and ethical ramifications aside, judging candidates based on their social media presence alone could be causing you to miss out on incredible employees. In order to grow, companies must diversify their talent pool based on experiences, personalities, and skillsets. By reserving judgment until a candidate has completed a full hiring process, you have a greater chance of hiring a more diverse team.

Therefore, it’s not in an employer’s best interest to screen a candidate’s social media during the hiring process. However, if a clean online presence is important to your company or a specific position, it is perfectly okay to set rules and boundaries regarding personal social accounts for onboarded employees. (And P.S., if you’re a candidate, it’s a good idea to clean up your social accounts anyway – just in case!)

Interested in reading more insider takes on employment and hiring? Check out the JSG blog!

3 Steps To Secure The Future Of Work

3 Steps You Can Take To Secure The Future Of Work

With the advancement of technology, the future of work is changing. But is the workforce evolving with it? A recent study presented at the World Economic Forum suggests that it is not. A survey of 15-year-olds from 41 different countries indicates that they have a narrow view of potential careers to grow into. In fact, the report revealed that 39% of jobs that today’s teenagers dream of run the risk of being replaced by machines within the next 10 to 15 years. These jobs include doctors, lawyers, managers, and teachers. So, how can we combat this and save the future of work? If you are a tech-forward company or industry, here are three steps you can take today to ensure that you have a healthy staff in 15 years.

1. Host Job Shadowing Events For Local High Schools

One of the main reasons that teenagers aren’t thinking past traditional job roles is that they don’t know what else is out there! Help uncover the many options available to them by hosting job shadow events at your office. Invite kids to come, hear about the work you do, the types of jobs available, and let them see you in action. As a bonus, if you make a great impression, your company may be added to shortlists of where teens would like to work!

2. Offer Paid Internships To College Students

During their time in college, many students are on the hunt for paid internships. Offer them throughout your various departments, and most importantly, don’t require any experience! Allow students to train on the job, and learn about how to do different roles at your company. As the talent pool for young workers heats up, compensation gets more and more competitive. Be sure to offer compensation that shows your investment in the future of work.

3. Educate Through Social Media

It’s no secret that the younger generations love social media. It’s how they connect with friends, keep up to date on news, and even self-educate. Use your company’s social channels as a platform for educating teenagers about your company and the variety of roles you offer. Post behind the scenes shots of your team and do a deep dive into the technology of what you do.

Want to have a further conversation about how your company can attract talent of all levels? Contact one of our experienced team members today!