The unparalleled reach and vast user base of social media have made it the ultimate new-age talent acquisition tool offering easy access to elusive talent beyond portals and job boards. This unrivalled advantage has made it imperative for recruiters to leverage the extraordinary presence of prominent social platforms for sourcing top industry talent. But while social media has become mandatory to running a successful recruitment drive in a tight job market, it is not without consequences. While it does make your job easy at first, the sheer number of applications that you need to sit and scrutinize later can practically put your sanity to test.
Starting from identifying and attracting top talent to screening and shortlisting relevant profiles, the volume of work this far-reaching network creates can numb your mind unless you harness the power of automation. So, if you plan to capitalize on the popularity of social media to speed up your sourcing process, make sure you have an ATS to help you identify, attract, sort, screen, share shortlist and source candidates.
If you are still wondering how social media automation can lighten your burden and accelerate your time-to-hire, this infographic will help you appreciate the difference a full-featured applicant tracking system can make to your sourcing process.
Staffing firms, especially those working primarily with large corporations or with a high concentration in one or two customers, can find themselves in a cash crisis when waiting out extended payment terms or late payments from customers. This can result in an inability to make payroll, provide benefits for employees and meet tax requirements. Time chasing payments is time taken away from recruiting new candidates and securing new placements.
How to prevent late payments
Don’t let late payments turn into bad debt
Effective accounts receivable management is vital to identifying signs of late payments before any problems arise. The key to successful resolution is to deal with late payments immediately and not let too much time pass after the due date. Have an informal conversation with the customer and get an agreement on when the payment will be made, then provide a documented follow-up to yield the best results. Be friendly but firm, if you are not persistent others will get paid before you.
Documentation is important in default situations. Emails and other types of reminders addressed to the debtor serve as proof that a business attempted to collect on the debt. Credit insurers or debt protection services will often require proof that reasonable steps to recover the debt have been taken before paying out any claims.
How to give your customers the payment terms they ask without the impact on your cash flow
Growing a business requires investment or funds specifically allocated to fulfill new placements, while larger customers will require longer payment terms which can impact cash flow. A loan or a line of credit are frequently used sources of finance and tend to be competitively priced. However, these solutions also tend to be ‘one size fits all’ and usually don’t take into account individual business requirements. It is important to do your research and choose the financing that best suits your needs to help avoid a cash flow crunch despite obtaining funding.
Factoring and asset-based lending are financing options that will grow in line with your business. These solutions are more obtainable by smaller businesses that don’t qualify for bank loans, are required to provide numerous guarantees, or that still have a funding gap that won’t sustain the business needs. Factoring services advance money based on a company’s invoices and funds are usually made available 24 hours after the invoice is submitted. Debt protection (against your customer’s inability to pay an invoice) is often available upon request. In addition, factoring is often paired with back-office support services such as timesheet and payroll management, tax accounting, workplace insurance, employee benefits, onboarding and e-verification.
Choosing the right type of financing plays a major role in the success of a business and shouldn’t be a rushed decision. Identifying and articulating your unique business financing requirements goes a long way in making the right choice. Prepare a detailed monthly financial plan and identify possible cash needs in the near future when assessing the amount of financing your business requires. Take into account any seasonal requirements and one-off cash needs in your request for financing. You always have the option to request an increase of your facility limit. However, lenders are more open to negotiating a higher limit up front when they are trying to win your business.
Nowadays, owners often put up their startups with a vision of someday being acquired by a large conglomerate. As the staffing industry continues to grow, private equity groups and established firms are keen on investing in companies with high-growth potential and a foreseeable strategic position. While seeing what was once just a vision become a reality and come to life is very fulfilling, selling your company is one way to achieve further growth. It’s also a very lucrative way to cash in on all your hard work. Acquirers all have various reasons to buy, and it’s essential that your company fits the bill. Here are a few things that every staffing owner should take to heart when considering to sell:
A Great Team Speaks of a Great Leader
Staffing and recruiting firms thrive on the talent they provide their clients. Naturally, acquirers will examine your management team and the database of professionals available for placement. Exceptional managers and executives are difficult to come by, so when you have them, work hard to retain them because they are a key factor to potential acquirers. Keep your internal talent pool happy and motivated as they will be a major component to your success during negotiations.
Cleaning Up Shop before going to Market
Accurate numbers are of utmost importance when selling. Having your books in order strongly indicates that you have a well-run business. The contrary would affect the valuation of your firm. During due diligence, when potential buyers discover anything that you may have missed or may have misrepresented, they can use it as leverage to reduce the value of your business and it may be detrimental to the buyer’s interest to purchase. Clean and healthy financials are a vital success factor in every deal. Performing your own due diligence even before placing your company out on the market will save time and a higher probability that a potential sale will run smoothly and swiftly.
Healthy Profits Command Better Multiples
Show that your firm has climbing revenue projections for the coming years, and make certain that you are able to prove yearly incline through your historical financials. Annual growth rates pique every prospect’s interest and your profitability speaks of everything in a buyer’s eyes. How elevated your profits are will ultimately determine the value of your company.
Your Geographic Foothold Signifies Expanding Market Share
Instead of starting from scratch in a new area or building up a new list of clientele, large companies usually decide to acquire another firm in the area that they want to expand to. Companies seeking to tap into other places often merge with other firms with a deeper market penetration in certain areas. Mergers can give the buyer a whole new market share without having to do all the work themselves, as the business is already in place with an entire team already trained for it. Whether it’s a merger or acquisition that strategically benefits off of location, it gives both companies a wider distribution, reach and market share basically overnight.
Advanced Processes and Proprietary Technology Speaks of Innovation and Agility
All companies need to stay on top of technological advancements if they want to stay relevant. Buying a staffing firm with unique technology can maintain or even develop an acquirer’s competitive edge. Internal advanced systems and workflows also result in a seamless post-sale integration. This significantly attracts any acquirer because a smooth sailing ship will always reach its destination.
Even if you aren’t looking to sell your staffing firm right now, try to keep all these areas in tip-top shape. You never know when an opportunity to sell might present itself.
Automation, along with the use of other productivity-enhancing technologies, is transforming business operations across all sectors. As these technologies manage more and more routine and manual tasks, people are reconsidering their skills sets and looking for ways in which they can add more value as employees.
In the face of global skills shortages, being able to fulfill specialized and highly sought-after roles represents a lucrative opportunity. So, upskilling is both necessary and logical – from the perspectives of both the employee and the business.
For recruitment firms, it’s an important way to become more competitive and, ultimately, win new business. Automation has created a new, faster world of work and, as such, clients and candidates expect more from their recruitment companies. Recruiters are no longer just people who source and place talent: they need to act as consultants and employment specialists.
So, which skills are gaining in importance, and where should recruiters start?
Working with data-driven technologies
In most major industries, businesses need to know how to manage, analyze, and use their data to make decisions that deliver results. If they don’t, they’ll fall far behind the curve very quickly. Encouragingly, a large number of recruiters already work with data-driven CRM, ATS and VMS systems on a daily basis – and many more are starting to. Data skills will become even more important as these systems are increasingly utilized to process sophisticated candidate search techniques and manage client relationships.
Many recruiters rank these systems as their best source of new or redeployed candidates. This data – and the insights they can glean from it – enable recruiters to unearth opportunities related to both old and new candidates. What’s more, in light of GDPR and its far-reaching consequences, proficiency in data processing and protection is a vital skill no recruiter can do without.
Creating compelling marketing content
Once upon a time, job boards were the dominant channel for sourcing candidates. Since then, the range of channels has dramatically expanded, and job boards now have to compete with new market entrants, such as social media platforms and search engines.
The digital world is now a major part of the job search process. Social media and search engines are crucial channels through which to attract candidates to new roles, so recruiters need to use them effectively. This means, for example, optimizing job board entries for SEO purposes (optimized for certain key phrases, such as a job title or location), using social media advertising to promote roles, and working directly with employers on developing recruitment marketing messaging.
A recent survey by Bullhorn of recruitment companies revealed that the top three channels marketing decision makers are planning to spend more money on are organic social media presence (cited by 60%), email marketing (50%), and job boards (also 50%). By comparison, the top three channels which will receive less budget are direct mail (cited by 37%), career fairs (36%), and pay per click job ads (34%).
This indicates that recruiters must cut through the noise and focus on personalized engagement through the right channels in order to increase placement rates. And, if companies are putting more money into these channels, it makes sense that recruiters should stand out from their peers by maximizing their use of them.
Identifying transferable skills for harder-to-fill positions
As skills shortages continue to increase in sectors such as cybersecurity, healthcare, and IT, recruiters must become more creative in identifying transferable skills that would make a candidate without all of the relevant academic qualifications or experience a suitable fit for the job. This involves working closely with clients to truly understand what harder-to-fill positions entail, and the skills and qualities they require.
In an age of ongoing skills shortages, recruiters need to see future potential in prospective candidates, as well as acknowledging their pre-existing experience. Recruiters must also be able to identify skills in candidates that they have previously worked with, in order to help fill roles with clients struggling to find the people they need. An ability to think critically and laterally is key. But with data-driven technology in place, it’s much easier to join up the dots.
Advising clients on hiring strategies
Recruiters must eliminate the mindset that their job is just about sourcing possible talent and matching them with roles. They need to become consultants, work on building closer relationships with their clients, and develop an in-depth knowledge of their hiring needs.
This is why using automation to alleviate routine and administratively heavy tasks is so important. It enables recruiters to focus on getting to know their clients better and becoming experts in certain sectors. This way, recruiters can offer a more insightful and personalized service that meets their clients’ needs.
The recruitment sector is growing and changing. To stay relevant and ahead of the game, recruiters need to adapt, leverage their existing skills, and focus on upskilling their technology capabilities.
World-class customer service. An exceptional candidate experience. Many staffing professionals say that they provide these, but according to Inavero, just 32% of clients and 45% of placed candidates are satisfied enough with the service they received to recommend their staffing firm to a friend or colleague.
That’s a huge disconnect. And a huge potential problem!
Could your staffing firm be suffering from an image problem? Here’s how to find out – and what you can do about it.
How can you find out what people think of you, if you don’t ask? Don’t wait until an angry ex-client or potential candidate blasts your company on Indeed or Glassdoor for “not helping” them; get their feedback first (and privately).
Here are several ways successful staffing companies garner feedback from clients and candidates:
Benchmark Your Service
Do you currently solicit feedback in the form on a Net Promoter Score, or NPS? By using a Net Promoter Score, you’ll be able to see how your service compares to staffing industry leaders. Using this confidential survey can again give you a glimpse into the experience of both clients and candidates you have worked with, and it can set your company apart in its service level. Your NPS score and feedback should answer some of your questions about what you need to work on, as well as aspects of your service in which you are already meeting (or hopefully even exceeding!) client and candidate expectations.
Service Is What Most Companies Claim Sets Them Apart
Are you CERTAIN your experience is thrilling your clients and candidates? Use these tips to solicit feedback, benchmark your service, reclaim your online reputation, and become an industry leader in staffing customer experience.
Letting employees work from home has definite value for small business owners and their employees. Cutting down on office space overheads and increasing employee productivity are two definite pros. However, there are potential cons such as employer liability that must be considered before you race headfirst into the telecommuting crowd.
Before you begin to support employees that wish to work from home, it is advisable to consider your legal obligations as their employer along with more specific business challenges such as communication and organizational culture.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) directs employers to maintain a safe working environment and covers home-based workers with the same worker’s compensation rights as those working from the employer’s place of business.
Workers placed from a temporary agency are covered by slightly different laws and usually the responsibility for carrying workers’ compensation coverage falls to the staffing agency. However, on occasion, this can be negotiated on a per-contract basis between the host employer and agency.
Recent cases for worker’s compensation have demonstrated that no distinction is made between home-workers and those working from an employer’s place of business in terms of workers’ compensation and an employer’s liability. The key elements of such claims include showing an accident was work-related and that the injury sustained was a result of the accident. There is no requirement to prove the employer was responsible for the injury or accident, only that it was work related.
As one work injury lawyer in Philadelphia states, an employer must provide workers compensation for their staff. Otherwise, they’re breaking the law. Most injuries that occur due to a work-related condition will be covered by a workers compensation plan.
Similar guidance is also relevant to injuries sustained by clients who have visited an employee at their home office. If a client trips and falls, injuring themselves or damaging any equipment such as a laptop, phone, or tablet, the employer may be liable for the injury and/or damage to property.
Public liability insurance may cover employers along with direct and temporary staff in these circumstances. It is advisable to check with insurers that your policy applies to home offices as well as the main place of work.
How to Protect Telecommuters and Your Business
In cases where employees telecommute, the employee’s home becomes the place of work. Given this, there are several actions and protocols small business owners should put in place to ensure the safety of their employees and their business.
Once the above tasks have been carried out, establish a work-at-home policy with clear guidelines to prevent misunderstandings between you and remote workers. Regular communication and the emphasis that remote work is a privilege should be part of any work-at-home policy. When all necessary legal and business procedures are in place, you are free to begin enjoying the benefits that remote workers can bring to your business.
Many companies today are using multiple solutions for their staffing needs that aren’t integrated with each other. From paper schedules to excel spreadsheets, some are still relying on out-dated forms of management for their staffing solutions. This lack of technology prevents any kind of true on-demand staffing from happening. If managers need to use one resource for finding top talent, one for managing their budgets, one for scheduling talent and yet another for paying their talent, there is no way that efficient and timely staffing can happen.
The need to streamline and optimize staffing processes has reached a critical level with the shift of the workforce to a more flexible, on-demand model. According to a recent Workforce HR Report, 70% of managers are already utilizing flexible or contingent talent, including freelancers, temp, and agency workers, while HR managers anticipate that work done by contingents will increase by 179% in the next 10 years. It’s more important than ever for companies to transform their scheduling experience in order to adapt to this changing workforce.
On-demand staffing is inevitable:
Matching employees with the shifts they want and employers with the staffing they need is not possible as long as solutions like rigid rosters and paper schedules are the chosen methods for scheduling and managing. All of the single point solutions at a company’s disposal today don’t provide the functionality they need to go from a strict schedule environment to a shift-by-shift dynamic marketplace. But technology is changing that, and the right platform can drive benefits on both sides of the equation.
It’s clear that in order to optimize their staffing process, companies need to move to an on-demand staffing model. To do so, they need one cloud-based platform that will provide them with all of the resources they need in one place. By being able to tap into a vertically specific talent pool, hiring managers can find qualified talent fast while management software gives them the ability to schedule talent on-demand, manage their budgets, and process payroll — all in the same place.
One end-to-end platform is the key for companies to match their staffing requirements with their labor supply. In doing so, they’ll be able to optimize their workforce and save both time and money by reducing overscheduling and time spent by upper management on administrative tasks.
“Must have a bachelor degree from a top 25 college.”
“Must have a GPA of 3.7 or better.”
If you’ve ever included details like those in your job descriptions or ads, you’re discriminating against candidates who hail from lower-income households. No if, no buts — you’re a privilege magnet.
According to a report by the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, it’s much harder for low-income students to get into top schools. Canyon Kornicker, the author of the report, explains, “A combination of a lack of access to resources to solidify prerequisites for acceptance, strong barriers to apply, and unfavorable admissions review procedures, make it significantly harder for low-income students to make it through the admissions process at top universities.”
By implication, top colleges, including Ivy League schools like the University of Pennsylvania, favor students from fortunate backgrounds. But it gets worse.
There is also evidence that privileged men find it easier to get jobs than women. In 2016, a researcher sent fake résumés to hundreds of exclusive law firms to work out which factors attract employers. Perversely, so-called “higher-class male applicants” got more call-backs than their female counterparts. So privileged men have it better than anyone. While this is hardly breaking news to women and applicants from other underrepresented groups, it should be a major concern for employers.
If you make an elite education a job requirement, you’re sending a message to the market that you want to attract privileged candidates. By doing so, you’re discriminating against candidates from less fortunate backgrounds. Is that your intention?
There is no correlation between how students perform in college and future job performance. Furthermore, colleges most likely don’t use the same admission criteria as employers. So people considered to be top students may not end up being top talent for the purposes of hiring.
According to Forbes, “The selection process of even the best universities will reject some potentially excellent candidates while accepting less promising candidates, simply because their criteria are very different from those of your company.”
This doesn’t mean education isn’t important. Education is vitally important for two reasons.
First, education can and should translate to skills. Students pick up valuable expertise, be it job-specific proficiencies like design or engineering, or more general know-how like problem-solving or attention to detail. Instead of using college degrees as a proxy, we should simply test for the skills that are important for performing well in the role.
It’s also worth remembering that the most crucial abilities are not necessarily learned in the classroom. A college education may contribute to job development, but it’s a means to an end—nothing more.
Secondly, if a candidate made a significant effort to obtain an education, it is a sign of both curiosity and dedication. If she was interested in learning and she applied herself for a sustained period of time, ask her why she chose that particular field, what she learned, what challenges she faced and how she has applied her skills since. The answers to those questions are far more revealing than her grades or the name of her university.
If you focus on the fundamentals — skills and attitude — you are far more likely to unearth the most suitable candidates for the role, regardless of their background. According to some experts, attitude even outweighs skills because it’s the main contributing factor to failed hires. Grittier candidates arguably bring traits like resilience, perseverance and a strong work ethic to the job. These are important qualities, and they’re less likely to be found in candidates who were born with a silver spoon.
Let’s be clear. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a degree from Stanford. It’s simply not predictive of performance. So let’s focus on the things that matter, and make hiring more about merit and less about background.
In my coaching practice, I frequently speak to leaders about “stepping up into their leadership shoes” and how important it is to do so. For recently promoted leaders who have a new mandate and have recently taken on greater responsibility, it’s critical.
Many successfully leaders naturally think that the behaviors and techniques that have made them successful to date are all they need to succeed in their new role. In fact, they are right to some degree, in that their current leadership style and leadership best practices have made them successful and these may be a big part of why they received the promotion in the first place.
The thing to keep in mind is that what works well at a certain level may not always work as effectively at a different level. Leaders may require additional tools to help them navigate their new role and responsibilities.
For example, a leader who is known for being extremely accessible and having their pulse on the business may find that by sticking to their old routine, they are not fully stepping up to handle the more visionary or strategic requirements of their new role because being readily accessible takes up too much time.
Another way this might manifest, is that employees who are used to coming directly may now report to another leader. If the direct access continues in the same vein, the newly promoted leader may unintentionally get in the other leader’s way and make that leader ineffective, simply by being too available.
A further example is that it is common for leaders to keep the same communication practices in place when their new position calls for broader and more formalized communications. Leaders may not realize that they need to position themselves differently to reflect the position and scope they now have to meet the expectations of all their stakeholders. Instead of in person, one on one communication, the leader may need to add standardized communication channels such as weekly, monthly or quarterly communications using various communication vehicles.
One final note to ponder – leaders may not realize that in more senior roles, they will need to collaborate and wield influence over a wider group of stakeholders. It may take some time to identify, prioritize and strategize their best course of interaction with these groups. If a leader assumes they can manage with their former network solely, they may experience a delivery failure on key objectives because they just don’t have the connections they need to succeed.
It’s not easy navigating new roles at more senior levels but if you take the time to think through what behaviors and leadership practices still serve you and start to identify what else you might need to add into your leadership toolkit, you will begin the exciting journey of stepping into your new leadership shoes. Go ahead, try them on for size, and, over time, you will get more comfortable in them and build successful new skills and disciplines to support your new position! To get some support during your transition, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
I challenge you to visit your company’s website and pretend this is the first time you’re seeing the homepage. What first impression are you left with? Is it positive or negative?
Now, navigate through the website to try to locate your available job opportunities. Were there any roadblocks that would have prevented an individual from completing the full application?
With national unemployment hovering around 4%, we need to do everything possible to make the application process efficient for job seekers on both desktop computers and mobile devices. But for starters, you need to drive traffic to your available jobs. If they can’t find the postings, how can they apply?
Start by thinking through how your website funnels casual visitors into applicants. Think about the distinct purpose of every page and about how you could actively guide a visitor from one page to a conversion page (a page where they can take action).
And what’s the best tactic you can deploy to generate more page views on targeted positions?
By adding a call-to-action banner at the bottom of a staffing website from May through July, we were able to drastically increase traffic to a targeted job on a staffing firm’s website.
More important, this resulted in over 170 applications!
Look at Your Staffing Firm’s Website
Is there a clear path for every job seeker to take should they land on your homepage, blog, about us page or service pages?
If not, how can you improve that funnel so when they land on a page they are guided to the next page of your site where they can take action?
Deploy Call-to-Action Banners
Call-to-action banners provide you with the opportunity to guide a website visitor from one page to the next on your website.
If the overall goal of your website is to gather applications, then every page on your website that is tailored towards job seekers should display a banner or fly-in that gives people the opportunity to click over to available opportunities.
For insight into improving your application process itself, while not addressed in this post, I encourage you to read: Case Study: The Simple Change That Resulted in 8,000 Resumes.