How to speed up the hiring process timeline?

Hiring is a tedious task. Even, it can irritate everyone involved in the process. Moreover, it is a time-consuming process.

It is hard to find talent. It can be costly and time consuming. It comes and goes in the blink of eye.

A company needs a pace to acquire adequately comparing candidates and secure these top performers.

The top performers might move to other companies and positions if your hiring process takes too long.

In a survey, the recruiters asked a question about the most common reason behind candidates rejecting client job offers?

One-fourth of the candidates step back because companies take too long to make an appropriate offer.

To keep clients interested it is necessary to shorten the timeline of hiring process.

Tips to shorten the timeline of hiring process

Recruiters can speed up the hiring process by following these ways:

Be more selective about candidates

It is important to be more selective about the candidates you interview and send to your clients. Being choosy, saves you from initial vetting and interviewing stages. Instead of interviewing 25 not so good candidates, it is better to interview 10 exceptional candidates.

Spend more time and effort in sourcing for exceptional talent.

Make sure that you send only most qualified candidates to your clients. This way, your client would have to interview a limited candidates and it will speed up the process of hiring. It will fasten up the process for candidates as well.

The easiest way is to narrow candidates in starting as it saves you and your clients from hours of work. You can cut out the hiring work by weeks this way.

Cut out the unnecessary steps

Usually, there are a few steps in each task that take longer time. Identify these steps in the process of hiring and clean them up. Eliminate the unnecessary steps involved.

Utilize technology

Technology can help you to speed up the process of hiring. For example, video interview is the invention of technology. All this information can be placed in a well-developed careers page on your company website.

Candidate does not need to fly down from another city for the interview.

It allows you to complete interviews faster. If selected for next round, you can conclude a face to face interview with the same candidate.

Think about using on demand recruiting. It’s easier (and less costly) to subscribe to a recruiting monthly subscription to find candidates. Let others do the heavy lifting (candidate sourcing).

Automation processes are also of great help. For example, an automated email can be generated if a candidate efficiently completes some specific steps of the interview. The triggered email will explain about the next steps of the recruitment. It will save your communication time.

Eliminate software programs

Consolidate your already existing recruitment software. Go for software that possesses more features and you do not need to log in and out constantly. It saves you time from tracking down and transferring information from one source to another.

For example, you can choose software that includes a tracking system for application, job posting function and email marketing service. With such software you do not need to switch between different programs to track recruitment and complete your work.

Check references sooner

Checking references sooner will help you to speed up the recruiting process. Often, recruiters do not check references till the end of hiring process when an offer is near. There is no point in waiting for so long.

When you ask candidates for the references when the hiring process is almost done, they spend a good time to collect the information, round it up and send to you. On the contrary, if asked in time they will gather the information soon and pass it to you. Checking references sooner will help you to make a quick decision.

It doesn’t mean that you need to ask for references when the process is in pipeline. It will slow down the process even more. Choose a place in between where having the reference can help you. For example, you can ask for a reference when you ready to send a candidate to the client.

A quick communication between parties

As a liaison between your client and a candidate, it’s your duty to communicate quickly. The speed of hiring process rests on your back. Follow up with your clients and candidates throughout the process. If requires, you can also pressurize them a bit by encouraging them to share all the required information and their decisions faster.

(Photo from Pexels.com)

How to attract candidates by improving your careers page?

A career page of the company is its pitch. It is a showcase where you can represent the candidates why your company is attractive.

When it comes to HR management, one of the hiring best practices is to develop a compelling career page. It makes it easy for the candidates to apply for open roles.

We have enlisted a few careers page examples that will encourage potential candidates to apply to your jobs:

Display your jobs prominently

Careers page is meant for job listings. Job openings should be listed in such a way that a candidate can find them in minimum number of clicks. Get your careers page designed in such a way that display jobs and job filters are located on the front page of the website.

This page is an example of display page of business intelligence Software Company. The grouping of jobs is done in a clear and accessible way.

Aim for a hassle-free application

No one likes the lengthy application process. Candidates quit this lengthy process. When the candidate clicks on the “Apply” button, he definitely does not like to answer the questions with the information he has already mentioned in his resume.

Test drive your already existing careers page design and ask these questions to you:

  • Are all the mentioned fields necessary?
  • Is it necessary to ask for this information at this stage?
  • Is this information available on the resume or social media page of the candidate?
  • Is this questionnaire relevant and makes sense? (egs multiple choice vs open end questions)
  • Are we asking about any pertinent information (college grades)?

Prefer a quick and streamlined design over a complex one. Ask hires to upload their resume and cover letters and answer only a few relevant and qualifying questions. Choose a single page application form over anything and an Application Tracking System (ATS) can help you in this.

Showcase your culture

Candidates want to have a clear picture of the company in which they are going to apply for an open role. Careers page is an ideal place to showcase to spotlight the culture, mission and visions of the company.

It offers candidates an insight to what they are looking for, and to understand if they are the right fit. You can easily communicate your message through videos, slogans and graphics.

Talk about your benefits

Information about benefits is always welcomed and appreciated by candidates. It is most important job attribute an employer can offer.

A few companies display the “benefits they offer” content on the front page of their careers page.

Offer inside information to job seekers

A hire definitely wants to know if your company is worth applying or not. That is why they visit sites like LinkedIn company profile or Glassdoor to gather behind the scenes information of the company before applying. Personalizing your careers page with your team member’s views really works.

Keep your careers page current

Have you ever realized that managing your company’s career page can attract job seekers in your company?

Managing in general means responding to the reviews and sharing details about your culture.

Updated accounts help candidates to visualize how your company works and grows.

A mobile version of your careers page

Nearly 60 percent of people prefer to apply for a job that offers a page for their mobiles. They try to save the page on their mobile and use it later on their laptops. A mobile career’s page has become must in today’s time. It reduces the bouncing rate of hires.

These few tips will help you to improve the mobile version of your page:

  • Keep your copy short and punchy: No one likes to scroll through the long paragraphs of copy on the mobile.
  • Avoid graphics or videos that take long time: The pages that are not easily accessible are frustrating.
  • Make sure your page adapts to every screen size: Candidates may access your page from different devices like laptop, mobile or tab.
  • Simplify the process of application: Going through different pages can be annoying. Different pages take more time to open up in mobile. Avoid popup windows.

Measure and test your career’s page effectiveness

The conversion rate defines the success of your career’s page. IT is important to track your conversion rates as it informs you about how people interact with your page.

Your careers page is a showcase and branding tool of your company. It helps you explore new opportunities.

(Photo from pexels.com)

What to keep in mind while hiring for startups

A startup is literally a bunch of people, starving hard for success.

In the beginning, the team comprises people who signal for their ambition and set their limits.

No one is perfect and an outer help becomes necessity.

Go for the people you can’t get. Grab people who have exquisite talent. Once you got a few of them, they will naturally attract many others like them.

Punch above your weight

This is a bit tricky. Punching above your weight is definitely not a luxury but it seems the most obvious choice.

A successful startup continuously shifts up its weight category. These people will help you to rise up and never get stuck.

Hire deliberately

Always remember, hiring is not filling for a job but it is for building a company. Make sure to hire first 20 employees deliberately keeping the future in mind. It is important to make hiring criteria before you start the process.

Do not hire someone just because he is general and available. These opportunists are bad hires, and they can sink your boat.

A pointless hire costs around $25-$50 and that’s a huge amount for a startup to waste. The first few hires play an important role in toning the future of the startup. Beyond the wastage of money, a wrong hire puts your future at the stake on the other hand, a deliberate decision makes this intrinsic thing a lot easier.

Pro tip: Never hire a person who badmouths about his previous employer or co-workers.

Hire for potential

Any successful startup will outgrow the current skills and roles, and will morph unpredictably well if the things work out as intended. The demands of the employees will also grow with the growing company.

Constant evolution is one of the most exhausting aspects of the startup. Owners call it “keeping up with their own company.” Though it is easy to hand on the current skills of the employees, it is quite hard to rate their potential. Taking account of their past can be a great professional help.

Most of the times, smart, hard-working and decisive people do great in their schools and colleges as well. Prefer high-achievers.

Pro tip: Including pre-interview assignments can help to choose people who are ready to go extra mile.

The Culture fit

It is hard to pin down but it is important to realize the fit between a personality and organization. Hires should be assessed on the basis of their behavior, mentality and their values for the organization.

Pro tip: Follow your senses while taking interviews. A small mistake in the interview will double up many times in the coming months if overlooked. Avoid people who have a bad attitude.

Go for people who have an opinion and who can talk about their likes and dislikes with utmost honesty. People who believe in mission, vision and values of an organization tend to care. This kind of people will be true while talking about their belief in your start up.

Hire for attitude, train for skills

It’s necessary to like a candidate before you hire him. It may sound highly subjective and unfair in the context of employee especially in a professional set up but it is important when you want someone to blend in your team. Your employees are your emotional reserve in the tough times.

Yes, the learning ability of a man matters but his attitude is certainly something that defines his character. Instead, checking him for specific skills, do check their prospect.

Pro tip: Behavioral interviews can help you out at such times. Bank a good number of questions.

Look for things you can’t train

Financial management or Google analytics are easy to teach but it is almost impossible to instill manners, etiquette, numeracy or ethics.

When you have a close group, as in startups, it is easy to transfer that skill and experience to your employees.

Skill can be taught and knowledge can be put to use but it is quite difficult to teach about work ethics or solid enthusiasm.

Only 11% of people fail because of a lack in their technical skill. Most of the people fail because they lack motivation and are unwilling to learn.

Pro tip: asking for references help.

(Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels)

3 Ways You Can Make Your Freelance Resume Stand Out

When you’re in the freelance market, it’s difficult to create a resume because you don’t work for just one company. In fact, a typical week may contain work for four (or more) companies. This can make building a resume challenging. Freelancing also has an added layer of difficulty, because for many they are almost always having to be on the lookout for new jobs. However, there are a few ways for you to make your resume stand out with a potential employer.

Provide Only the Necessary Information

A good resume should only be a page long. If you have a significant amount of information to share, it can extend to a second page. Since you don’t have a lot of space to work with considering your contact information has to go at the top, you need to be selective as to what you include.

You don’t need to include a full paragraph to identify your objective, every job you have ever worked, every award you have ever won, and a long list of your hobbies. It’s simply not needed.

Instead, focus on the information that is necessary. You may want to customize your resume for every type of position you are applying for so that you can highlight the most pertinent information. Ladders explains, “include several success words that will quantify more about what you do and how well you do it. Success words are variations on just saying, “I did it”. Make your verbs active verbs and not passive.”

Use a Simple, Skimmable Design

Having a unique resume is important, but it’s also important to not deviate too much from the norm. College America explains, “a key element to create a standout resume is to make sure the layout promotes easy readability.” If potential employers have to search everywhere for the information they are looking for, they’ll simply skip over your resume entirely.

Don’t go overboard with bright, bold colors. While you may be tempted to stand out from all of the other resumes, it will do so in a negative way. Stick to the standard resume templates to ensure that you are giving hiring managers what they need in a way that they can read it quickly. If you provide enough information that gets their interest, they’ll contact you to learn more.

Include Relevant Experience

Make a Living Writing explains, “with the upcoming recession for freelancers, many are looking to focus on jobs with big companies to avoid any kind of gap in work. When this is the case for you, be sure to include relevant experience for the job you are applying for.”

Don’t hesitate to include a list of clients you have worked for and their websites so that a potential employer can see your work.

In the end, building a freelance resume is similar to any other resume. Focus on the information that is relevant and keep the design simple.

If you’re looking for a new job, see how Vested can help!

Most Common Hiring Costs Employers Should Know About

Hiring new employees takes a great deal of patience, analytical wit, time, and money; the latter of which forms the subject of this article.

How much does it really cost to bring on new workers in 2019?

Well, aside from straightforward expenses, there are a few hidden costs that can inflate your budget beyond expectation. We’ll take a look at these factors to help you accurately predict your recruitment spending.

The external hiring team

The luxury of a dedicated HR team is an expense most startups choose to do without, instead opting for an external hiring team when the need arises.

This approach has proved very profitable to small enterprises as it cuts costs for periodical work. Data indicates that heads of small businesses spend 40% of productive hours on non-profitable tasks like hiring.

By offloading this work to others, the organization can ensure all hands are on deck with regards to core business matters.

When outsourcing recruitment to agencies, the cost is a commission based on the salary of the role being filled. For top jobs, this commission can exceed 25% of the role’s annual salary.

Recently, one company confessed to spending a staggering $16,000 each year to get just one placement which goes to show the hefty fees employers can incur for a seemingly straightforward exercise.

Moreover, finding talent is becoming harder so firms will spend more time and money to do so.

This is why we came up with the subscription hiring model at Vested. For just $999, we will identify, and recruit the best candidate for your business.

Our innovative approach returns high quality candidates at a fraction of the cost of firms charging 25% of a role’s yearly salary.

The internal hiring team

Once your business has developed into an enormous entity that can sufficiently hold its own, it becomes a necessity to have your own hiring team.

Having such a dedicated team comes at the cost of adding all of these staff members to the payroll. For instance, you will need at least one HR manager, whose salary can exceed $90,000 depending on their niche.

Hiring additional HR staff to source candidates, conduct screenings, and place/monitor job advertisements will result in additional salary costs.

Setting up an internal hiring team is only feasible if the increased wages remain below what you would have initially spent on a third party recruiter.

Of course, to realize a larger return on investment you can provide additional tasks to the hiring department so that its members contribute to other staffing-related needs like overseeing your benefits program.

Career events

The aforementioned scenarios represent the lion’s share of recruiting costs. Moving on though, career events also contribute significantly to the remaining percentage.

Even in the digital age where almost everything is done online, physical gatherings remain an important avenue of employment.

A fact substantiated by a Glassdoor study that indicates three-quarters of all employers attend college fairs which is why new college graduates make up 57% of all new hires.

Every such event attracts participation fees ranging between $125 and $225.

However the final tally is a lot higher as it excludes expenses such as marketing materials, travel, accommodation, and other prerequisite needs.

Background checks

Background checks are a must have to verify educational qualifications as wells as criminal records. You are looking at costs between $5 and $80 per applicant, which can add up quickly with a large candidate pool.

Other common hiring costs also come in the way of training/onboarding to get the new person up to speed with the organization’s workings; job boards fees, i.e. ads; and salary plus extras such as signing bonuses and benefit packages.

Final verdict: what to expect in a nutshell

According to the findings of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, $7,645 is the average cost for adding a new employee to a company of 500 people or less.

Glassdoor, on the other hand, says that the average U.S. company takes not only 52 days to find a suitable employee but also $4,000 to do so with all factors considered.

Meanwhile, the Society for Human Resource Management puts the preceding figures at 10 days lower and $129 higher.

Hence, the best option would be to hire a recruiter at Vested.

At $999 per month, it’s much more economical than paying 25% of the first year salary of your hire.

How The Best Recruiters Build Relationships

Let’s face it – when we get hired as a recruiter, they expect us to be the staffing solution for their hiring managers. 

We help with:

i) scoping out the role — i.e. creating job descriptions,

ii) performing market research such as comp salaries and titles, and

iii) providing recommendations on who to hire and how to conduct interviews.  

As talent acquisition specialists, the more varied the rolls we help fill are, the better our recommendations become.

One of the most frustrating things to a talent acquisition professional is when the requirements of the role change during the search.  One way to avoid this is by building a strong relationship with your hiring manager and flushing out the entire recruiting process before getting started.  Here are a few suggestions on how to develop strong relationships with your hiring managers.

1) Interview Hiring Managers Up Front

This might be incredibly obvious, but we all know recruiting is a people business, and building relationships is the key to success.  Don’t open any role without first sitting down with the hiring manager to understand how the opening came about and what role they expect the future employee to play on the team.

Having face-to-face communication up front is the key to stronger bonds especially when prolonged openings occur.  This will also help to break the ice and gather insights to screen candidates.

2) The Art of Listening

Recruiters often make the mistake of talking more than listening.  A good recruiter treats meetings with hiring managers and candidates as opportunities to get more data points to inform their decisions.  

Each role has some nuance for requirements — for instance some hiring managers look for future leaders and some are looking for functional players.  It’s the details that matter for your process; so make sure you are asking the right questions and listening carefully to the answer.

3) Develop an Opinion and Then Make a Recommendation

The job of any recruiter is to be an expert in hiring.  While we may not have the ability to assess technical ability we should have an opinion on culture fit or how a given background fits with the rest of the team.  

We should have an honest and impartial opinion about candidates so that we can maintain a trusted advisory position with hiring managers. As part of the decision-making team, we must share an informed opinion about the candidates.

4) Be to the Point and Concise

As a recruiter, you need to be in constant communication with your hiring manager. Two-way communication is a good starting point; there’s another element: conciseness.  

Have a recommendation, stay on point, and communicate clearly to help the hiring manager understand their choices and your preferences. Stay strictly on-topic and avoid ambiguous statements.

5) The Final Word

There is no doubt that you should build strong relationships with your hiring managers.  This will have a positive impact on the team and your process. Most importantly, it will improve the quality of personnel that you hire.  

This is easier said than done and our advice is to continue to hone this skill.

 

Can’t Decide Which Candidate to Hire? Look at These Factors

As a hiring manager, you might have an overwhelming number of qualified candidates to choose from when you’re trying to fill open positions at your company. When it is hard to differentiate between the qualifications of many candidates, you will need to look beyond their resumes and work experience to find the best fit for the job. If you are having a difficult time deciding between candidates, here are a few tips to help you make your final decision:

Personality Fit

As a current employee of your company, you are in the ideal spot to determine if your potential new hire has the best personality for the position. Personality assessments look at many factors, including interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, and other factors, to help determine if your potential new-hire has the best personality for the position. Be sure to think of your company’s culture and how this candidate might fit in with the group. Sometimes, a conflicting personality might be what gives one candidate the edge over another. Introducing potential candidates to your team prior to making the hire can be a good way to determine if they will be the right fit with your company’s culture. These intangibles can make a big difference down the road, so take care to choose wisely.

Skills Assessment

A skills assessment is a great way to objectively determine who is the strongest candidate for the job. A black-and-white skills test will help you to assess where each candidate lies in comparison to one another. This will take all of the guesswork out of the process by objectively identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate so that you are not blinded by other factors.

How Well Does Education Match Up

There are certain jobs that do and do not require degrees. If your open position does, then you can help choose a candidate based on how well the position matches their education. For example, say you were hiring a benefits specialist or some sort of recruiter. A degree in business administration degree, versus a degree in general business, is going to prove slightly more experienced and knowledgeable of the concepts that are going to be used on the job. This can be a tie breaker of sorts for you, if you have trouble choosing between two candidates.

Look Beyond the Resume

When evaluating a resume, it is important to look beyond the relevant work experience and educational background. Especially if you are comparing two candidates to one another, you should look to see which resume conveys a more professional tone.

Long-Term View

If you are still having challenges determining which candidate is the best for the job, it is recommended to take the long-term view and try to visualize each person in the future of your company. Although you clearly have short-term needs that have to be addressed immediately, it is also critical that you pick a candidate who is willing to contribute to the team for years to come.

In a hot job market, it can be paramount to make hiring decisions quickly. By having these considerations ready to go, you can make an offer immediately. Working with Vested to find candidates will bring you more qualified job seekers and reduce the time to hire by 55 percent! Contact Vested today for a consultation.

What We Learned From Interviewing Over 1,000 Finance & Accounting Professionals

The Definitive Guide to Interviewing Finance and Accounting Pros

Interviewing for an open position can be a frustrating experience.  And yet – some of the most transformative changes happen to an organization when you hire the right person.  The interview process involves a lot of art mixed with science; in other words subjectivity.  As finance professionals, that’s something that isn’t natural to us.

THE EXPERIMENT

We reached out to our network – C- and VP-level finance executives from the Fortune 500 and prominent startups and asked them what technique(s) they’ve used to identify the strongest candidates.  Here are the 5 most common lessons we heard.

LESSON #1:  Use a Test-First Approach

If you are looking to hire an entry-level accountant, you should look for someone who you can project as your next controller or CFO, not a highly paid bookkeeper.  

Let’s admit it, with automated systems, the mechanics of the job have gotten a lot simpler.  You’re looking for someone who can and wants to become a strategic partner to the org and not just input numbers into Netsuite.  

So practically speaking, that means you need to adopt a ‘test-first’ approach.

Don’t be shy about testing before you even bring the candidate on-site.  For example, provide a scenario where a business undergoes a business model shift and ask detailed questions about the financial or accounting implications

Our favorite technique came from a CFO of a well-known startup:

Hi Steve – I’ve always asked my candidates to go to a whiteboard and walk through our company’s  P&L.  The test shows me who’s done their research on our company and can ask the right questions to get to an acceptable answer.

LESSON #2:  Look for Candidates on a Journey

Most reasonable people understand that switching jobs every now and then is common for a variety of reasons, especially at startups.  In that sense, your role is never a destination nor do you want a candidate that thinks that way.  Pay attention to the clues that separate the high performers from the average ones.

Have you ever heard a candidate say “I’m thinking about getting my CFA”?  A person that is used to getting things done will use more productive language: “I’m studying for my CFA Level 1 which I’m taking in September.”  That’s the language of someone who has a plan.  Those types of candidates are the ones that will transform your team.

Here’s the thing, you’ll see clues in other places too:

  • Promotions or changes in job duties on their resume
  • Speaking about wearing multiple hats not particular to the role
  • A successful shift in career path in the past
  • Genuine and specific accomplishments about current or previous jobs

We loved these questions:  “What did you accomplish in the past that you never thought about achieving” & “What do you consider yourself world-class at?”

LESSON #3: Make the Offer Competitive

Be upfront about the starting salary before you meet the candidate and make sure that it’s in-line with the market.  We’ve personally seen companies that view the finance role as a back-office function and really limit the budget for the role.  Put it this way, for a team that is responsible for the strategic deployment of resources, a high-performing candidates will pay for themselves many times over.  

Here’s an anecdote that really resonated with us:

“We hired this really ambitious AP/AR specialist.  One day he was auditing invoices and found that we were paying for 600 Google enterprise licences – 3x the number of licences than employees working at our company.  We were able to correct it the following month and he earned half his salary right there.”

LESSON #4:  Don’t Overemphasize Cultural Fit

This is literally the most overused term in all of recruiting.  It’s one of the hardest terms to define.  Just look at the various problems with interpretations we’ve encountered:

  • Does the potential hire need to attend “Happy Hours” to be a “fit”
  • Does the person crave instruction and require 9 to 5 working hours?  That’s not a lack of cultural fit, that’s a fundamental misunderstanding on how to drive value at an org.
  • Is your candidate a micromanager and you need them to scale a team?  Then that’s a person not suited to the requirements of your role.

The term “cultural fit” needs to be a more defined term.  The best companies are the ones that really emphasize the notion of a collective desire to succeed.  Hire the person who clearly understands the specifics of the job with the ability to work alongside various personality traits.

LESSON #5:  If All Else Fails, Play The Long Game

Some of your best candidates will not take your job offer for one reason or another.  Don’t take it personally; but if you really liked them, stay in touch.  Here’s what one startup CFO had to say:

“I’ll say, ‘Let’s grab a breakfast or a cup of coffee and i’ll ask them what are you up to?  And we’ll cultivate that. I may continue to meet that person every couple of months for six months. And then I bump into them at some point and that’s the moment they’re ready to make a move.”

Check us out at Vested, when you’re ready to meet your next accounting and finance talent or drop us a line at [email protected].