It is the start of the spring semester, also known as the final 4 months of freedom for a large number of students anticipating graduation this May. You can assume these individuals are basking in what remains of their care-free lifestyle. However, for most of us, this time is even more stressful than the prior 4 years combined. What could possibly be hanging over our heads, you ask? … The daunting task of securing a career!
For recruiters, on the other hand, this is an exciting time because the availability of top talent is at its highest. The question is: how can you be sure your company will attract and retain these recent grads? During frequent discussions regarding this topic with my friends, I have noticed recurring complaints regarding the application process, all of which can be easily prevented and improved upon.
- What company am I applying for again? More often than not, my friends will glance over at me while completing their application and ask this question. Each time I think to myself, how do they know they will be an optimal employee for this position? And also, why would this company want an employee who isn’t certain what the company is all about? Avoiding these fundamental pitfalls is simple with consistent site branding. Make sure that your organization’s name, description, logos, and trademarks are all highly visible and easily found within the application process and description pages.
- Similarly, what job am I applying for? I know…an unbelievable, yet still regularly asked question during the application process. After proceeding past the initial page the job title and description often disappear, making it difficult for candidates to reflect on relevant tasks or positions. Keeping a short overview of the job and the title in plain sight will allow candidates to describe important skills relating to the position, as well as, discourage candidates who lack certain requirements from submitting the application and cluttering your inboxes.
- Lastly, the most frustrating question of all for students – why haven’t I heard anything?! As recruiters, it is impossible to touch base with each and every candidate that has applied for your position. Still, you do not want candidates to be frustrated or develop any negativity toward the position or your company. Try setting up automatic emails that thank candidates for applying, provide a time frame for application review, or even notify them if they lack the experience you were searching for.
These quick-fixes will not only attract a larger qualified talent pool, but will also result in positive communication between recruiters and candidates. Ultimately, you can rest assured knowing you have retained the best employees and maintained open communication with potential future references.
In order to provide the best software, it is important to look for suggestions from those who are using it. While listening to all customer feedback may seem difficult in some industries, when it comes to HR technology, our customers are in fact our greatest assets!
Customers have first-hand knowledge and experience with the product and the potential to provide suggestions that the vendor would not have come up with internally. At iCIMS we make the customer experience a priority. Even our latest release was the result of our client’s input and submissions. However, feedback from polls and questions will only provide us with so much. In order to get the full customer perspective, we usually hold events to talk about our product in depth with some of our most active clients.
In 1 week, iCIMS will be hosting our 8th annual Customer Advisory Council – a user conference created to garner feedback and improve the customer experience. Each year, the CAC features software presentations from our technology department, roundtable discussions with our leadership team, and most importantly, forums for feedback from our customers. This year’s event will take place at the M Resort in Las Vegas and will focus on the Future of Recruitment. Keeping with agendas of the past, the conference will be split into three sections; Progress (improvements we’ve made since last year’s CAC), Innovation (customer input combined with technology’s actions), and Strategy (a look ahead at trends in talent management). We are expecting a wide range of attendees from companies including, Tiffany & Co., Whole Foods, L.L. Bean, FedEx and more.
The CAC is one of our most important events. We are able to obtain valuable advice from our customers that we can apply directly towards product improvements. We gain priceless insights into our offerings by hosting events of this sort and our clients can also benefit from sharing success stories, discussions, and networking with other attendees. We want to provide an optimal customer experience and this is one of the ways we can try to.
Bottom line: In order to attain higher satisfaction with your ATS, choose the company that is going to listen to your suggestions. Find the vendor who will provide opportunities to discuss exactly what you are looking for in your HR software!
Recently, I had the opportunity to plan and attend an event for HR professionals in the retail industry and it was great! On March 9th, iCIMS hosted this event in NYC that enabled recruiters to network and discuss a variety of HR topics including recruitment trends, applicant tracking systems (ATS), and other processes that have affected their hiring program. The event started off with an excellent presentation given by Jaime Petkanics, Talent Acquisition Director at Tory Burch. Jaime touched on how an ATS has been incredibly helpful in transforming the hiring process from what they had in the past. Jamie cited that user-friendly functionality was one of the most important attributes of an ATS, since adopting the technology is essential in fostering organizational success for a growing company. In addition to Jaime, representatives from Foot Locker, Aeropostale, Tommy Hilfiger, Liz Claiborne, Chico’s, Banana Republic, DKNY, and Ideeli, also attended the event.
Ultimately, the event was an informative and low-key way for HR professionals to network and reflect on how to overcome the many challenges that today’s recruitment world faces.
One topic discussed was the retail industry’s spectrum of hire types that range from seasonal hires to hourly and salary candidates. Recruiters also discussed the many challenges associated with their high volume applicant pool and how to effectively source and hire candidates from there. While answers varied, there seemed to be some agreement over the use of technology to facilitate this process. Many recruiters cited that leveraging an automatic way to separate hourly and salary candidates and quickly filter based on skill set would drive more simplified hiring processes.
GNC's career site separates retail hiring from corporate hiring
In addition to the structured presentation and discussion, attendees had the opportunity to network with others who have experienced similar work-related challenges. It was a fun and informative experience for all who attended. If you missed the event, be sure to check out iCIMS next networking event in London, UK on May 11th, 2011.
Lastly, I do have one piece of advice for recruiters: network! Take advantage of any industry related recruitment events that are available to you. You’ll find a lot of commonality at these events, enabling you to gain positive takeaways to bring to your own recruitment program. Networking will not only benefit you, but your organization and hiring processes as a whole.