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4 Point Consulting invited to join Forbes Chicago Business Council

We’re thrilled to announce that 4 Point Consulting’s CEO and Principal Consultant, Christy Hopkins, has been asked to join Forbes Chicago Business Council! 


Chicago (January 9, 2019) — Christy Hopkins, CEO and Principal Consultant of 4 Point Consulting, a quality-driven professional services, human resources, and talent acquisition firm that works with startups, SMBs, mid-market companies, VC firms & their portfolios, has been accepted into Forbes Chicago Business Council, an invitation-only community for successful business owners and leaders in Greater Chicago.

Hopkins was vetted and selected by a review committee based on the depth and diversity of her experience. Criteria for acceptance include a track record of successfully impacting business growth metrics, as well as personal and professional achievements and honors.

“We are honored to welcome Christy and 4 Point into the community,” said Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, the collective that includes Forbes Chicago Business Council. “Our mission with Forbes Councils is to bring together proven leaders from every industry, creating a curated, social capital-driven network that helps every member grow professionally and make an even greater impact on the business world.”

As an accepted member of the Council, Christy will connect and collaborate with other respected local leaders in a private forum and at member events. Hopkins will also be invited to work with a professional editorial team to share her expert insights in original business articles on Forbes.com, and to contribute to published Q&A panels alongside other experts.

“It’s an honor to have been selected to join this community of business professionals,” said Christy. “The professional services climate is rapidly changing, and we’re thrilled to be on the forefront as the industry evolves. I look forward to contributing with the best practices from 4 Point Consulting as well as learning from others on the council.”

ABOUT FORBES COUNCILS
Forbes Councils is a collective of invitation-only communities created in partnership with Forbes and the expert community builders who founded Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC). In Forbes Councils, exceptional business owners and leaders come together with the people and resources that can help them thrive.

For more information about Forbes Chicago Business Council, visit forbeschicagocouncil.com. To learn more about Forbes Councils, visit forbescouncils.com.

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Finding Talent in a Competitive Market

The competition for high-quality jobs has always existed, but today’s historically low unemployment rate is causing a new set of problems for companies searching for skilled workers. These top-tier candidates are in high demand but are difficult to acquire amidst the legion of competing companies. With the trends tipping in a new direction, how can companies stand out amongst the competitive crowd to attract their desired top candidates?

They’ll need to be creative and make improvements to their internal processes and external messaging to stand out. A few practices businesses can implement are:

  1. Develop and promote an employer brand
  2. Define company culture and values
  3. Refine the onboarding process
  4. Perfect hiring procedures

Without an employer brand, prospective employees will be unable to find your job openings. Additionally, if they are unfamiliar with your company, they will be less likely to apply. Taking a strong stance on company values will act as a beacon to attract candidates that match the company’s culture in a crowded job market.

While courting potential employees, maintaining consistent communication to create a seamless onboarding process will keep the new employee engaged and excited to join the team. When these core practices are polished and implemented, top-tier candidates will be a lot easier to attract, hire and maintain.

If you’re interested in learning more about 4 Point Consulting’s services, click here to get in touch!

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Onboarding Tips to Engage New Hires

In a recent webinar about onboarding tips to engage new hires, 4 Point Consulting associates shared their wisdom in regards to instilling company culture from day one. Here are a few of the questions from the webinar, as well as answers from our HR and talent acquisition experts.

What are the key milestones in the onboarding sequence that matter? Are there any that HR tends to miss or forget?

Onboarding is commonly thought of to be a process that begins somewhere around an employee’s first day with a new company. However, to truly build retention from day one, an organization will need to change its onboarding timeline to begin as soon as a potential hire becomes aware of the company itself. What a business conveys about itself across social media, its website, etc. will all impact how that future employee will interact with the brand. These opinions will be there on the first day and every day after that.

What fun, innovative or interactive activities have you incorporated to make onboarding more enjoyable and reflective of your culture?

Integrating an experiential ‘human element’ to the on-boarding process is vital — think of the new employee as a ‘culture add,’ not a ‘culture fit.’ To make the new hire truly feel like part of the team, include as many employees as possible. (Even if it’s just a team lunch.) Consider adding a video or unique materials that capture the essence of the company to showcase how important the workforce is to overall success.

Another way to assist a new employee in getting acclimated to the team is to create a volunteer-based buddy or mentor/mentee system. This provides the person with a point of contact for questions that may seem small but can actually be a source of anxiety for a new hire. (“Are these coffee mugs for everyone?”) When assigning a mentor, keep these things in mind:

  1. Personality and communication style
  2. Department location (a mentor will ideally be located in a different department)
  3. Hierarchy (a manager should be mentored by another manager, an associate with another associate)
  4. Context and commonalities (pairing a well-established individual in the field with someone right out of college isn’t an ideal fit.)

How do you measure the effectiveness of cultural onboarding?

While this metric can be more difficult to obtain than traditional measurements, there key areas in which to pay attention. For new hires, continue to check in periodically to garner feedback on their experience. Ask what they liked about their orientation process and if it met their expectations. Look for observable behaviors and pay attention to how the individual talks about the company (e.g. using words like ‘we’ instead of ‘they.’) As an employee progresses in their tenure, periodic surveys can be used to gather valuable feedback. Consider even making these surveys anonymous to encourage more genuine answers.

A long-term method of measuring company culture is reviewing turnover and how the number of employees impacts revenue growth. For example, divide revenue from a profitable point in the company’s fiscal year by the number of employees during that period. Compare that number to more current calculations to gather a broad overview of how workforce size correlates with business growth.

How do you welcome new hires to the company and make them feel like part of the team from day one?

Welcoming an employee to the company is a fun and exciting time, but it can also be extremely overwhelming to the new hire. A welcome email and an onboarding booklet on their desk with answers to simple questions like how to contact the IT department is an ideal place to begin. Consider also adding swag like a coffee mug or water bottle with the company logo for a more branded experience.

To truly make a new hire feel like part of the team from day one, a company should consider abolishing the probation period. In doing so, all insurance and retirement savings plan would be rendered effective on the hire’s first day. In addition to being a cultural tool, this initiative would also act as a strong recruiting tool.

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4 Ways to Make the Application Process Better for Job Candidates

Like politicians, recruiters have a constituency – job applicants! That can be easy for many to forget at times. However, to successfully recruit, you need to find and attract quality candidates. This means making the job application process as easy and seamless as can be.

It’s important to always keep the applicant in mind. If you’re out of touch with how people search and apply for jobs today, it makes your job as a recruiter 10 times harder. Tailoring job applications to the needs of candidates is the only way to go. Here are four ways to make the application process better for job candidates.

1. STREAMLINE THE APPLICATION PROCESS

If you have a tedious job application, you’re going to lose out on qualified candidates. After all, top job candidates are busy people and fielding opportunities left and right. They may also already be working, and don’t have the extra time – or want to spend it – on a lengthy application.

A survey from Indeed found that the median time of a job application for all Fortune 500 companies was 13 minutes. The longest rang in at a whopping 52 minutes! They found that on average, a Fortune 500 company’s application included 63 screener questions. Who’s got the time for that? Nobody wants to wade through a complex job application that feels like an exam. Another recent study found that 30% of candidates will not spend longer than 15 minutes on a job application, and that applications with more than 45 screener questions will lose nearly 89% of applicants who quit before completing it.

When crafting your job applications, be sure they are short, sweet and to the point. Include only a few screener questions that collect absolutely the most important data that you need at the time to make an informed decision on a candidate. Save the rest of your questions for the interviewing process.

Simplify the process as much as you can for candidates. A clean user interface does wonders as it won’t distract applicants with a messy, confusing aesthetic. Test out your application experience as well. Make sure it can accept a variety of document types that a candidate’s resume, cover letter, etc. might come in. If a candidate navigates away from the application for a bit, ensure that their progress will be saved. Finally, asking candidates to create user accounts or provide lots of references and previous work samples will likely turn off many of them. Get around to those when necessary, not at the beginning of the process.

2. MAKE THE APPLICATION PROCESS MOBILE-FRIENDLY

Everything is coming up mobile, including job applications. Many companies have been slow to adopt mobile-friendly job applications despite the fact that 70% of applicants desire the ability to complete an application on their mobile devices. This is causing many companies and recruiters to lose out on qualified job candidates. 20% of applicants surveyed said they’d abandon an application that couldn’t be done on a mobile device. Meanwhile, a whopping 78% of applicants would apply for jobs more using mobile if the process were implemented and streamlined.

Ensure that your mobile job application web page is easy to view and navigate. Making the decision to go mobile with your job applications will attract top talent and reduce the burden of completion and effort on their end. It’s simple to modify a mobile application process so that applicants can quickly and easily apply for your job postings using their LinkedIn accounts. This no fuss application process is catnip for highly qualified candidates.

It’s also beneficial to you as well! Mobile job applications can help you automatically collect important documents, as well as establish more manageable applicant tracking metrics. This leaves recruiters and HR professionals with more time to actually do more pressing work. Why wouldn’t you want to introduce a timelier, more productive application process?

3. UPDATE YOUR APPLICANTS THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS

Don’t leave applicants hanging! Many job candidates are applying for multiple jobs, and they want to be kept in the loop about decisions made in your hiring process so they can manage their applications. It’s important to establish a helpful applicant experience so they feel acknowledged. This boils down to establishing effective communication.

Be sure to let candidates know when you’ve received their applications and what the next steps are in your hiring process. When a candidate advances to the next stage, have an automated message set up that thanks them for their time and details what’s coming next. You could also consider adopting an applicant portal that allows them to log in and track their progress. Even when you decide not to move on with a candidate, it’s important to reach out and let them know.

Constant communication with your applicants is the best way to keep them engaged and excited about the prospect of working for your company. Whether you use emails, calls or texts, just keeping them in the loop does wonders for creating a positive applicant experience. Maintain a human touch as well – simple things like catering your automated messages to include their name makes them feel like more than just cogs in the applicant machine.

4. WALK A MILE IN THE APPLICANT’S SHOES

Being an applicant isn’t easy. The stress of finding and applying for a new job is real, and any kind words you can provide will go a long way. Recruiters should always be empathetic towards job applicants. Understanding what an applicant goes through when they apply and how difficult the process can be will help you tailor your own to better suit candidates and simplify their experience. Establish a friendly, positive rapport with candidates so they feel validated.

In creating a great candidate experience, you’ll be able to build up the reputation of your brand and company. Potential candidates will be more likely to apply if your applicant process has a reputation of being positive and welcoming. This will help you retain a pool of top talent and will drive your recruiting efforts towards greater success in the future.

People talk, especially online. Poor candidate experiences will travel by word of mouth and prevent potential candidates from applying. They can also negatively impact your company as a whole. A survey by CareerBuilder found that 44% of applicants had a worse opinion of a company after applying and not receiving a response, while 32% were less likely to buy products from a company that refused to reply. Bottom line: treat your candidates well. It’s common courtesy and the right thing to do.

CONCLUSION

Implementing these four strategies will ensure that your application process becomes better for all of your job candidates. This will lead to more qualified applicants coming your way, and can help relieve some of the burdens on your recruiting process as well. Want some help making your application process better for job candidates? Contact 4 Point Consulting and schedule a free hour long consultation today!

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Why You Should Embrace Technology in the Hiring Process

In a world where we can order self-driving car services, it boggles the mind how some industries have refused to integrate technological advances into their practices. Human resources and recruiting departments — consider the finger pointed in your direction!

As job candidates continue to become more savvy with the way they search, network and apply for jobs, recruiters can need to be light years ahead when it comes to the use of newfound technology. Outdated, inefficient practices are stifling many recruiting and HR departments, and many of these problems have simple technological fixes practically begging to be used. The future of hiring is here, and it’s time to embrace the technology that is driving it.

NOTEWORTHY RECRUITING TECH TRENDS

It’s important to understand why leveraging technology is essential for recruiters. Below are some trends and statistics that prove those who embrace technology in the hiring process are reaping huge benefits.

So, what lessons can HR professionals and recruiters learn from these statistics? For starters, to remain competitive for top talent, staying plugged into social media is crucial. Additionally, adopting mobile-friendly processes for things like job applications is a much faster and more effective way to attract and connect with a more savvy applicant pool. Leveraging these simple technologies that are easy to adopt and require little in the way of work can speed up any hiring process and make great strides in the way of efficiency and convenience.

Secondly, a more comprehensive hiring system can drastically cut down on inefficiencies that plague the hiring process. Automation is a key component of this, and there are many hiring automation tools and software available that can completely overhaul a bloated and ineffective hiring protocol.

HIRING AUTOMATION TOOLS

To fully embrace technology in the hiring process, you must adopt tools and software that will automate menial tasks and improve the hiring process ten-fold. That’s where hiring automation tools come into play. A comprehensive and tech-fueled hiring solution will enable recruiters to better track applicants and their position in the hiring process. Not only will a hiring automation platform streamline and simplify the hiring process, it will lessen the workload for recruiters and HR departments, siphon administrative costs and help save money in the long run.

TECHNOLOGY IMPROVES THE APPLICANT EXPERIENCE

Hiring is a two-way street — the process and system a company sets up needs to be efficient, effective and inexpensive while attracting the best possible talent around. On the flip side, to get the cream of the crop, recruiters need to keep the applicant experience in mind. Technology can streamline many tedious systems to make a more user-friendly and desirable process for applicants.

Candidate job portals, automatic tools on job boards, employee onboarding portals and referral networks are all great tech solutions to revamp and redefine the hiring process for applicants so it’s not such a time-consuming drag. As a bonus, many of these integrated and automated tools make for a more collaborative hiring experience on both ends that translates into a more cost-effective strategy.

TECH SOLUTIONS TO CONSIDER

  • Justworks: Justworks is the recommended PEO by 4 Point Consulting. Not only is it easy to work with and completely affordable with great customer service, but it also offers great affordable benefits for your employees. What more could you possibly want in a co-employer and PEO as a solution for your HR department needs?
  • BambooHR: BambooHR is a great HR software system that comes highly recommended. BambooHR focuses on everything employees – from performance management to recruiting to onboarding new employees. While they don’t provide benefits or payroll services, they do seamlessly integrate with many of those providers, making it an easy add-on for businesses ready to take their HR efforts to the next level.
  • Harvest: Harvest time-tracking is a fantastic software system for small business owners and HR departments. If you have employees in various locations, Harvest can help you track their time by client and/or by project and create invoices for your services. It also gives you reports on their work in real-time while ensuring you pay them accurately.
  • ApplicantPro: ApplicantPro is an applicant tracking system that creates a custom careers page for your business. This ATS embodies customer service. When it comes to helping you get your recruitment applicant tracking up and running effectively, there’s no better system to have in your corner.
  • DeepTalent: DeepTalent is the recommended performance management and performance review system of 4 Point Consulting. Why? Because it’s reasonably priced, incredibly easy to use and scalable. That means a startup or small business that’s growing can use it without breaking the bank. You’ll be hard pressed to find an easier tech solution for setting up performance reviews and cycles, taking that huge paperwork burden off of your HR department.

CONCLUSION

Whether it’s streamlining an outdated hiring process, more effectively utilizing hiring personnel, shortening the hiring cycle, attracting better quality candidates or decreasing administrative costs, the solutions can almost always be found in technology! There’s no shortage of tech tools and solutions for recruiters and HR professionals when it comes to revolutionizing and improving how hiring gets executed. Don’t you think it’s about time you embrace technology in your hiring and HR processes?
Ask us how! 4 Point Consulting does cost/benefit analyses of software systems, PEOs, benefit providers, and other software systems, as well as implement them, for clients to streamline their processes without any hassle.

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5 Tips for Running an Efficient HR Department

When done well, an HR department can become the nucleus of any company. Much burden is placed on an HR department – it not only has to work towards the growth of the company and help it achieve its goals, but also maintain the culture of the company and protect the wellbeing of each and every employee. That’s a lot to juggle, which means an effective HR department has to be efficient in order to satisfy these lofty duties. Whether you’re a one-person HR machine or have a highly skilled team in place, there are some simple steps you can take that will right the path of any HR department.

Here are five great tips on running an efficient HR department:

TIP #1: BRAINSTORM A STRATEGY

This may sound like a no-brainer, but diving head first into all the duties human resources requires with no solid plan in place will cause you to sink rather than swim. Take some time to devise a strategic plan that hits on how you will implement and achieve goals around everything from recruitment and retention to employee engagement and development. Another great option is to formulate an HR mission statement that will govern your department’s work and tactics. This will put you on the right track to running an efficient HR department

Laying out this sort of strategy will also help you determine the HR department’s role in the overall scheme of the company, and how your department will be able to assist with the growth and success of the company. Once you have a strategic plan in place and have established the goals you need to hit, set up a management process that details how you will go about achieving these goals and monitors your progress.

Not sure where to start? Contact us at hello@4pointconsulting.com and contact us for a free consultation! We implement HR software systems and help companies hire their first HR professional (and we can help you in the interim).

TIP #2: PUT ON A HAPPY FACE

As the human resources department, you’re the welcoming area for new employees into the wild, wonderful world of the company they are about to join. The first impressions new employees will form about a given company are formed based off of their experiences with HR. An HR department that runs efficiently goes a long way towards inspiring confidence in new hires about the company they’re joining, as well as keep the current team churning and burning at a high level.

To ensure that employees have a positive first impression, an HR department should go out of their way to ensure an employee’s initial satisfaction and offer assistance to any and all needs a new employee may have. One way to get ahead of this and show that you’ve really got your stuff together is to develop a straightforward and useful employee handbook that addresses everything from company culture, etiquette, dress and attendance policies, expense procedures and more. Take some time to go over this with new employees and let them know that if they have any questions or concerns, your doors are always open.

We create employee handbooks for a reasonable project-based fee. You can customize your handbook with our handbook “menu”. Contact 4 Point at hello@4pointconsulting.com for more details and, if you cite this blog, we will deduct 20% off our estimated price for you.

TIP #3: ENCOURAGE EMPLOYEE FEEDBACK

Employee feedback and engagement is a crucial component in human resources. If you don’t create an open, welcoming environment where employees fill they can come to discuss any problems or concerns freely, it can stifle productivity, disrupt a harmonious company culture and lead to poor employee retention. All of these will make your job much harder in the long run. To avoid these problems and keep your department running smooth and efficient, set up a system that provides employees with real-time feedback.

By keeping this instant line of communication open, you’re not only giving employees the peace of mind to express their opinions, but you’re also bestowing upon them a more frequent delivery of performance feedback that will undoubtedly yield higher quality results and ensure their long-term happiness and success. Just like that, your employee retention rate is rock solid. Rather than hold monthly, quarterly or even yearly performance reviews and feedback meetings, an open, available system will reduce the burden on the HR department, save time and resources and will allow you to correct issues before things get too out of hand.

TIP #4: EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY

Technology is your friend! This cannot be overstated enough when it comes to running an efficient HR department. There are so many free or low cost tech tools out there that specialize in streamlining and automating the HR workflow. These include hiring automation software like BambooHR, electronic applicant systems like ApplicantPro, Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) like JustWorks, electronic documentation signing and much more. Not only will these technological wonders save you time and money, they will drastically improve the efficiency and communication within your HR department and leave you more accessible and open to taking care of your employees (like Tip #3 suggests).

Technology isn’t just good for HR administrative duties or recruitment efforts. Once you use all of these handy, convenient tools to recruit and hire employees more efficiently, you can also use some of them to manage and help you retain them as well. Talent management software like DeepTalent is a great way to track, develop and retain your employees without placing too much manual burden on your HR department. You can do everything from performance assessments to rewarding your top employees through these systems, saving you even more time and money and ensuring that the people you hire stick around because they’re growing and thriving.

TIP #5: GO PAPERLESS

Arguably the biggest key to running an efficient HR department is organization. If your department looks like a tornado ran through it with papers everywhere and no discernible organizational structure, you’re going to be wasting a lot of valuable time simply rummaging around. In fact, more than $1.5 trillion a year is spent on dealing with the hassle of organizing, reformatting and uploading paperwork. There’s a simple solution to all of this that is also eco-friendly: going paperless!

Yes, going paperless can take considerable time and effort, but those short-term hurdles end up paying off in spades in the long run. Going paperless will drastically reduce the time you spend searching for documents, plus electronic storage of documents is also a much more secure and reliable means of accessing and remaining compliant with important employee information like healthcare. Boost your efficiency and organization and save your time, money and the planet by going paperless.

Need help going paperless? Try BambooHR. They can store all of your documents and get e-signatures right in the software.

These five tips will greatly bolster your running an efficient HR department. Here’s a sixth tip on the house: 4 Point Consulting is also available to help you get your HR department running smooth and efficient. An hour long consultation is free – simply contact us through the form on our website or email us at hello and we will get back to you within 24-48 hours!

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Top 11 Recruiting Pitfalls to Avoid

In the fast, bustling world of recruiting and small business, the main objective when looking for a new employee is to hire the best candidate for a given position as quickly and efficiently as possible while keeping hiring costs manageable. Sounds easy on paper, but it’s a much harder feat to actually accomplish. There are a number of recruiting pitfalls that can knock your recruiting efforts off course if you’re not careful.

Here are the top 11 recruiting pitfalls to avoid as a small business owner (and solutions on how to fix them):

RECRUITING PITFALL #1: RUSHING THE RECRUITING PROCESS

Naturally, you want the hiring process to be fluid and quick in order to fill open positions fast, but not at the expense of excessively costly hires or an inefficient process that results in multiple mistakes and, ultimately, a wrong hire. Spontaneity is not a trait that you want defining your recruitment efforts. Simply hiring someone to fill an immediate gap, rather than taking the time to strategically evaluate the position, is one of the most reckless recruiting pitfalls.

Solve This Problem: Take some time to know exactly the type of position you’re looking to fill, the roles this employee will take on, what they’ll contribute to the overall goals of your company, and the person that will ultimately be best suited for the job in order to find the right candidate. Going a bit slower and steadier leads to much more competent new hires.

RECRUITING PITFALL #2: DESCRIBING THE POSITION IN VAGUE TERMS

It’s fundamental to start the recruitment process with an accurate, detailed job description so you can get the right candidates applying and filtering in. A vague job description is misleading to potential candidates and could start off your recruitment process on wobbly tracks.

Solve This Problem: Take some time to highlight all of the key responsibilities of the job, and be sure to describe the goal of this role and the purpose of this position in the overall scheme of things. Being upfront about everything the position entails will help you get the kind of candidates you want applying for the role.

RECRUITING PITFALL #3: RECRUITING ONLY ONE WAY

Don’t pigeonhole your business when it comes to how you recruit. There are so many different ways to find talented candidates these days, everything from old-fashioned referrals to posting on online job boards to scouring and networking on social media platforms.

Solve This Problem: For every tried and true method of recruiting you already employ, switch it up and try something new alongside with it. If you’re strictly a referral person, try posting on a simple job board like Indeed. This will greatly diversify your candidate pool. You can even use professional recruiting organizations like 4 Point Consulting, perfect when looking to hire for a highly specialized role, to ensure you get the best possible hire.

RECRUITING PITFALL #4: FOCUSING TOO MUCH ON EXPERIENCE

Experience in a given field or particular job isn’t the be-all-end-all when recruiting the right candidate. You have to take into mind other things, such as how well they’ll fit into your company’s culture, their propensity and capability to grow and add greater value down the line to your company, and their propensity to remain loyal to a work environment or cause.

Solve This Problem: Don’t let the resume solely dictate a hire. To truly suss out if a candidate is right for the job, consider giving them an aptitude test or trial project. This way you can get a first-hand look at the work they can do in order to see how they may or may not thrive in a given position.

RECRUITING PITFALL #5: NOT CONSIDERING UNCONVENTIONAL CANDIDATES

Focusing on and recruiting people from certain schools or educational backgrounds, or whose careers are exact matches to a given position, can cause you to overlook unconventional candidates who could bring added value you never thought about. It can also result in less expensive hires, due to the fact that these out-of-the-box candidates may not have quite as many years of experience in a given field, thus not expecting a top salary.

Solve This Problem: Don’t boil down a potential hire to just a rudimentary check list. Be open to creative problem solvers and candidates from outside your given industry that still have reputable skill sets, backgrounds and references. If you see a really qualified, but not exactly appropriately matched candidate, reach out by doing a phone screen and give them a chance to explain what they feel they could bring to your company.

RECRUITING PITFALL #6: REJECTING OVERQUALIFIED CANDIDATES

Whether you think they’ll be too expensive or they might end up getting bored and leaving sooner than you like for something more challenging, someone who’s overqualified isn’t necessarily a bad hire. Their immense talent and skills will be an asset to your company no matter what, or how long they stay.

Solve This Problem: Once again, a phone screen is the quickest, simplest, most convenient way to suss out a candidate you may otherwise ignore. If you see an ideal applicant who seems too good to be true, ask them upfront and see why they applied. Give them a chance to assuage your concerns.

RECRUITING PITFALL #7: WAITING FOR A “UNICORN” CANDIDATE

Hate to burst your bubble, but there is no such thing as that one perfect job candidate to rule them all. Don’t waste time and money by holding out for something that doesn’t exist. Drawing out the recruiting process to hunt for that nonexistent unicorn candidate can also lead to productivity issues by keeping your company understaffed and overworked for too long.

Solve This Problem: Do some research of similar positions in your zip code. Look at job boards like Indeed and Glassdoor to get perspective on where you may be missing the mark. If all else fails and you’re still looking aimlessly for something that might not be out there, schedule a free consultation with us and we’ll do our best to get you on the right recruiting track!

RECRUITING PITFALL #8: FALLING PREY TO BIAS

Just because you “like” someone for who they are doesn’t mean they’ll be good at the job. This is known as the “similar to me” bias. Recruitment isn’t a popularity contest – you want someone who can bring in fresh, new perspectives rather than the idea you’ve generated in your head as being “right.” When this happens, diversity in the hiring process diminishes as well, derailing the chance for a balanced and multi-talented team.

Solve This Problem: Consult with others at your company and bring in outside voices and opinions when you’re narrowing down candidates. Get their insights and impressions about candidates, and be sure to take into consideration the thoughts of those they’ll be working the most closely with.

RECRUITING PITFALL #9: OVERVALUING THE INTERVIEW

Interviewers can waste a lot of time trying to solidify their intuitive first impressions about a candidate within just seconds of meeting them. Conversely, candidates can act or say what they think interviewers want to hear in order to land the job, making the interviewing process a facade more than anything. Make sure you look at the whole picture of the candidate- the resume, the phone screen, the in-person interview, and the references.

Solve This Problem: Consider adding in another interview step, like giving an assessment test or exercise to really ascertain how a candidate will behave in a given position – this will offer a more definitive assessment to base your hiring decision on. Using a system like BambooHR, where you and your colleagues can collaborate and take notes, as well as rank candidates and store documents related to someone’s candidacy can also prove extremely helpful.

RECRUITING PITFALL #10: IGNORING REJECTED CANDIDATES

Many companies and recruiters are incredibly guilty of failing to follow-up with candidates that don’t make it past certain points in the recruitment process. Not only does this leave a bad taste in the mouths of candidates, but it can start to take a hit on the reputation of your company based on how you treat job candidates.

Solve This Problem: Your recruitment process and company brand can greatly benefit by giving some quick, simple feedback to rejected candidates. This goes a long way when tapping into former applicants for new positions that may open up. Plus, it’s the polite thing to do! Consider using this template for job rejection letters as a starting point.

RECRUITING PITFALL #11: BEING STINGY WITH SALARIES

Salary negotiation is always a tricky aspect of recruiting, but good candidates know their worth and won’t entertain offers that aren’t up to their standards and capabilities. Ensure that the salary expectations for the position are set before going too deep in the recruiting process to avoid wasting your time cultivating a candidate to find out they won’t accept the position based on what you’re offering. To that end, make a respectable offer that matches their title, experience and value.

Solve This Problem: Don’t want to talk about money with a candidate? Use 4 Point Consulting for your phone interviews so that we can ask them about it right off the bat and get you the information you need without disclosing your budget.

These 11 recruiting pitfalls are commonly made mistakes for a reason. It can be hard to identify potential roadblocks as an overwhelmed, overworked small business owner. It’s easy to get stuck with tunnel vision and simply look for the fastest way to recruit possible. Staying mindful of these recruiting pitfalls will have you accelerating toward the best hire in no time at all… and remember, we are here to help and can offer a free recruitment consultation to assess your situation.

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How to Ensure You Hire the Right Employee

So, you’ve decided you need to fill out your ranks and bring a new team member(s) on board to help your company achieve greater success – fantastic! However, don’t let that enthusiasm make you too trigger-happy when it comes to finding that special somebody for the position. After all, hiring the right employee is a big undertaking, one that can quite literally cause your business to thrive or die.

Hiring the wrong person for the job is not only a waste of an HR department’s valuable time and resources, it’s a costly endeavor that can have negative ramifications for your company’s work environment.

Hiring the right employee, however, will reap many benefits. Not only will you be confident in your choice that this person can execute the job like a champ, but you’ll have hired someone who is a boon to employee productivity, gels well with your existing workforce and becomes a profitable asset.

So, let’s dive into it and talk about how to ensure you hire the right employee for your business:

Figure Out Your Hiring Needs

Before you even begin your search and start in on all of that recruiting, you need to have a clear idea of what your staffing needs are. Simply filling a position with someone before you know the full structure and scope of the value they’ll add to your team and how they can contribute to your business is a huge error.

Defining the position, knowing what qualifications and experience you want someone to bring, establishing the positive impact such a position will have on your company – then, and only then, are you ready to dip your toes into the talent pool.

Hint – you probably need a create a job description. Feel free to ask us at 4 Point for help on that so you can be confident that you’ll hire the right employee!

Streamline Your Hiring Process

Once you know exactly who it is you’re looking for in terms of the capabilities, education, skills and knowledge of potential candidates, make the recruiting and hiring process easy on yourself. This means maximizing your time and minimizing your hiring costs. A candidate may look good on paper, but a resume doesn’t tell you the whole story. That’s why it’s important to pre-screen candidates to save valuable time during the interview process.

A prescreening questionnaire or quick 5-10 minute phone interview will bridge the gap between paper and person, letting you know for sure whether an individual might be the best fit for the job. When it comes time to get to the actual interviews, it all comes down to asking the right questions in order to hire the right employee. Tailoring the questions specifically to the position will help you weed out the duds from the winners.

Keep Your Company’s Culture in Mind

You’ve already got an existing workforce that hopefully works like a well-oiled machine. You’ve no doubt established a specific working environment that works best for your company and those it employs. It’s important to keep this in mind in order to hire the right employee. You want to find someone who can fit in seamlessly, not someone who might struggle with or disrupt your company’s culture.

Ascertaining a candidate’s social skills and asking them about previous working environments and relationships is a great way of discerning if they might be compatible for your company. One of the best ways to get an inside peek at the more personal and social aspects of a candidate is to go to the heart of the matter – their social media presence. You can discover a lot of helpful information about a candidate based on their social media profiles, granting you valuable insights on who they are and what makes them tick.

Commitment Is Key

One of the most overlooked aspects when it comes to vetting candidates is how committed they are to their careers, and how loyal they have been to their past employers. A candidate who has bounced around from job to job without setting up roots is probably someone who lacks loyalty to an employer or cause, and is instead looking to solely climb the corporate ladder. If you see a candidate who looks like a skills fit, but has jumped around – ask them about it! Gauge their response – was it bad luck or do they lack commitment?

Pay close to attention to the duration of each of their previous positions – this can tell you a lot about the candidate’s professionalism and devotion to their career. The best candidates will possess an unbridled willingness to work with you and your company.

Consult Your Coworkers

Ensuring you hire the right employee for your company isn’t a solo endeavor. Rather, you should include your coworkers in the interviewing and evaluation process. Sure, this may lead to a flood of different opinions, but it usually results in better overall hires.

Just make sure everyone is on the same page about the position’s needs. This can be achieved through simple recruitment planning meetings so you can establish a firm strategy that governs the process. You’ll want to know the impression a candidate leaves on others to get a better overall picture of who they are – after all, you won’t be the only person working with them.

The End-All

Hiring the right employee will help your company accomplish their goals, bolster your workforce, increase employee morale and set your company on a path towards greater success. These simple considerations above can make all the difference when it comes to picking the right person for the job.
If you need help on any of the steps, don’t hesitate to reach out to 4 Point Consulting for help. An hour long consultation is free – simply contact us through the form on our website and we will get back to you within 24-48 hours!

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Paternity Leave Policy- Best Practices & How to Administer a Policy

Paternity leave, and family leave in general, is a hot topic these days as work/life balance, work/life integration, and other buzzwords float around that try to support Americans in their quest for both work and a family.

Check out Christy’s full advice here in her work with Fit Small Business on everything you need to know about paternity policies as a small business owner or HR manager- from a policy template to how to administer one and what other business owners are doing.