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10 Effective Ways to Train a New Employee

effective-ways-how-to-train-new-employees
Training a new employee the right way matters in many more ways than just having them start to be productive. The costs of not training your employees can add up quickly; from poor morale to lack of production to employee turnover, not setting up your new employee (or newly promoted employee) for success has consequences.

You also will want to consider the costs and the time required to train your new employee. You will want your new employee to track their training time (and what tasks they spent what amount of time learning), as well as you will want to know how many hours it took away from a manager or team to train the new person. This kind of training data will be invaluable to you in order to grow your business, increase your employees’ production, and improve employee retention from continually improving your training programs.

We will discuss the following 10 ways to train a new employee:

  • Way #1: On the Job Training (aka OJT)
  • Way #2: Mentoring Program
  • Way #3: Employee Coaching
  • Way #4: Culture Training
  • Way #5: Job Shadowing
  • Way #6: Webinars & Online Resources
  • Way #7: Mobile Training Apps
  • Way #8: Third Party Training
  • Way #9: Gamification
  • Way #10: Use Social Media

Before we start, let’s also talk about the various ways and the commitment and amount of time they take in an easy table:

Let’s start with the most important way to train the vast majority of employees, from a waiter to a real estate agent to a lawyer:

Way #1: On The Job Training (OJT)

What It Is: OJT is a hands-on method of learning that uses existing equipment, tools, and resources to teach job specific duties and competencies. Training takes place within the job environment so that the employee can learn by seeing how the work is performed. This is especially important for roles that clock in and clock out; one of the first OJT training duties should be teaching your new employee how to clock in and clock out effectively and in alignment with company policy using your OnTheClock system. After all, this small function is where businesses lose thousands… to millions… of dollars!

Why It Works: OJT is considered to be one of the most effective training options because it is normally performed internally by those who already understand the job and the company’s values. It’s like having a real life training manual, where the current employee can also teach the new employee the idiosyncrasies of policies and systems, as well as caution them about company policies. On the other side, it is also time consuming and requires an actual person to be training the trainee.

How You Can Try It: Let’s take a quick look at how OJT works. A retail store cashier is an excellent example of a role where OJT is very relevant. Let’s take a step by step approach at Sam’s Hardware Shop and how OJT might be used for “New Hire Nelly” with long time “Employee Eric”.

Step 1: Nelly comes in for work on her first day. Eric is assigned to be her trainer (or sometimes, companies call this a “buddy” to promote camaraderie). Eric greets Nelly when she arrives and, once she fills out her paperwork (i.e. tax forms, etc… which Eric might do, or someone from HR might do), Eric brings Nelly onto the floor.

Step 2: Eric walks Nelly through a typical start of the day, where he shows her how to clock in, and shows her how to do it (as well as she should do it so she can be paid for today!).

Step 3: Eric then shows Nelly where his register is and starts the day. He counts down the drawer and ensures that it matches the night prior’s totals, and then asks her to try it.

Step 4: Eric then opens his register and lets Nelly watch him take care of actual transactions and customers while she takes notes. This should go on for an hour or two. Then, Eric could let Nelly try to do some transactions while he watches and provides feedback.

Step 5: Eric should then debrief with Nelly at the end of her day, help answer any questions, and help her to clock out.

The steps should then repeat until Nelly starts to be able to do all of the actions on her own. As Nelly becomes more functional, Eric’s time with her will decrease, likely each day, and eventually will likely be only for unique questions like a price check or a rebate.

Next, let’s look at mentoring, which can be a large component of On The Job Training.

Way #2: Mentoring Program

What It Is: Mentoring is a form of training that involves pairing a senior, experienced employee with a new, less experienced employee in order for the new hire to adapt quickly to their role. It is very similar to OJT, but usually takes the relationship to the next level (i.e. think of a senior level attorney being paired with a junior associate).

Tip: You might want to consider using a specific amount of mentoring each week, or even each month, for team members to get the most out of this time. 

Why It Works: Establishing a mentor relationship has been shown to enhance the speed that a new employee learns their new role and adapts to company culture because of the one on one interaction. It also has numerous other positive benefits such as increased positivity at the workplace and higher retention rates because it builds both social and professional bonds.

How You Can Try It: No need to reinvent the wheel: some of the top Fortune 500 companies and successful small businesses implement great mentoring programs. Here are a few of their stories:

General Electric

  • Newly hired graduates go into their Experienced Commercial Leadership Program where they will complete 8 months rotating within areas of their particular business.

Google

  • For the past 9 years, Google has offered a global program featuring stipends for student developers. Summer of Code pairs students with mentors to gain real-world software development experience and has boasted over 8,500 successful participants.

4 Point Consulting

  • 4 Point Consulting offers its associates and staff consultants the opportunity to trade ideas, request trainings and learn from senior management with monthly “Coffee n Convo” hours, dedicated entirely to the development of its employees. Group mentorship allows for camaraderie and the building of essential communication skills.

Caterpillar

  • Caterpillar devotes the first 2-3 years of a college graduate’s employment to professional development by implementing a rotation program wherein the new hire can gain exposure to all aspects of the business, from building basic technical skills to engaging with senior management.

Mentoring in a less formal sense, and when usually done by the direct manager of a new employee, is usually called:

Way #3: Employee Coaching

What It Is: Coaching is used to provide guidance to employees so they can work through challenges and strengthen their skills. Coaching is also usually somewhat less formal than mentoring, and can take less time (and thus cost less money, inhibit employee production less) than mentoring. However, both can have value when some structure is in place around them, and employee coaching can be formally structured (for example, in a weekly 1 on 1 with an employee’s manager).

Why It Works: Coaching is effective because it empowers employees to take their training into their own hands and encourages high performance in a setting and pace that helps personal and professional development. It also can serve as the basis for performance management and documentation of performance, which can be important in promotional and termination decisions, as well as in performance reviews.

How You Can Try It: This method can be effective when you have an employee who could benefit from performance improvement because it helps guide them towards solving problems and improving skills. It can also be great for management or senior employees to consult a business coach who can help provide guidance, focus, goal-setting, accountability, personal development, and business profitability.

Way #4: Culture Training

What It Is: Company Culture is the personality of an organization and it describes what values and goals a company has. Training new employees on company culture is equally important as training for skills because it puts emphasis on being part of the team.

Why It Works: Studies show that employees who are in alignment with their company’s culture and mission are more dedicated to the success of the organization. Teaching your company’s culture and values can also drastically reduce the chances employees will inadvertently engage in discrimination or harassment. It also promotes increased communication and promotes positivity. Howard Stevenson, of Harvard Business School faculty, notes: “Maintaining an effective culture is so important that it, in fact, trumps even strategy.”

How You Can Try It: You can start by creating a list of core values for your company, decide what characteristics new hires will have to be successful in your culture, and continue ongoing training with existing employees. Perhaps employees can contribute to or vote on your list of values, if they are not already stated. If your mission, culture and values exist, make sure you’re living by them. Post your values where team members can regularly see them. Hold your management team and yourself accountable to fulfilling those values daily. If your organization has grown, pivoted, or has experienced a change in its strategy or goals, consider whether the values you put in place at the outset still ring true today. In order for culture and values to work, they have to be felt, so they have to be unique and applicable to your company and employees, specifically.

Next, similar to On The Job Training, there is job shadowing.

Way #5: Job Shadowing

What It Is: Job shadowing involves a new hire working directly with an employee to become immersed in the day by day requirements of the job. In fact, some people even use job shadowing as a part of the recruitment

Why It Works: This method works well because it allows new hires to see the nitty gritty details in real time, without having to figure it out along the way. Simply telling a new employee what to do is not as successful as showing them one on one.

How You Can Try It: Job shadowing works best for jobs that require a lot of detail or those that are heavily task-based. Even if the role would not benefit from solely job shadowing, most roles have some aspects that are well suited to this type of training. In some cases, it can be essential, such as for internships or promotions.

A great example in general is the food and beverage industry. It is fairly unique in its job shadowing (“stage”) concept. But allowing potential (or new) employees to immediately receive the opportunity to work hands-on, side-by-side with more tenured teammates for a whole day can give them a real glimpse into on-the-job realities and skills necessary. One of 4 Point Consulting’s clients, Hu Kitchen in NYC, actually does job shadowing (a “trail” they call it) in their recruitment process for all restaurant roles to make sure that their top candidates understand exactly what their new job would be.

Way #6: Webinars and Online Resources

What It Is: Webinars and Online Resources are both virtual training sessions, with the former being a live presentation, and the latter being pre-made virtual training materials that can be accessed at any time.

Why It Works: This method is extremely cost-effective and convenient, especially if you have employees in different locations. You can take away cost for commuting, venues, and food by utilizing online training. It can also increase employee engagement because people are less likely to be shy about asking questions online. It can also be useful to have resources available for later times because it allows employees to access online information around their busy schedules.

How You Can Try It: For effective execution, start by breaking down material into intuitive sections, incorporate lots of visuals and interactive media, take time to answer questions and encourage collaboration, and set aside time at the end for participant quizzes and feedback.

4 Point Consulting finds success in such trainings from new-hire on-boarding material to systems implementation by leading with agendas, keeping material strictly to the point, and leaving apt time for Q&A at the end of the webinar (so that participants can avoid disruptions and stay on mute throughout the training!). One 4 Point client, SAFEbuilt, was rolling out a new HRIS system in 2018. 4 Point Consulting hosted live webinars (which were also recorded) for employees to attend to learn functionality of the system in real time. We also held webinar Q&A sessions on a daily basis to make sure people felt heard and understood in a smaller group setting. It worked wonders and, better yet, people retained what they learned!

In a similar way, mobile training apps take the webinar concept to the mobile level.

Way #7: Mobile Training Apps

What It Is: Mobile apps designed specifically to provide training sessions and materials straight to an employee’s phone.

Why It Works: Millennials are a lot different from previous generations because they were raised on technology and the workforce in general has become more on the go and remote than ever before. Mobile learning allows employees to learn wherever or whenever and it can be delivered in smaller, more manageable-sized chunks.

How You Can Try It: Find an app service that works for your business, often apps will work with other HR software. Have your new hires gain access even before they begin their first day so that all necessary paperwork is completed in advance and energy levels are kept high from the very beginning. For some app recommendations, visit this article from SHRM.

Way #8: Third Party Training

What It Is: Using outside sources, such as vendors, to provide training to your internal employees.

Why It Works: This method is great when a company may not have the resources to efficiently train new hires or when specialized training is required such as OSHA (Occupational Health & Safety) and you do not have qualified team members available to teach. Other options are using vendor training for any software or apps you use. This can also be useful for training that happens to prevent liability to an employer, such as Diversity & Inclusion training, Sexual Harassment training, HIPPA training, or the like.

How You Can Try It: Determine the needs of your business and decide if it will be more efficient and cost-effective to outsource training.

Need help figuring out your training strategy or don’t have enough time to write your new policies out? Training & development is one of our core practice areas! Get in touch to find more about our hourly HR consulting services.

Way #9: Gamification

What It Is: This new buzzword involved turning training into something fun like a game where people are motivated to succeed through incentivizing the process with rewards.

Why It Works: It promotes friendly competition, gives a sense of achievement to participants, and engages and motivates learners to make behavioural changes.

How You Can Try It: Modify your existing training materials to include a gaming element such as changing format to be levels with winning one level being mandatory before reaching the next step. You can also include an awards system to motivate employees to succeed. More suggestions for implementing gamification techniques can be found here.

Doug Kirkpatrick, of Beyond Empowerment: The The Age of the Self-Managed Organization found that with his project, Morningstar, in which he was instructed to create a state of the art manufacturing plant for tomatoes, he was able to organize the team with a simple scorecard. The gaming element created collaboration, harmony and prosperity for the project: Morningstar produced 90 million pounds of tomato paste for the world market, changing the course of the industry.

Way #10: Use Social Media

What It Is: Using Social Media for training can be a great, easy way to share training materials with your employees because it is easily accessible.

Why It Works: It engages employees on platforms they are already familiar with and active on.

How You Can Try It: Try creating YouTube training videos to share with your new hires. You can also create a private Facebook group where employees can exchange information and materials directly with one another. Another great resource is an instant-messaging service, like Slack, that can be used amongst employees for easy collaboration and sharing.

In conclusion…

Investing in training for new employees helps attract AND retain great talent. Taking the time to coach a team member into the role demonstrates your organization’s commitment to their personal development, endearing them to the company in return.

Spending time with employees in training programs can help managers identify strengths and areas of development right off the bat, ensuring that each new hire can add their specific value to your company. Effective training programs improve overall employee engagement and translate into savings: employees with diversified skills can transition to projects, clients and varied workloads throughout the organization.

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How Startups Can Leverage Recent College Graduates

Recent graduates grouped up after graduation

One of the greatest challenges for startups and small businesses can be growing and staffing your company with top talent. If you’re prepared to invest your time, patience, and resources in fresh-out-of-college hires, recent college graduates can be a viable solution to this challenge.

Pros of Hiring Recent Grads:

  • Trainability. A lack of experience in your college graduates isn’t always a negative. These hires are less likely to have habits instilled in them from other employers making them a blank slate and easily coachable on your company’s processes and policies.
  • Fresh ideas. Not only are most college-age hires tech savvy, they can also contribute innovative ideas and often provide insight and knowledge of the freshest technologies and techniques they may have learned in recent school courses. New perspectives on how your industry is changing can sometimes make an enormous impact on your growth goals.
  • Experience-based salaries. If your salary structure is based on experience, hiring a recent graduate with little-to-no experience means onboarding will be less expensive for your company compared to hiring an employee with more experience. Always keep in mind, however, that offering clear opportunities for growth and the potential for salary increases will always boost your talent retention rate.

Cons of Hiring Recent Grads:

  • Increased training efforts. Fresh out of college, most recent grads have limited experience outside of internships. This means that you’ll have to invest more time and energy into creating and executing a comprehensive training program that covers everything from general work policies to specific job requirements.
  • The transition to a full-time position. Since recent grads have likely never had a full-time, 40-hour per week position, there’s a natural transition that needs to take place that could affect the quality of the work they produce — at least at first. As an employer, it’s necessary to take the time to support your new hires as they navigate working a full-time position.
  • Potential for turnover. Younger generations aren’t staying with their companies for as long as their generational elders. According to a recent Gallup report, 21% of millenials have switched jobs in the past year — higher than any other generation.

Attracting and Recruiting Recent Grads

In the digital age, your website, social media, and overall online presence define your brand — not only to your clients but also to potential future employees. As you begin your hiring process, take an audit of your company’s online presence. Make sure your website and social media channels are consistent with the same logos across platforms, consistent messaging, regular social media posting (it’s important just to show that “the lights are on”) and an accessible career page that potential candidates can use to apply for your open positions.

Once your digital presence is established, start networking with the career center at local universities and professional organizations relevant to your industry. Many colleges offer career guidance, networking events, and job fairs that your business can utilize to get in front of soon-to-be college graduates.

Leveraging Your New Talent

With a less money spent on hiring and the introduction of fresh industry perspectives, you can leverage these new hires to hone in your hiring process and refine your company-wide and role-specific trainings. For your startup to scale successfully, your onboarding process needs to be top-notch, and there’s no better way to zone in on an effective training process than receiving the feedback of employees who are new to the workforce. Once your new team is onboarded, your company can begin to scale by bringing on more business now that you have a team of highly-trained recent graduates to take on the extra workload.

If your company is committed to thorough training, constant support, and patience in the process, recent graduates can help you achieve your goals and transform the way your company looks at the hiring process.

Has your company had success in hiring recent college graduates? What pros and cons have you experienced? Let us know in the comments below.

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Finding Talent in a Competitive Market

Two men shaking hands after recruiting top 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

three men going through engaging onboarding

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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Improve Your Diversity Hiring Practices

A diverse man and woman type on their laptops in an office setting.

Diversity hiring has become a hot button issue in local and global corporations, especially among tech giants and Silicon Valley startups. Creating a workforce that includes employees of all backgrounds has been proven to increase the all-around success of a business. In fact, Deloitte reported that highly inclusive organizations generate 1.4 times more revenue and are 180 percent better in their ability to adapt to change.

However, undertaking a diversity hiring initiative to rectify an inclusion problem can be challenging — so challenging that companies like Google and Facebook are still trying to get it right. Unfortunately, stereotyping and snap judgements are so deeply ingrained that we don’t realize it’s an issue. This unconscious bias is what an organization must seek to overcome to truly achieve a diverse workforce.

Access Proactive Recruiting Networks

Before posting for a position, take a look at your proactive hiring practices, such as connections with professional networks, job fairs and even social networks. These essential groups help get the word out when a new job is posted. However, if these networks aren’t inclusive of a different backgrounds, the candidates they yield won’t be either. Consider ways in which an organization can broaden its reach to make connections with new communities. For example, when looking for candidates with MBAs, take a look at the networking opportunities through such organizations as the National Black MBA Association. The same goes for company leaders’ networks. According to the Kapor Center, workplaces in which men are the majority, their personal and professional networks are even more segregated, affecting recruitment, hiring and promotion.

Examine Language and Context

Building a diverse workforce starts with how candidates are approached. There may be things the company is doing to discourage applicants of certain backgrounds, without actually knowing it’s being done. Textio, Inc. found that use of certain phrases like “whatever it takes” or “tackle” in descriptions can discourage female candidates from applying. While Project Include recommends minimizing references to perks that may appeal only to young, male, white applicants in the jobs page, like company retreats in exotic locales or sports outings, and emphasize inclusivity.

Prevent Bias in Candidate Selection

It is important to prevent unconscious biases from impacting who moves forward in the hiring process. While a hiring team may have the best intentions, a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research uncovered biases based on whether or not a name sounds white or African American. To combat any potential for unconscious discrimination, try developing blind hiring practices.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the concept of blind hiring dates back to at least the 1970s, but the strategy of hiding certain candidate information until the late stages of the recruiting process has become more popular in recent years, thanks to new tech tools and an increasing awareness of the importance of building diverse workforces. Another approach is to replace the traditional process of narrowing down top candidates from a large applicant pool with intelligent shortlisting. This type of software will eliminate the tedious task of sifting through resumes and identify top candidates without outside bias.

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Hiring a New Employee: Person-Organizational Fit and Why It’s Important

Hiring a New Employee: Person-Organizational Fit and Why It’s Important

You need to bring on a new team member. You’ve interviewed and met with multiple outstanding candidates; now you need to make the decision: which person should you hire? Wait- before you send over that offer letter, consider that there are two main aspects to consider when determining whether the candidate should or should not be hired: job fit, which is what you most likely have already addressed, and organizational fit, which we will discuss more in this article.

We will discuss:

  • Job Fit
  • Cultural Fit
  • Person-Organization Fit Theory

Job Fit

First and foremost, when you are hiring, the candidate needs to meet the requirements of the role. An individual is considered a good match for a job if his or her background and experience aligns well with the job description and are able to carry out the responsibilities of the role. The concept of Job Fit helps an employer determine how well a potential candidate may be suited for the role.

Does the candidate fit all the requirements and qualifications of the role you are looking to fill? Do they have the experience to carry out the responsibilities of the role? Job fit and cultural fit, which we will talk about next, are assessed throughout the steps in the interview and hiring process. However, the vast majority of traditional questions asked during a phone screen, an interview, and traditional tests/assessments are used to evaluate a candidate’s job fit with the role. These are used to measure knowledge skills and abilities of an individual against the competencies required for the job. This can make hiring and predictability of an employee staying in a role, and being happy and productive there, less predictable than we would like. It also can make candidates blur together- there are a lot of qualified people out there, especially for entry level roles.

Let’s use that as an example for how to explain cultural fit: let’s pretend you have 2 potential hires who are both outstanding but you only have one position to fill. How will you decide which of the two to hire?

Cultural Fit

Here’s when you will want to consider cultural fit. You want to hire the right person for the organization, not only someone who is capable of getting the job done. You need to ask yourself, and the candidate:

  • Does his or her goals align with the company’s mission?
  • Will the individual be happy working within the organization? Why?

Like Job Fit, Cultural Fit is also evaluated throughout the interview and hiring process. For example, when interviewing candidates, you can ask questions that regarding core values and the culture of the organization. To do so, you need to define what your company culture is.

Your company’s culture should reflect the mission, values, and ethics of the organization. Different attributes contribute to a company’s culture, such as communication and employee engagement, leadership and decision making within the organization, and recognition of employee contributions. Matching a person to a job which they are capable of performing is important; however, matching a person to an organization in which he or she is compatible with is just as vital.

Person-Organization Fit Theory

The Person-Organization Fit Theory is the concept that describes the compatibility between people and organizations. This takes into consideration the compatibility between their values and expectations of the employee. Employees tend to be attracted to organizations that share similar values and goals as the individual.  When an employee obtains a position within an organization that meets his or her personal and professional requirements, it will encourage positive results.

For example, let’s take an example of a company hiring for a role that is very team-oriented and involves a lot of collaboration. If the candidate is capable of completing all the responsibilities required of the role, he or she would fall under the category of a good job fit. However, if this person is not fond of work that requires heavy communication and collaboration with other team members, he or she may not be a good culture fit. On the other hand, if the candidate can excel at all the responsibilities of the role and also strives to work with others in a collaborative environment, they would be a good fit for the job and the organization.

How Person-Organization Fit Impacts Productivity

A good person-organization fit can positively impact one’s productivity and performance as well as job personal wellness. One study shows that there is a positive correlation between an employee’s culture fit within the organization and the employee’s longevity at a company. When an individual has higher job satisfaction, they will be more committed and thus, more likely to remain with the organization.

Some other benefits of person-organization fit include:

  • Higher quality of work and increased productivity
  • More efficient collaboration amongst team members
  • Improved employee retention
  • Increased levels of engagement, contribution, and creativity from employees
  • Happy employees make great company ambassadors!

What if you don’t use Person-Organization Fit?

On the other hand, a poor person-organization fit can lead to negative outcomes. Results of hiring an employee that does not fit well with the organization’s culture and values may cause lower job satisfaction and affect one’s mental health. This in turn will lead to lower rates of productivity and a higher turnover rate within the organization.

Some other consequences could include:

  • Increased physical and mental exhaustion and stress
  • Low morale within the team
  • Lack of individual and team motivation
  • Low productivity/ unsatisfactory work
  • Increased costs on hiring and training
  • Employee turnover increase

Conclusion

In the end, it is not a simple task to hire the perfect candidate. Being aware of different factors that contribute to an employee’s commitment to the organization and its values are important when pursuing a potential candidate. Determining whether a candidate is a good fit within the company will require effort that starts even before the interview, but a positive fit can benefit both the employee and the organization in the long run.

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Top 5 HR Trends for 2018

Top 5 HR Trends for 2018

The workplace is rapidly changing, more so now than ever with the continuous inclusion of cutting edge technologies. The past year HR departments all over the country were prioritizing the well-being of their employees in several different realms. Executives, in conjunction with HR departments, began to invest more time in their employees by creating a better workplace environment.  Company culture and employee engagement were huge in 2017. In 2018 we will see a continuation of these priorities (with some tweaks) as well as many others, most of which are technology centered.

Let’s talk about:

  • Move Over Employee Engagement, Employee Experience Is Here
  • Making Friends with AI
  • Microlearning For Employees
  • Gamification
  • The Shift from Wellness to Well-being

Read on for  more about HR in 2018!

1) Move Over Employee Engagement, Employee Experience Is Here

With millennials being such a large part of the workforce and the increased transparency brought about by the inclusion of cutting edge technology, employees are expecting a more engaging and life-affirming work experience. Gone are the days of head down, nose to the grindstone work ethics. Employees today are expecting a lot more from their employers.

Employee Experience” is defined as the sum of the various perceptions employees have about their interactions with the organization in which they work. It is the totality of an employee’s experiences, so it encompasses all of the narrower aspects of how an employee perceives his everyday life at the office, both good and bad.

The employee experience ecosystem combines three core aspects: engagement, culture, and performance management. The main idea behind employee experience is to optimize every touchpoint that an employee comes in contact with, to create a unified experience that feels holistic throughout every stage, both of which involve treating the employee with the same degree of care that you would treat your customers.

2) Making Friends With AI

Employees today want to develop their skill sets and fulfill personal value-based goals; they expect their employers to provide them with the opportunity to do so. The modern-day workforce will forego the highest possible salary to instead worth an organization whose culture matches with their fundamental values. The opportunity to learn and obtain regular feedback are things they crave.

Learning and Development (L&D) programs from employers are more important than ever to establish the new employee’s reality.  Employers are utilizing AI (Artificial Intelligence) to provide personalized programs for each employee that are tailored to their unique needs, career goals and learning styles.

AI is also increasingly being used to streamline HR practices such as recruiting, hiring, and training. AI in HR offers a great opportunity to automate many of the busy, repetitive tasks HR practitioners have to deal with HR professionals can spend that time on the core business of HR: people. Specifically, the recruitment and acquisition of great new people and the retention of current staff members. When it comes to finding those great new people, AI can help recruiters and hiring managers on another level by cutting human bias out of the process as well as predict a candidate’s suitability for the job.

3) Microlearning For Employees

Millennials will make up 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025 and the human attention span is getting smaller on average. Microlearning offers a chance to educate employees by providing learning content in very specific yet small bursts. The reason microlearning is becoming more popular is due to the increased flexibility it gives to the learners. The learners have control over time management while learning because the learning program is organized into a number of short courses. Employees can use this approach to learn a concept specific to a job and utilize their new found knowledge right away.

Microlearning helps employers save on both time and cost, especially on expensive training consultants if you contrast it with other traditional methods of training like day-long seminars. HR professionals leading or administering the more traditional employee trainings can be freed up to turn their attention to more pressing HR work.

4) Gamification

Gamification is the usage of game-thinking and game mechanics in non-game scenarios such as business environment and processes, specifically in recruitment, training and development, and motivation; in order to engage users and solve problems. Today you can see examples of it everywhere: receiving stamps for cups of coffee, gaining new features in running apps, even military training utilizes gaming features.

Gamification has been known to increase productivity by providing employees with independence and choice. Employees responded with higher job satisfaction, job performance, innovation, and workplace satisfaction than those who did not have any choice. Independence and personal preference within gamification can all help promote autonomy within roles. When we accomplish something or reach a goal, our brain releases dopamine, making us feel euphoric while reinforcing the behavior that released that dopamine. Gamification utilizes the chemical reward process in the brain.

Finally, gaining new features or reaching new levels in gamification provides measurable results, reinforcing the idea that the employee is learning and growing. Employee engagement is beneficial to productivity and profitability; the promise of individual growth will ensure that engagement.

5) The Shift from Wellness to Well-being

Well-being expands the view of wellness to cover more than the physical body. It encompassing an employee’s mental and emotional state as well as their productivity and ability to perform at the peak of their capabilities. Well-being initiatives are moving away from being centered primarily around getting in shape and eating healthily, increasingly mental and financial wellness are also earning attention from forward-thinking employers.

Some common ways HR departments and employers are increasing the focus on well-being are providing on-site yoga, fitness, and meditation classes by a certified instructor, providing gym discounts, allow for flexible working hours, promote the use of productivity boosting devices like the Headspace app, incorporating team activities, and financial advising.

In the End

While no one can know for sure what HR trends 2018 will deliver, it is evident that the increased use of technology in HR and the continued implementation of employee experience techniques will be hot topics in 2018.

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Thank You Notes: The Candidate Difference

Thank You Notes: The Candidate Difference

A few weeks ago, a young lady applied for a HR role with an up and coming HR & Consulting firm. There was the initial phone screen with the CEO, the 2nd interview with one of the senior consultants, and the final step was an in-person interview (along with one other potential candidate) with the entire HR team…no pressure. Although a bit worried about the stiff competition, she left the interview feeling pretty good. Within a couple of hours, an offer letter was extended. I graciously accepted.

What ultimately separated me from the other candidate…my upbeat personality, winning smile, great conversation? Absolutely! But, it was the thank you letters I sent after each interview that made a huge difference. How do I know? The CEO told me so.

It’s interesting how we are taught not to sweat the small stuff, but something a small as “…thank you for taking the time to speak with me today…” can ultimately be just the extra push you need to set you apart from the pack. I bet you are saying to yourself, But I was nice, polite, said please and thank you…even shook their hand before I left…that should be enough right? Maybe. But let me give you a few reasons why a simple “thank you” is so important.

First, the job market is super competitive. Yes, I know your resume is all shiny and well-laid out with its streamlined formatting, clean font, and bold headline that highlights your vast knowledge, wealth of experience, superior skills, and super hero ability to save sinking company profits in a single bound. So does hundreds, if not thousands, of other applicants that are vying for that one available spot at the same company. Very few applicants send thank you notes after an interview, let alone a phone screen with the recruiter. Sad, but true. Will it hurt to take a few extra minutes to send a thank you to the hiring manager? Not at all. Could it make your resume and winning personality stand out even more? It could.

Second, it gives you a chance to reiterate how you will be an asset to the company. Yes, I know you stated in the interview how you single-handedly saved your last company from the brink of disaster and financial ruin. Or maybe you forgot to elaborate more on how you were the lead behind the new software integration project that was completed before deadline and under budget. A thank you letter is a great opportunity to briefly restate why you are the best candidate for the job.

Third, and probably the most important, it’s just plain common courtesy. In our modern society of text and direct messages, tweets, and chats, it is easy to forget that everyone’s time is valuable. In a time where sending an emoji through an application confirms restaurant reservations, schedules your doctor appointment, and breaks off a tumultuous relationship without so much as an actual phone call, let alone human interaction, it’s polite and respectable to acknowledge and thank your interviewer for taking the time out of their day to meet with you. Just like you, the hiring manager could be doing other things with their time – like interviewing other candidates (hint, hint). Instead, they are taking the time, effort, and resources to get to know you, schedule time to talk with you, invite you in for an in-person interview…you, you, you. See where I’m going with this?

Writing a thank you note doesn’t require a great deal of time. Ideally, you should send a thank you note the same day as your interview. It may not be a big deal to you, but it could make all the difference between hiring you and the other guy who was invited to the interview. Thank you, 4 Point Consulting.

Swanie Brooks is the HR & Recruiting Intern at 4 Point Consulting.

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Why You Should Embrace Technology in the Hiring Process

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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Recruiting Tools to Help with Your Hiring Efforts

Recruiting Tools to Help with Your Hiring Efforts

For small businesses, recruiting top talent can be a challenging endeavor, especially when competing against bigger companies that have more resources and money to throw into the ring. With that said, never count yourself – the underdog – out! Thanks to a wealth of recruiting tools available today, small businesses can remain competitive and put up quite the fight when attempting to hire and recruit the best possible employees.

The wonderful world wide web has democratized the recruitment process, making recruiting tools that were once hidden weapons of the most renowned agencies available to the masses. Best of all, many of these are free or low cost options that can improve your recruiting process ten-fold! With the right, reliable recruiting tools, your end-to-end hiring process will be bolstered and your outcome will be finding quality hires much quicker and cheaper. Consider adding the following recruiting tools to your repertoire, broken down by key stages in the recruiting process:

SOURCING

As the best recruiters can attest to, proactively searching for candidates to fill open or upcoming positions can yield some of the best new hires. But sourcing qualified job candidates can be like diving head first into the ocean rather than gently wading in. To get the most out of sourcing, you need a way to navigate all of the candidate fishes in the hiring sea, and collect relevant data and information about them that you can turn around in your recruiting efforts to ultimately fill positions.

RECRUITING TOOLS:

Networkmonkey utilizes a systematic approach to find qualified candidates, both active and inactive, who may ultimately be interested in or match the requirements of a position you’re looking to fill. By monitoring social media activity according to criteria and filters you establish, Networkmonkey employs predictive analytics to determine if a candidate is currently looking for a new job and then collects their contact details so you can begin recruiting them.

By using Meetup, recruiters can come into contact with a wealth of professionals in a specific industry. This curated pool of talent is a great jumping off point when starting to source qualified candidates. Through Meetup, you can then contact candidates that catch your eye or sign up and attend events where a group of these candidates are planning to gather in order to get in some quality, in-person recruiting.

ONLINE JOB POSTING AND BOARDS

The name of the game these days when it comes to posting jobs and reeling in applicants is online jobs boards and social media. Sites like Indeed and Glassdoor are great, highly visited job boards that you’d be foolish not to consider utilizing for job ads and postings. If you’re looking for a new, hipper approach, Facebook Marketplace is a burgeoning platform for job postings and recruiting. Meanwhile, recruiting potential candidates and prospects on more professional social media platforms like LinkedIn is a must for the serious recruiter. Still, with all of these social media and online platforms at your disposal, there are recruiting tools out there that can help you optimize their potential for maximum effect.

RECRUITING TOOLS:

If you know you should be recruiting on social – and you should – but aren’t sure where to start, HireRabbit is here to hop to your rescue. It enables you to combine your mobile career sites and social media pages into one unit, leading to a greater online connection that makes it easier for potential candidates to find you and apply to jobs you’re looking to fill.

If you’re more inclined to use Facebook, but miss the built-in recruiting tools that a LinkedIn provides, BranchOut is the merger you’ve been waiting for. This system overlays employer information on top of a user’s Facebook interface, allowing recruiters to search for candidates by job title or company. Based on the criteria you set up, BranchOut will offer up candidates that are a match and show you your shared connections with them. It basically turns Facebook into LinkedIn, but with the potential to search through all of Facebook’s 800 million active users – a number that LinkedIn can’t even scratch.

HIRING AUTOMATION SYSTEMS

Hiring automation systems and other HR software are technological wonders for recruiters and companies who are actively recruiting. These recruiting tools are state-of-the-art, and can greatly help recruiters refine their process and assist them with everything from communication, speed, data and analytics, background checks, document signing, applicant experience, onboarding and more! And yes, while a comprehensive, all-in-one setup like a hiring automation system might be off-putting for small businesses on the basis of cost, there are quite affordable options out there that will be a boon for small business recruiting efforts without breaking your bank.

RECRUITING TOOLS:

ApplicantPro is an applicant tracking system that creates a custom careers page for your business. Their hiring software is designed with one specific goal in mind: to help you hire smarter, better candidates. If you’re looking for a dedicated hiring software and applicant tracking system that embodies customer service and helps you get your recruitment tracking up and running in no time, ApplicantPro is worth considering. Also, check out this comparison guide of similar applicant tracking systems to see how ApplicantPro stacks up to the competition.

BambooHR offers a complete, comprehensive human resource information solution. This hiring software and automation platform focuses on everything employees – from performance management to recruiting to onboarding new employees. They also integrate with many payroll providers, making it an easy add-on for small businesses ready to take their HR efforts to the next level.

VIDEO INTERVIEWS

Video interviews are the way of the future. When it comes to hiring workers that will be freelancing or working remotely, there’s no better way to conduct an interview than over video. It’s the best way to stage a virtual face to face meeting with candidates that may not be in your backyard and available to come for in-person interviews. Plus, because it’s all automated, you can even set up a video interview process where you record yourself asking questions and then have candidates film their responses – saving you valuable time in the recruiting process.

RECRUITING TOOLS:

SparkHire is an innovative platform that specializes in video interviewing. It allows you to create an archive or template of interview questions so you don’t have to actively interview each candidate yourself, while candidates have the freedom to answer questions at their convenience. If you want a more hands-on video interview experience, you can engage in completely interactive interviews remotely from anywhere. Finally, every video conducted over SparkHire is recorded, so you can revisit any candidates’ answers at any time.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS & TEMPLATES

To help prepare yourself for video interviews, or to come up with a bank of questions you can record yourself asking for an interview template, there are tons of resources at your disposal. If you want to take a more behavioral approach with your video interviews, check out this guide on conducting behavioral interviews with a free interviewing template. Want a breakdown of how to properly conduct an effective interview? Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to walk you through it. Finally, if you need some inspiration on just what exactly to ask your candidates during a video interview, here’s a collection of 120 great interview questions to get you started.

With these amazing, intuitive and inexpensive recruiting tools at your disposal, your hiring efforts are about to bear witness to a major overhaul. Remember, we’re also a recruiting tool you can turn to in your time of need! We are here to help at any stage of your recruiting process and can offer a free recruitment consultation to assess your particular situation. Schedule a consult with us today!