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Via IT World : 5 tips for speeding up the hiring process

If you’re losing out on top tech candidates, you might want to speed up your hiring process. Here’s how to ensure you remain competitive without compromising the quality of your hiring experience.

Tech skills are in high demand — and tech candidates with the hottest skills can land multiple job offers at once. If you’re looking to fill a tech skills gap at your business, you need to make sure you work fast to extend a final offer before someone else does. But you don’t have to “compromise quality” to speed up your hiring process, says Tom Gimbel, founder and CEO of LaSalle Network.

“Companies that care about culture may still conduct various rounds of interviews to determine culture fit. However, given we’re in a tight labor market, hiring managers understand they need to move fast to get top talent,” he says.

Here are five tips to help speed up your hiring process, so you won’t risk losing out on the top candidates in your market.

Keep in contact

Ensure that every candidate has a clear understanding of the interview process and expected timeline. Make sure to reach out early if there’s software they need to download for a video chat, if they need to submit a portfolio or if you need references. And always check in with candidates when the process or timeline changes, says Gimbel.

If a candidate can’t get into the office or if last minute travel plans interfere with a scheduled interview, avoid pushing it out to a later date. Make use of video chat services, like Skype or FaceTime — you can always plan to schedule a follow-up interview if it goes well.

Streamline your technology

If your business relies on multiple HR platforms or apps to manage candidates, consider consolidating logins and eliminating redundant apps or software. The more administrative redundancies or roadblocks that you can eliminate, the better.

Even something as simple as “logging in and out of systems” can slow things down, says Rosemary Haefner, CHRO of CareerBuilder. But it’s an easy fix if you can invest in a platform that “enables one login for multiple functions.”

Take time to research the latest HR tools and software to make sure you’re using the best choice for your business. New products and services are constantly released, so every few years you might find something that can replace multiple apps or services that were adopted in the past.

Simplify the application process

Today, candidates use mobile devices to find and apply for jobs, which means they expect a mobile-friendly experience. If your application process is confusing or tedious, you risk turning off potential applicants.

“Unclear application instructions, a career site that isn’t mobile-optimized or having to re-enter information from an uploaded resume are all contributors to a bad online candidate experience — a common problem that can cost a company more than just a few application submissions,” says Haefner.

Technology makes it easy to build an easier online applicant portal. You can even rely on services like LinkedIn or other job boards, which let applicants apply with just one click.

Make hiring a priority

Not every company has dedicated recruitment staff, but if a hiring manager is “juggling multiple priorities, deliverables and deadlines while interviewing for open positions,” it can stall the process, says Gimbel.

If you’re trying to hire candidates with competitive skills, you’ll need to shift workloads around to make hiring a top priority. Whether you outsource hiring to a third-party recruiter or lighten the workload of hiring managers, it’s one step that can help get candidates in the door as soon as possible.

Make use of references

Checking a candidate’s references is typically the last step in the hiring process — but it doesn’t have to be. Try reaching out to references earlier in the interview stage. It will give you a good idea of a candidate’s fit before investing too much time.

“References should be a crucial part of the hiring process, not a box to check off. When you like a candidate, start talking to references right away. References will either validate your opinion or tell you to walk away,” says Gimbel.

Even taking one or two steps to speed up your hiring process can make a difference in how quickly you can extend a final offer. You don’t have to rush vetting candidates, but if you can shorten the timeline, you stand a better chance of landing your top choices.

Via Vulcan Post : The Five Types Of Bosses You Will Have To Deal With As An Intern In S’pore

Internship opportunities are a great way for students or undergraduates to gain some insights into the professional world as they explore their career paths, obtain valuable work experience, and build their network.

It is always exciting to work in an organisation for the first time, collaborate in teams to solve problems, and of course, interact with your first manager.

If you’ve held part-time jobs while at school – chances are that interacting with your colleagues in an office setting is going to be a completely different and new experience.

Sure, you may initially be assigned to do mundane tasks such as filing or making photocopies, but in order to succeed in your internship and make the most of it, interaction with your leader is important.

It is essential to let those responsible for your internship programme know that you are interested in more responsibilities, and work directly with individuals that you can learn from.

Here are five types of leaders you may potentially encounter as an intern, as well some tips on how you can work better with each style of leadership.

The Friend

As a newcomer in the office, it’s always nice to have a person you can talk to and it’s a bonus if this person is also the manager who oversees your internship performance.

The Friend is someone who is trustworthy and someone you will feel comfortable with. This leader likes to get to know you beyond just as a colleague and is most probably everyone’s favourite “go-to” person in the office. Most importantly, you will realise that The Friend has a natural ability to skilfully manage relationships up, down and sideways.

He or she values relationship and tends to view colleagues as family members. A positive working environment that emphasises relationship building is a priority on this leader’s list.

Tip: Be willing to share more about yourself with The Friend. If you need help at work, do not hesitate to approach this leader as he or she is more than willing to assist and guide you along the way.

The Parent

Similar to The Friend, The Parent is the leader you can trust and go to with your problems in the office.

You know that he or she is able to help you with your problems at work and ensure you get the most out of your internship. Your growth as an intern matters to The Parent and they will be all about nurturing, helping you develop and improving your skills over time.

Being The Parent also means that this leader places a certain emphasis on hierarchy in the office, and he or she tends to value existing structure within the organisation.

Tip: Be curious and express your willingness to learn and do more. The Parent will appreciate your adaptive attitude and you will walk away with a more enhanced internship experience.

The Principal

This Principal is a leader that often focuses on the big picture – both in terms of the organisation and your individual career. This individual has clear goals in mind and knows exactly what he or she wants from his or her team.

In other words, this leader knows just what he or she wants from you. The Principal is motivational and is great at pushing the team to achieve end goals. He or she is a respected figure in the office and is less approachable compared to the other types of leaders you may come across.

The Principal is also able to effortlessly assess situations at work and prioritise agendas, as well as set the pace for the team.

Tip: Do not be afraid to approach The Principal if you need help. You will be surprised by how agreeable he or she is to provide assistance and guidance. When communicating with The Principal, share less about the specifics, but more about steps in achieving the ultimate goal. When in doubt, do not be afraid to ask.

The Problem Solver

This is the leader everyone turns to for help to sort out challenges.

As he or she makes decisions, The Problem Solver is able to easily see the connectivity between cause and effect and to make cogent plans and build step-by- step approaches. Mostly importantly, this leader knows when to be flexible about yielding to better processes and best practices. He or she adapts to new ideas to incorporate into progressive solutions, and is always on the lookout for opportunities, even within problems.

The Problem Solver is someone you can seek for resolutions of issues, but he or she is probably less likely to be the person to approach if you are considering converting your internship into a full-time job, as his or her priority is more about results and not necessarily your growth.

Tip: Come with ideas or inspirations to share or ponder with the Problem Solver as this person is likely to give good feedback and encourage you to think outside the box. This leader also loves to be challenged so be prepared for some intensive brainstorming sessions.

The Influencer

The Influencer is probably one of the most persuasive individuals in the office.

He or she seems to have a knack to move others towards accepting new ideas by using reason and emotions. You will notice this leader is usually the taskmaster within the team and places importance on structural hierarchy, as well as how power and influence is distributed in the workplace.

The Influencer is also harmonious and rounded in demeanour with others, yet he or she is not afraid to stand up for causes he or she believes in and insists on performance metrics as attributes.

Tip: To succeed under this leader, be sure to listen intently to understand his or her instructions and to articulate or communicate that you are doing so. Once you win the heart of The Influencer, you can be sure to benefit from a smoother relationship with this leader.

Know Your Leaders To Learn From Them

With so many different leadership styles in an organisation, it will take some time for a new person to get to know everyone’s work styles predispositions. Some leaders may even display multiple characteristics from each of the personas identified above.

As an intern, know your leaders and learn how you can work best with them. You never know who will be the first to offer you that full-time job you are aspiring towards.

Final tip: For leaders who are considering putting together a college internship program, reflect on the following recommendations:

  • Use the same criteria / practices to select college interns as you would for the rest of your employees. Treat them as full-time equals to build the trust quickly.
  • Once selected, on-board them in the same way as all of your staff. An enlightened experience sets the stage in gaining the loyalty of these new people.
  • On the first day, on-boarding should include sessions with the senior leadership team so that the interns know the importance of the contribution of any associate.
  • Include icebreaker activities to facilitate getting to know each other. An organisation where people know each other will be a more engaged workforce.
  • Incorporate culture and social responsibility into the college internship experience. Emphasise to them the importance of your organisation’s purpose, vision, mission.
  • Make sure that the interns are treated as peers and are paid for the time they put into your company to improve their sense of value.

Via Business Matters : Tips from the Pros: How to Boost Employee Engagement

We asked Vasco de Castro, Business Development Director at Fruitful Office, for his tips to increase employee engagement. Here’s what he said…

Employee engagement is one of those nebulous topics that can be difficult, as a business leader, to truly get your head around. For one, employee engagement is not the same as employee happiness. An employee could be happy at work because they are being paid over the odds for doing very little work. That is not an engaged employee. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Employee engagement is the emotional attachment they feel towards their place of work, their colleagues, their position in the company and the company’s culture. This positive emotional attachment has a knock-on effect on productivity and well-being, which can help to bring overall business success. That is why many employers view an engaged workforce as a competitive advantage.

While a competitive advantage can, in some respects, be relatively easily achieved, i.e. by investing in the latest machinery or technology, increasing employee engagement is much more difficult. Employers often use any number of measures and initiatives to boost employee engagement, often without much success.

Putting theory into practice

Survey after survey has found employee engagement is not something British businesses do particularly well, so we spoke to someone who has achieved high levels of employee engagement over the last ten years. Vasco de Castro is the co-founder and Business Development Director at office fruit provider Fruitful Office, a company that delivers fresh office fruit to over 5,000 companies every week in five different countries. These are his three top tips for boosting employee engagement…

1. Hire the right staff in the first place

When a business is growing rapidly you can find yourself recruiting for new positions every couple of weeks. During this time, the temptation can be to cut corners and just get people on board to fulfil the orders. However, it’s these early hires that can go on to dictate the culture of the company, so it’s extremely important to be careful about who you pick.

As de Castro says: “Surrounding yourself with the right people and ensuring they share your passion and vision is key”. Rather than cherry picking the very best candidates, some businesses ‘panic buy’ new employees, only for this short-termism to come back to haunt them.

2. Empower your team

Employees who are able to see how their efforts directly impact the success of the business will feel more empowered to work hard, come up with new ideas and keep the business moving forward. To do this, employees need to be given the tools to really make a difference.

At Fruitful Office: “The company’s culture is very entrepreneurial, which means that people are empowered to make suggestions and take action. Making a difference is incredibly motivating and rewarding”.

3. Give employees ownership

Employees respond well when they are given ‘ownership’ of a project. In fact, research has found that the feeling of ownership, i.e. being solely responsible for a process or task, is actually more of a motivating factor than having a share option in the company.

Psychological ownership is defined as the extent an employee feels their organisation is theirs and that it forms an important part of their self-identity. As de Castro explains: “Feeling a sense of ownership must be present right throughout the business – from packers to senior management”. The most effective way to increase this sense of ownership is to trust employees and give them more responsibility.

Via CIPD : Five ways to avoid appraisal pitfalls

With the annual review season upon us, Jonathan Maude provides tips for HR professionals on getting performance conversations right

1 Be honest

One of the most common things HR practitioners get wrong with appraisals is to gloss over inadequacies and avoid confrontation. Far from being harmless, being ‘soft’ and unwilling to address an employee’s poor performance can have a ruinous effect on the standards expected and the morale of co-workers, and in certain circumstances expose the company to claims of discrimination and unfair dismissal should the employee need to be dismissed at a later date.

In this uncertain world, with the spectre of Brexit looming, a company may decide it needs to downsize. If redundancies become needed, the appraisal is a first reference document to be considered when looking at which staff will stay and which may go.

2 Adopt the right tone

If the message is delivered in the right way – for example, in a more encouraging tone – then the messaging itself can be constructive and positive. It is more likely to be appreciated and taken on board by the employee. Equally, if there is a well-understood appraisal system and the culture is to provide honest and detailed feedback, this becomes the norm, and any confrontation should be avoided.

3 Train appraisers

Training needs to be given to the person undertaking the appraisal and the employee should be told what to expect from the process. So often a manager, who may be very good at their job, is put in charge of people and not given the right tools for the role. They need to be trained in how to deal with appraisals and how to deliver honest and constructive feedback to the employee.

Part of the training needs to focus on why this is an important task, not one to just tick off the list. For example, if it were to become necessary for a company to make group redundancies, then it will need to undertake a selection process of the affected employees to avoid unfairness in dismissals. The selection process may also give the company a defence to claims of discrimination, as it may be able to show objective justifications for decisions it has taken.

4 Get the data right

To follow a fair redundancy process in a ‘pooling situation’ employees need to be sifted. Various factors will need to be considered when ‘scoring’ employees, and performance is likely to be one. If appraisals have not been conducted properly there is no raw data to use in this process. The company will then end up making more subjective decisions, which will be subject to legal challenge by way of unfair dismissal or, in the worst-case scenario, discrimination claims.

5 Be objective

Aside from the legal issues, there is the fundamental business problem that subjective, ‘on the hoof’ decisions put the company at risk of letting good staff go and retaining the non-performers. This is bad for the company and its morale going forward.

Performance reviews, whether annual or more regular, need not be feared and loathed in equal measure. If the groundwork is done well and in a systematic way then both employer and employee know what to expect and both benefit.

Via Real Business : Does your employee onboarding go with a bang, or fizzle out like a damp squib?

It’s understandable that businesses want to get new talent onboard quickly, but beware you don’t immediately dampen the enthusiasm of your new hires under a deluge of paperwork.

Taking on new hires should add a spark to your business during the employee onboarding process, rather than it feeling like it’s burning out like disappointing roman candle. For Bonfire Night, we light up a box of fireworks to focus on the different kinds of onboarding experience that businesses offer onboardees when starting a new role..

The Rocket – getting talent onboard quickly

Rockets rush up into the sky, in an explosion of noise, to create dazzling and sometimes overwhelming displays.

It’s understandable that businesses want to get new talent onboard quickly, but beware you don’t immediately dampen the enthusiasm of your new hires under a deluge of paperwork.

Sending out a huge bundle of contracts, offer letters and supporting documents can be overwhelming for candidates, and can mean that you spend time chasing their return.

Make use of templates for things like offer details and contracts to ensure details are accurate and up to date.

Think about which documents are necessary and relevant to your onboardee, and which topics are better covered when they start working for you.

Using digital technology such as webonboarding makes it easier for candidates to complete, sign and return documents so that you can get them onboard without delays.

Catherine Wheel – whirling around to ensure the correct people are involved

Does hiring a new starter send you off in a flurry, firing off sparks in a whirl of chaos?

If getting someone new into your business means HR, Managers, IT, security, finances and contract departments running around in a state of confusion, then onboarding planning and organisation can help stop things spiralling out of control.

Having a central resource for information, and a well thought through onboarding process helps to save time and eliminate mistakes during employee onboarding. Using online software such as webonboarding can ensure everyone knows what’s happening and understands their role in welcoming a new employee to the business.

The Blaster – onboarding starts from the moment the role has been offered

Shooting off with a screech, all goes silent with this firework until it explodes with a boom and crackle of sparks.

Does your onboarding process start off with great intentions and then go quiet? Do onboardees drop out before they start work, causing the whole process to come to a crashing halt?

Sometimes it can take several weeks, or even months, between making an offer and new starters turning up ready to work. If they don’t hear from your organisation, onboardees may get cold feet, or be tempted away by another offer.

Onboarding should start from the moment the role has been offered. Engage with your onboardees early and keep in touch throughout their notice period. Make them feel like they are already part of your business and give them an idea of what to expect when they start work for you.

The Sparkler – keep the sparkle alive in the onboarding process

This all-round firework favourite dazzles and delights.

Remember, remember offering onboardees a sparkling start to a new job means your organisation should make an effort to impress them as much as they impress you. By demonstrating how your business values its employees from the moment you make an offer you can start to make them feel part of the team.

First impressions can have a big impact, and staff who are unhappy in their new role will quickly decide to move on. Those who have had an effective onboarding process and who feel part of your organisation are likely to stay longer.

Overall, communication is key and can help new starters to begin adding their own sparkle to your business success story.