Blog

You’ve just aced an interview for a role you really want. What next? In the period between shaking the hand of your interviewer goodbye and the company’s next step in the hiring process, you can send a thank-you note. Before you think that it’s pushy or old-fashioned to do so, let’s talk about why it could be the move that lands you your dream job.

Show Your Interest

Many people apply to multiple jobs that they are not 100 per cent interested in, just to cast the widest net and see what offers they can reel in. Interviewers know this too. In order to make sure your name is still at the top of the list of candidates, tell them you are actually interested! Hiring managers will appreciate that you are serious about the role. The earlier you send a thank-you note, the better. Ideally, you should leave the note in their inbox within 24 hours of your interview.

Stand Out of the Crowd

You may be one of the hundreds of candidates that have applied or interviewed for the job. Remind the company of who you are with a follow-up note. It adds the personal touch and reminds interviewers that you are a human being, not just a name on a list. A handwritten note will make you stand out, but email is more efficient — you can determine the best format based on company culture. A tech company will expect online communications, but an old-fashioned office may be more inclined towards paper and pen.

It’s Classy to Be Polite

Displaying etiquette will let your interviewer know that you know how to behave in a professional setting. Soft skills are harder to view on a resume, but easy to demonstrate in real life. Politeness is an underrated quality that people always appreciate. People want to work with pleasant employees. Even if you don’t get the job, you’ll create a connection. When the next job opening comes along, the hiring manager may remember you and reach out if you are a good fit.

Note that the hiring process at many companies has become so automated that you may never get the contact information of your interviewer. In order to get around this problem, you can consider going to the office and leaving a note with the receptionist to deliver or looking up the email address of the hiring department on the company website. Carefully gauge what is appropriate and don’t breach anyone’s privacy.

How to Write a Thank-You Note

  • Start off with a simple greeting and make sure you spell the interviewer’s name correctly!
  • Thank them for the interview and show them that you appreciate their time.
  • Remind them what you talked about and which role you are in consideration for.
  • Restate why you would be a great candidate and highlight the relevant parts of your resume.
  • Sign off with another thank you and leave your contact information beneath your name.

Rose Ho | Junior Writer

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Blog

Earlier this year, Chris Hughes, a Victoria man, was awarded payment from Transport Canada after the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled in his favor, demanding Transport Canada to compensate him with the salary and benefits he would have earned as an intelligence analyst— the job he applied for 13 years ago.

After admitting he had a mental illness during the job interview, Hughes’ candidature was rejected by Transport Canada. The company then blacklisted him and sent emails to federal government departments that tainted Hughes’ image, resulting in him becoming unable to find a job in his field.

Hughes’ case is a great example of hiring discrimination based on implicit bias toward mental illness. It’s possible for anyone to have implicit biases about something or a group of people. Unfortunately, whether we’re aware of our attitude or not, rejecting an aspiring worker based on beliefs and stereotypes not only hurts them, but also hinders the employer’s potential of finding the right candidate.

Chris Hughes’ case is also a human rights violation. Employers are required by law to give equal treatment without discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, age, disability, citizenship, and more. They must also give equal opportunities to women, Native American peoples, people with disabilities, and visible minorities. On top of that, employers must accommodate workers in a way that reduces or prevents discrimination in the workplace (including job duties). But workplace discrimination is highly common, and some of the most prevalent forms include racial bias, ageism, and mental health stigmatization.

Some may be rejected because of their non-western name alone. Resume whitening is a term referring to workers adopting anglicized names (or shortening their names) on their resume to seem more attractive to employers. Philip Oreopoulos, economist and researcher at the University of Toronto, conducted research in 2015 in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal about resume whitening. Resumes were submitted online across several disciplines with applicants’ real names, and other copies were sent with a mere name change. With all three cities combined, the study concluded that resumes with western names were 35% more likely to receive a call back than resumes with Indian or Chinese names.

The same study asked recruiters why they believed employers discriminate against applicants with non-western names, and they stated it was because employers worry that such applicants lack proper social skills and language fluency.

But just because someone’s native tongue isn’t English, doesn’t mean their language skills aren’t strong. Having workers from different ethnic backgrounds may bring in new customers or solidify relationships with existing ones if they see that there’s someone who looks like them; customers will feel more comfortable speaking with that worker, maybe even talk in their native tongue. Cultural diversity also brings in different perspectives, which creates innovation.

Older workers may be afraid that their age will be a barrier to employment. While employers might think that older workers aren’t up to speed with technology, the use of any tech device can be taught. Older workers are more likely to stay at the company for several years and remain loyal, unlike younger workers, who are usually more interested in moving up the corporate ladder, which means changing companies when a more attractive opportunity arises. Senior workers may have a larger and stronger network of professionals to tap into than their younger peers as well. On top of that, having several generations working together allows young workers to learn from older ones and vice versa.

According to CAMH, 39% of Ontario workers indicated that if they were facing a mental health problem, they wouldn’t tell their managers. Aspiring workers with mental illness fear confessing their issue will blemish their professional image. However, many people at work secretly have mental health problems they either hide from their employer or developed while working there.

It’s understandable why someone will want to hide their mental illness— employers could fear late starts, sudden absences, or erratic behaviour. But there are ways to lessen such behaviours. The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) released a report in 2018 that included solutions to hiring and retaining aspiring workers such as allowing flexible hours, extending lunch (for better rest), and discretionary use of sick days.

Again, sometimes biases are unconscious, but that’s no excuse for treating someone unfairly. Educate yourself and your employees on discriminatory workplace practices. There are several ways to prevent unfair hiring:

  • Include a thorough discrimination module as part of employee training in every department, followed by open conversations amongst coworkers.
  • Use software to screen applicants or mask the names of all applicants while reviewing resumes.
  • Implement bias interrupters: small adjustments to your hiring criteria, performance evaluations, worker compensation, and other systems that prevent or reduce discriminatory guidelines.
  • Design the work environment with people with disabilities and mental health challenges in mind.
  • Have an open heart and lead by example.

It’s important not only to educate yourself on hiring discrimination, but to continuously seek learning opportunities that will help you dismantle what you think you know about a particular group of people so that you can better your cultural knowledge and overall wisdom.

Joséphine Mwanvua | Contributing Writer

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Blog

Recruiting metrics are used to gather and analyze information to improve a business’ hiring process. Recruiters and stakeholders must remain aware of evolving trends to successfully manage turnover.


Sourcing Quality Hires


Recruiting managers are deployed to proactively leverage the sourcing channels used to hire quality recruits. Some of the most common sourcing channels include referrals, recruitment agencies, resume search, social media shares, notifications, career sites, and other job boards. To ensure recruiter efficiency, metrics and activities reported in a timely manner can identify potential problems and opportunities for improvement.


Pipeline Development


A key business goal is to develop a pipeline of quality candidates, which hiring managers can call upon when positions have to be filled. This facilitates easy tracking and monitoring of leads, while also managing traditional metrics, such as the Interview-to-Offer Ratio (the number of interviews to the number of offers extended) and Offer-to-Acceptance Ratio (the number of actual hires versus the hiring goal).


New Growth Attrition Rates


In some cases, more time is spent on replacing employees instead of growing the team. Some businesses experience higher turnover rates in particular industries, which can result in high vacancy rates. Lower turnover is a main indicator of the effectiveness of the recruitment process. It demonstrates that real value is being contributed to the growth and success of the business.


Performance Dashboards


To benchmark performance success, dashboards create a snapshot of key performance indicators for further examination and analysis. For instance, the amount of revenue generated is a clear indication of whether a growing organization should hire. They also act as a tool to measure productivity.


Candidate Satisfaction


Satisfaction ratings can provide essential feedback from new hires and employees who are seeking opportunities for internal mobility. From the candidate’s perspective, feedback from the interview process through post-recruitment surveys can influence the company’s recruitment strategy. The surveys can identify gaps in the recruitment process and provide critical information for the improvement of recruitment campaigns.


In the information age, many businesses have implemented software tools, such as the Human Resource Information Systems, which aid in facilitating easy review of pertinent human resources functions. Most importantly, this system software encompasses metrics for monitoring and tracking recruiting data. Success factors can be achieved when a business efficiently and effectively understands the benefits derived from making investments in the Human Resource Information System.


L. Chadee | Contributing Writer

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Blog

Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, and these errors can have a large effect on a company’s procedures, revenue and goals. When these errors impact the staffing process, the repercussions can be much more dire. Hiring the wrong individual can adversely affect the organization’s work environment by sabotaging project deadlines, customer satisfaction and overall profits. To avoid encountering these problems, below are some of the do’s and don’ts of hiring.


Don’t be too specific
It’s good to create clear requirements and qualifications for the position, but don’t limit your options by being too selective. Great candidates may avoid applying because they don’t meet all of the requirements or they will be overlooked by the HR manager for the same reason. It’s important that it’s clear what the company is looking for from the beginning and that the requirements reflect what is needed rather than the absolute ideal. Keep an open mind to candidates that may not be a perfect fit but still looks able to perform the job to or above expectations.


Create a plan
Design a recruitment strategy, and set up dates for each part of the process, while ensuring that you meet deadlines. It’s imperative to set a realistic time-line because finding the right individual can take at least a month. Make sure all assessments or technical evaluations are appropriate for the particular job. If you are unsure, involve knowledgeable people in the process and ask them to attend interviews or set up processes with you.


Don’t hire just to fill the position
Sometimes managers don’t realize the amount of work and time it takes to hire a new employee and end up rushing the staffing department. Due to this pressure, hiring managers are often forced to hire the first person they think is qualified for the job. This leads to HR overlooking faults and inexperience that might otherwise have disqualified a candidate. If the hire turns out poorly, valuable time and money will have been wasted on training and important work will be delayed. Staffing managers need to be clear with their superiors regarding the time they need it to fill the position properly.


Prepare thoroughly for interviews
First, limit interviews to only the people you feel are completely qualified for the position. Research and plan your questions ahead of time, and only ask questions that are relevant with the position or the company. Try to avoid subjective questions outside of personality testing. If it’s clear that the person has the ability to do the job, it’s important to get to know the person’s attitude, work ethic and interpersonal skills. After all, this is someone everyone has to work with henceforth.


Don’t hire anyone by recommendation
There will always be someone who asks for this type of favour or will recommend someone they know for the company. Never hire people solely based on someone’s recommendation, every individual should meet all the qualifications and go through the hiring process.


Do reference checks
Always ask for two or more professional references, even if they seem perfect after meeting with them. Some people excel on interviews, they know how to showcase their skills and experience and will leave an excellent impression by selling themselves well. References will let the hiring manager know and confirm whether the candidates experience matches their sales pitch.


Hiring the right individual from the beginning, will save any company money and time. Follow these tips and you can not only make hiring more effective but less stressful as well.


Viviana | Contributing Writer

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Blog

Beyond having the right product and service, another vital aspect every organization should look into is “Finding the Right Fit”. Hiring someone whose character the business must have in order to succeed. Failure to do so will cost your company time, dollars, and effort. However, given proper tools, training and direction your new recruit will  become your premium capital investment. So, don’t take recruitment for granted, remember, your employees are your most valuable asset. Now, the challenge is how to hire right, the first time. Although the world has become extremely technologically-driven, it still needs Human Resources to be successful.


Let me share a three-part checklist that will surely yield better results in getting the perfect match…


Establish the need to hire.
A proactive and strategic human resources always refer to the plantilla to ensure that the company has the right quantity and quality of people  able  to keep the business running. In cases of manpower requisition, HR in collaboration with the Hiring Manager must be able to answer the two (2) key questions before initiating  recruitment:

  1. Is the vacancy created due to internal movement such as resignation,  maternity/paternity leave, demotion or de-hiring?
  2. If none of the foregoing was the reason, is it an additional headcount due to business expansion?


Remember, hiring is an overhead expense. Thus, ROI shall always be taken into consideration. Also, it is a must to review your existing workforce, you might have a potentially qualified internal candidate who has the eligibility or whose promotion is long overdue. Review employee profile/records or announce/advertise vacancies via intranet or bulletin boards. You can also check if there is an underutilized personnel that can occupy/fill up open position.  If and only if you have fully exhausted your internal resources that you should proceed on searching for external candidate.


The bottom line here is this: Hiring Manager with the assistance of HR may opt promote or distribute duties within the department/organization. It saves the company time and money at the same time increase motivation of employees.


Conduct Job Analysis.
Envisioning what you want or defining labour needs in clearer  terms. This tool is not only used in recruitment, it could also be a realistic basis for   training, wage and salary administration, job re-engineering, health and safety.


The output of job analysis is job description (JD). A well-crafted JD shall be the foundation in designing a competency-based recruitment strategy. It clearly defines major scope and responsibilities of the job as well as relationship with other jobs/departments. It also emphasizes working conditions and hazards, most especially for high-risk profession. A ideal JD is always up to date, with specific title and detailed duties. It has the reporting structure, challenges and opportunities, qualification, knowledge, education and personal characteristics.


From JD, HR can develop job specifications, this is statement of minimum acceptable qualities of a position. The success measure is always the value of the person hired to execute the tasks.


Map out your Recruitment Platform.
The goal is to have a systematic hiring process that will aid HR and Hiring Managers in attracting the best candidates for the job. The bottom line is: the more qualified candidates you have, the more likely you are to locate the most suitable person to fill the job. Utilizing the details in the JD, HR together with Hiring Manager and approval of top management,  create job specifications, salary range and timeline. To increase employee morale, it is necessary to advertise the position internally prior to exploring other sources.  Internal placement is a great way of motivating employees to perform at their fullest potential. If no one will be selected from within the organization, reasons must be clearly explained and communicated or it might lead to grievance. If lack of skills is the cause, HR may recommend training so that person will be prepared should the same position arise again. One of the advantages of internal placement is culture fit, which is the number one consideration in hiring. A candidate can be fully qualified based on KSA but the risk is how the person can mesh well with the culture. When an internal candidate is offered the new position, transition timeline with the current supervisor should be planned.


HR can now proceed to external sourcing when no one qualifies. The commonly employed sources are social media (LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook), on-line job sites, newspaper ads, job fairs, and campus recruitment (colleges/universities). Conducting career talks to top graduating students is another strategy to invite top graduates to join the company. For high-profile positions, HR are trained on how to court passive candidates or they can use manpower agencies or head hunters who are likewise equipped with tools and expertise in recruiting.


Effective and Efficient Screening and Selection.

Due to scarcity of jobs, there is an influx of active candidates. To simplify HR’s job, setting of criteria/parameters and preparing structured interview questions, will help in separating the desirable to average. It is like designing a Hiring Scorecard.  In constructing interview questions, equal employment opportunity and conformance with legal and labour standards should be taken into consideration.


HR performs the following in screening and selecting candidates:

  1. Resume paper screening enables HR to easily identify which one to process by matching information to the job checklist.
  2. Phone interviews will be conducted for candidates who meets at least 3 out of the 5 items. Only those whose rating is 8 and above in the phone screening will be invited for face-to-face in-depth interview. Again, based on point system, HR should present the short-listed candidates to Hiring Manager who will make an initial impression.
  3. Don’t forget to verify sterling credentials of at least top 3 candidates through professional reference checking. Some industries even require credit history such as banks, insurance companies and the like. When the report is ready together with all the other documents used in screening, HR will present again to Hiring Manager for the final decision. The closing will happen at job offer. For some companies, a non-compete and confidentiality of information agreements are presented during the job offer. These documents are needed to protect the company’s products, clients and trade secrets.


On Boarding is Important.
Make sure candidates are well inducted about the company’s mission, vision and core values before endorsing him/her to his/her assigned department. Be sure to provide the initial tools he/she needs to become successful on the job. It is ideal if a company can invest in a “First 100 Days Development Plan”. Keeping in mind that workforce must embrace the company’s philosophy and business principles, because this is when employee engagement begins.


In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to recruitment, it should always be tailored and catered to the type of business. As a tip, don’t embark on a search without answering 5W’s and 1 H. Why/Who/When/Where to get the best talents and what recruitment techniques are helpful and how effective is the hiring process. Stop hiring the wrong people, it is possible!


DBPC | Staff Writer

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Blog

Finding the right employee can be difficult in even the best of circumstances. Poorly thought out search criteria can make the job that much harder by making it difficult to determine who the best available candidate is. Whenever you’re looking to fill a position, consider the following before you make a hiring decision.


DEFINE JOB REQUIREMENTS OR QUALIFICATIONS


Be careful that your job requirements aren’t exclusionary or discriminatory towards other cultures or religions. For example, a rule that your employees must be clean-shaven. This would prevent you from hiring someone from the Sikh community even if you did not intend for it to do so.


To avoid issues with discrimination, be proactive about designing job requirements in such a way that only the absolute essentials are included: things that are required to do the job. This will ensure that your requirements fall under “bona fide” or government approved territory, and will protect you from lawsuits and unflattering publicity.


PREPARE A DETAILED JOB DESCRIPTION


A good job description will communicate the role’s responsibilities as clearly as possible to job seekers. It also allows them to get a better understanding of what their most important duties will be, and how they will be asked to prioritize. Ideally, the job description should also establish how the goals of the position contribute to the overall mission of the company.


A clear, detailed, well-written job description is not only useful for discouraging applications from less qualified applicants, but it can also help hiring managers better identify who has the most desirable characteristics for the job. For example, companies can learn more about where an employee might need more training by gauging their attributes against the job requirements.


TAILOR YOUR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS


Avoid using the same tired old questions and instead draft specific questions based on the most important criteria outlined in your job description. You want to leave the interview with a good idea about how well the candidate will perform in the role and whether they will be a good cultural fit for your organization. You want to avoid using generic questions, so that they don’t just end up giving you the answers you want to hear.


ESTABLISH EMPLOYMENT TESTS


Thorough background checks will protect you and your company from litigation over negligent hiring or a “failure to warn” if the employee ends up doing something violent or controversial. You have a duty of care to your employees, which means you can be held accountable if you hire someone who harms or threatens them. Aside from running the standard criminal background checks, it’s always a good idea to conduct a Google search for their LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter accounts. By doing so, you may get some insight into what type of personality the candidates have and the kinds of associations they maintain. Some firms also utilize credit checks to better gauge how stable a person is in making important decisions.


Strong search criteria will allow you to quickly identify who has the most desirable traits by providing you with a system where the most important attributes are properly emphasized and the vetting process naturally requires the candidate to showcase the knowledge you need them to have. As your criteria becomes more and more well defined, the hiring process will become proportionately easier as well. Save yourself some work later by putting in the effort to develop the right criteria early.


Salman Allidina | Contributing Writer

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Blog, Human Resources

Finding the ideal candidate to join your company is a challenging task, but it’s gradually becoming easier thanks to advancing technology that not only speeds things up but helps with much of the minutiae of hiring. While many tried and true hiring tactics are still a must, like interviews and checking references, there’s been enough progress to save HR from wasting time on the wrong candidate.

Targeted Ads

Have you ever had those moments when you’re browsing the web, or just spending time on social media, when suddenly an advertisement appears for a product you’ve only thought or talked about? Imagine a potential candidate suddenly finding your job posting in the same manner. Although the reaction ranges somewhere between invasive and kismet, there’s no denying the potential reach of targeted recruiting ads.

These ads are one of the most useful tools in your hiring arsenal. If a potential candidate is on a hiring website, chances are that they know the type of job to search for, and your goal is to get to the top of the list. The simplest way is through targeted ads. Include the industry, job type, requirements, job description, and keywords, then let the algorithms do the rest.


SEO

You have targeted ads to direct potential hires to your website, and that’s great. However, according to a CareerXroads study, 98% of these visitors will leave your site almost immediately. Don’t let this stat dissuade you. The issue isn’t caused by a poorly written job description, it’s that it’s not the job that they’re looking for. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the key to solving this dilemma.

Your targeted ads are making the rounds, being seen by many eyes, just not the ones you need. Good SEO increases the visibility of your recruiting ads, and there are several ways to do this. First, make sure your website is mobile-optimized. Almost everyone who’s looking for a job is doing so on mobile devices at least in part, so it would hinder your chances of finding good prospects by not ignoring mobile users.

An additional way to improve SEO is by making use of effective social media strategies. Post on Facebook and LinkedIn Recruiter, all the while building an audience through engagement. Post relevant articles and actively respond to comments. This strategy both builds your company’s online presence and ensures that the right eyes are on the job ads you post.


Technology

Technological advancement in this field continues to increase at a surprising rate. Resume screening programs can help filter out the less qualified candidates while giving prominence to the stronger ones. The program does so by matching requirements and skills needed to each resume. In other words, it does the job of the recruiter.

Automated interviewing tools can also streamline the interview process, making it more efficient. They can analyze important data that factors into a good interview performance, such as facial expressions, speech patterns, and word choices. Once again, doing your very job for you.

Before you panic about a robot uprising, remember you’re the one at the helm implementing these strategies to find the best recruit. Remember that these tools and strategies are always advancing, you just need to be the one strategizing their uses.

 

Alex Correa

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