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How employer branding can boost recruitment success

One of the biggest challenges for employers is attracting top talent and differentiating themselves from the competition. When job seekers begin hunting for new roles, they might search for things like “best companies in XYZ city” or “top companies in the XYZ industry.” Why? Because reputation is everything.

What is employer branding?

Employer branding is a communication strategy focused on a company’s current and potential employees. It pulls together elements of branding and communication to emphasize the value of belonging to a company, with the ultimate goal of attracting and retaining talent.

This strategy allows you to control and positively direct the dialogue about your company. Simply put, employer branding is how you market your company to job seekers, and what employees say about your organization as a place of work.

The importance of employer branding

Employer branding is a powerful way to differentiate your company from others. It shows prospective hires what sets an employer apart and why they should work there instead of somewhere else.

Strong employer branding has many benefits, which are highlighted below.

1) Attract and retain top talent

A great employer brand makes your existing employees proud to be a part of the organization. Likewise, being a part of a company with a great reputation is important to job seekers. Companies need to be mindful of how they showcase their culture and foster a positive environment. Job seekers look at social media profiles, employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor, and culture recognition awards to piece together an image of a company and how it treats employees.

2) Create ambassadors within your organization

Employee reviews are a powerful recruitment tool. When your employees share positive feedback about your organization on social media or platforms like Indeed, it gives your recruitment efforts a significant boost.

You can turn employees into brand ambassadors by asking them to share information with their networks. This can include company news, their day-to-day experiences, awards, and more.

3) Demonstrate your culture and diversity

Being a desirable place to work for the largest skew of candidates means your applicants should feel that you are a safe and welcoming workplace regardless of social background or ethnicity. Showcasing employees from different walks of life helps a wider array of candidates to picture themselves working with your brand.

4) Boost employee engagement and satisfaction

Organizations who commit to an employee-centric brand intentionally engage their employees to prioritize team satisfaction and productivity. When teams are contented, they’re less likely to turnover, which improves your retention rates and, in turn, helps boost recruitment.

Key benefits of harnessing employer branding

The advantages of investing in employer branding as a talent strategy include better recruitment, cost savings, and improved company performance, to name a few. An employer branding program is meant to strengthen your internal and external reputation and make your company more attractive to candidates. Further, it should boost your retention rates. But that’s not all.

“Market” your workplace to job seekers

A strong employer brand makes it much easier to recruit candidates because it harnesses a marketing message to attract job seekers to your company. Employer branding works much like your product and service branding to make you stand out from the competition and lead potential employees along the applicant journey.

Improve culture

When you attract and hire the right talent, it helps foster a positive work environment and a healthier corporate culture. The reverse is also true. When you promote your culture accurately, it’s much easier to attract and hire the right people. With a strong and genuine employer brand, your company’s culture and reputation will shine through and draw in top talent who are aligned with your mission, vision, and values.

Growth of reputation

A strong employer brand will help you cultivate a glowing reputation among the business community, your employees, and potential candidates. You can support this flourishment by writing blogs, hiring for diversity, showcasing your company story and celebrating your team through rich media, and focusing on fostering a positive culture for all.

Decrease cost/less time to hire

Hiring is costly. In fact, it’s among the most expensive aspects of running a business. However, according to LinkedIn, a proactive employer branding strategy can reduce a company’s cost per hire by 50%, yield more qualified applicants, and even reduce turnover by as much as 28%.

Reduce turnover

A great reputation can carry through the recruitment process and into the employee life cycle. As mentioned in the previous point, refining your employer brand can reduce turnover by more than a quarter. How? Because when you invest time and energy into your employer brand, you also invest in improving your employees’ work life, which makes for happier teams and, in turn, reduces the likelihood of voluntary turnover.

What is the employer value proposition?

Most companies have defined their product or service’s value proposition, but not all have considered the employer value proposition, or EVP. The EVP “is your company’s core benefits that make up your wider employer brand.” Similar to how your product’s value proposition is a promise to your customers that your product will do X, Y, or Z, the EVP is a promise to your employees and recruits that your workplace will provide them with things like a positive and diverse culture, engaging work, and opportunities for growth and advancement.

Once you define your employer brand, your EVP should come naturally. A robust EVP can sharpen both the identity and culture of your company. It strengthens the employer brand and hones your recruitment process.

How to improve your employer branding

Given the importance of employer branding in today’s market, you should consider refining your own. While it can be established, built, and honed, your employer branding should constantly adjust and improve as your company evolves..

If you don’t have a defined and purposeful employer brand, don’t panic. Start by thinking about your company’s personnel goals. Then, be aspirational. How do you want your current employees to describe your company as an employer?

Even if you haven’t actively built your employer brand to date, you still have one (albeit unrefined). To make it work for you, you need to follow a few steps, outlined below.

1) Establish a brand identity

You’ve invested significant time, energy, and money into creating superior branding for your company’s products or services. Now, focus that effort on the largest service you provide: employment. Just as your customers could choose another brand for their needs, so can employees and job seekers.

Establishing a brand identity digs into who you are as an employer so you can showcase that identity in all of your HR content. This includes the type of language you use in job advertisements, how you present your work to potential candidates, and how you engage with your employees. Your employer brand can also tie into your industry or the type of products and services you provide.

2) Ask your team for feedback

For the most accurate representation of what it’s like to work for your brand, tap into the people who know the experience best: your current employees. Ask your team for feedback, like what you do well as an employer and where you stand to improve.

You might not always like what you hear, and that’s okay. What’s important here is to listen attentively so you take that feedback to heart and make noticeable changes. Your employees can be your greatest advocates or loudest detractors, so it’s important to build your employer brand with them in mind.

3) Create a visual identity and stick to it

One of the key pillars of a brand is consistency, and your employer branding is no different. A visual identity refers to the imagery and/or graphics you incorporate to differentiate your employer brand from others. This can include colors, the use of illustrations or photographs, shapes, typography, and even animations.

Your visual identity helps job applicants and employees recognize your content quickly and reinforces your employer brand. For example, if your brand is heavily focused on your fun and inclusive company culture, you might implement graphics showcasing your diverse workforce along with bright colors and shapes that evoke feelings of happiness.

Once you’ve established your employer branding’s look and feel, stick to it. That consistency will reinforce your brand and make your content easy to spot in the sea of competitor content.

4) Review your mission, vision, values, and goals

Your mission, vision, values, and goals should not only align with your employer branding, but also inform your branding strategy and the activities you participate in during recruitment. Before you can strengthen your employer brand, it’s important you review your current and future priorities to make sure they fit your company, then use those to build your brand.

Your current and potential employees want to work for a company that has values similar to their own. By reviewing and highlighting your mission, vision, values, and goals in your employer branding, you’ll attract candidates who share your ideology to your talent pool.

5) Leverage social media

Social media is an incredible way to reach new audiences, both for promoting products and services and to support your recruitment efforts. Engage potential candidates with content that exemplifies your workplace culture and employer brand — like when a new hire announces they’ve joined your team. Also, take the time to respond to comments mindfully to further humanize your brand.

LinkedIn “People Pages” and other social spotlighting

Pull back the curtain on your workspaces and culture by putting your people in the spotlight.  Social networking sites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn’s “People Pages,” and even your company’s Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook accounts are excellent platforms to give a face to your company name. You can show off your spaces, celebrate your team’s wins (personal and professional), welcome new hires, commemorate milestones like promotions and retirements, and more.

Instagram for culture content

Instagram is a fantastic tool for HR departments seeking to improve or expand their employer brand. Photos and videos are engaging and pop more than plain text. Instagram excels at both, making it the platform to leverage if you want to show off your awesome workplace culture through photo and video content.

Use Instagram to build your employer brand and boost your reputation as an employer of choice by giving sneak peeks into your day-to-day activities and sharing content that promotes your culture and your people.

6) Respond to every job application

We understand you receive dozens of applications, but only have so many hours in the workday to devote to them. However, responding to every job application is an important step in building your employer brand. It reinforces the promise your brand makes to applicants and employees — that you care about people and prioritize them above all else by showing them courtesy and respect through clear communication.

Unsure how you can possibly respond to all of those job-seeking hopefuls? That leads us to our next recommendation…

7) Use an Applicant Tracking System

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) will not only make your recruiting efforts easier and more effective, but will also help keep your employer brand consistent. It enables HR teams to communicate seamlessly with all applicants by sending pre-written emails that can easily be personalized to thank applicants for applying, invite candidates to interview, or let them down gently.

Best of all, you can customize an ATS to your unique needs and branding for a cohesive look and feel while also building in practicality and efficiency.

Your ATS will also help you keep track of applicants and the actions you and your teams take throughout the recruitment process to ensure no one slips through the cracks.

8) Treat all applications as inbound leads for future opportunities

Not every applicant will be the right choice for a particular job opening, but they might be a good fit for a future vacancy. With this in mind, it’s important to reinforce your employer brand and treat every application as an inbound lead.

Take your applicants on a journey the way you guide inbound leads through their buying process. Invite them to opt in to communications about job opportunities and nurture their interest.

9) Use storytelling in job ads

“Reporting to X, the Y will perform duties including…” Sound familiar? Boring, rote job ads fail to show off your culture or help potential candidates envision themselves working with you. Take a page from the marketing book and incorporate storytelling into your job ads.

Telling your company story gives candidates a sneak peek into who your company is and what working with you entails. Similarly, you can delve into the role, the department, founders, and even your successful candidate to weave a textual tapestry for your company.

Storytelling should be genuine, educational, entertaining, emotional, and motivational to set your brand apart and help you attract top talent.

10) Nail the recruitment process and give candidates a great experience

One of the best ways to establish an impeccable employer brand and improve your reputation is to wow candidates with your recruitment process. Whether or not they’re successful hires, make sure job seekers walk away from your recruitment with nothing but positive things to say. To do this, consider the following:

  • Time is money. Don’t drag out the process unnecessarily
  • Communication is key. Keep your job applicants informed from start to finish.
  • Consider every touchpoint in the recruitment process, from the job ad and application to the interviews, offer and rejection letters through to onboarding documentation. Your employer brand should be evident and consistent throughout as well.
  • Think like the applicant. How would you want to leave this process?
  • Show off your culture from the start. Talk about your company’s culture and perks in your job ads, on your social media profiles, and in interviews, and reinforce these as well as your mission and values during onboarding.

Wrapping up — Use employer branding to become a desired workplace

Employer branding is critical to set yourself apart from competitors in the struggle for elite talent. By improving your business brand and sharing the benefits of working for your company, you can attract larger talent pools and improve your overall hiring and recruitment processes.

Utilize social media, a positive interview process (even for applicants that don’t land a role), and a solid employer brand to leave a strong impression and make your company a desired workplace.

Take control of your recruitment efforts and evaluate whether you’re attracting the right candidates with recruitment assessments. See every candidate’s potential and how they fit in with your company.


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How to incorporate skills tests throughout the employee life cycle

Skills and competency tests are becoming increasingly essential during the hiring process. But for many organizations, they also deliver value through the full employee life cycle. Assessments can help HR determine everything from role placement to skills gaps, while guiding personal and leadership development. In addition, assessments measure the efficacy of skills development, assist with building new teams, and can even aid employee placement as they leave the organization.

The employee life cycle consists of attraction, recruitment, onboarding, retention, career development, and separation. Employee skills tests can add significant value throughout these different stages. Here’s how.

Hire for competencies, not education

HR has moved away from qualification-based hiring over the last few decades and now more commonly relies on a competency-based process. That’s especially true in digital environments, where position-specific skills like niche marketing and tool usage aren’t taught in higher education, but rather are learned on the job.

That requires mapping roles to competencies and skills in the first place, which could mean reassessing your entire organization to identify what specific roles actually do. For example, many people work in what is essentially the same role, but with different names.

Moreover, crafting a competency framework can also be time-consuming and requires you to conduct interviews across the organization to establish people’s responsibilities and what they need to be effective in their positions. Once you know that, you can much more easily employ skills assessments to narrow candidate pools and select the right hire.

Ensure correct role placement

While it’s not a good idea to ask candidates to take too many assessments, you can always ask them to complete further assessments after they’re hired. Those assessments can give you insight into their personality, communication style, and other soft skills that influence team and role placement. For example, DISC assessments are a good choice at this stage, because you can determine if someone fits into existing team structures. You can also see if they communicate well with a team that has an opening, or if you should move them to a different group.

Identify opportunities for career advancement

Implementing assessments as part of annual performance reviews or normal work can help HR stay on top of how individuals develop and grow in the organization. They also let you see where people are working towards growth, the new skills they’re developing, and how the organization is progressing as a whole. At the same time, identifying people who constantly learn new skills, put effort into personal development, and actively pursue leadership skills can help you formulate shortlists for leadership pipelines and career advancement. Because DISC assessments involve creating and managing profiles, you can see long-term progress and how people grow over time.

Of course, this strategy entails you have internal development programs already in place. Those programs don’t have to be about leaving technical positions and moving into management ones though. Instead, horizontal development, movement into more senior technical roles, and transitioning to positions such as technical team lead can motivate employees to work towards career development and personal growth, thus increasing employee retention. Skills assessments also tell you when and why to make those promotions based on how people take advantage of personal development opportunities.

Use development to fill skills gaps

Roles change inside every organization, whether it’s moving from one version of an ERP to another, scrapping legacy tooling, switching to a new language for development, etc. These shifts can result in gaps as certain skills become obsolete or old roles become irrelevant.

Skills assessments can help you assess, track, and remedy those gaps. For example, if a new technology is introduced, you can deliver training for it so everyone is brought up to speed. Afterwards, you can follow up with an assessment to ensure the skills gaps are filled. Or, if technology changed in the past with no support offered, you can check to see if there are skills gaps as a result. That also applies if you’ve recently completed a merger or acquisition and are unsure what the “new” people can do. It’s important  to identify any skills gaps because they contribute to everything from productivity loss to higher turnover to inability to grow the business. Managing, tracking, and remediating them is crucial for an effective workforce.

Help employees move into new roles

Inevitably your organization will have to let people go. It could be due to a merger that results in duplicate teams, having to cut unprofitable branches or directions, downsizing, or outsourcing. Whatever the reason, terminating contracts can cause employee morale to crash. People are significantly more likely to quit and move on if they know you could fire them easily.

Investing in helping employees move into new roles at other companies can increase employee loyalty since they can see your support. Skills assessments ensure you know exactly what to look for, how to pitch your employee to another organization, and where that person will fit best. Most importantly, if you already have the assessments and employee profiles built into your organization, doing so is relatively affordable and you’ll be able to leverage data you already own.

Wrapping up — Use skills tests throughout your employee lifecycle

Understanding your organization’s skill sets and gaps is extremely valuable. By assessing where individual employees excel, where they fail, and what they’ve learned or not learned since the last assessment, you can gain valuable insight for your organization at every stage of the employee lifecycle.


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Stop asking these 7 interview questions (and what to ask instead)

Interviews and insightful interview questions can help you gauge a person’s cultural fit in your organization and whether their experience or expertise reflects what was listed in their resume or CV. However, only if you pose the correct inquiries.

When you ask the right questions during interviews, you gain valuable, relevant information about candidates that helps you make the best hiring decision, like what motivates them, what their values are, and how they work.

The responses to these questions can quickly weed out unsuitable candidates and identify the ones who meet the needs of the specific role and your organization.

Questionable questioning

We’ve all likely been asked a bizarre, irrelevant question in an interview for which we were completely unprepared. Likewise, it’s probable we’ve experienced mundane questions that feel more like filler than filtering.

For job seekers, interviews can be stressful and make it difficult for them to perform their best. For interviewers, it can be challenging to ensure they’re asking the right questions.

To gain the most insight from your sessions, we’ve listed the questions to abandon — and what to ask instead.

1) Could you walk me through your resume?

This question can be a glaring red flag to candidates that their interviewer didn’t bother to review their resume or is trying to catch them in a lie. Walking through a candidate’s resume and discussing every role they’ve previously filled (which can be a lot if you’re interviewing senior candidates) is a poor use of your interview time.

Instead: I’ve read over your resume, but I’d like to know more about you and how you came to be here today.

Every candidate who applies to your job advertisements is a unique individual with various strengths, weaknesses, and past experiences. You already know what their resume says, but getting to know the talent behind the paper is more important.

This question is a great way to open an interview and dig deeper into a candidate. You can then build it to ask what inspired them to choose their course of study, how they decided to move into their niche, if applicable, and more. Their response can give you a clearer picture of what motivates and inspires them.

2) What is your greatest weakness?

A quick Google search for “how to answer what is your greatest weakness?” yields over 64 million results, which reveals two things:

  1. This question is asked far too often
  2. Many people answer this question dishonestly

Asking candidates to share their greatest weakness is an overused question that can easily be misused during an interview. No candidate will admit to having time management issues or that they struggle to get along with others, which means this question will yield little in the way of useful information.

Instead: Can you tell me about a time when a project you were working on failed or didn’t go to plan and how you handled it?

Even the best laid plans go awry sometimes. Rather than asking your candidate to expose their greatest weakness, ask them to tell you about a time when a project went off the rails and how they reacted.

The answer to this question can reveal a lot about the candidate. If, for example, someone tries to tell you they’ve never had a project go awry, they likely either lack project management skills, haven’t been in a position to manage a project yet, or are simply simply. Most candidates, however, will be able to tell you stories from the trenches that clearly showcase their capabilities.

Look for strategic thinking examples, communications skills, and how your candidate explains the situation, remedies, and outcome. If a candidate can set the scene and walk you through their experience, it’s a good indication they can unify a team of people to work on new projects using those same skills.

3) How would you handle [hypothetical situation]?

Spoiler alert: Almost every candidate groans at a hypothetical situation question.

Double spoiler alert: These questions don’t evoke useful answers.

Hypothetical questions don’t require first-hand experience to provide a good answer, and it’s easy to guess at what the interviewer wants to hear. This means candidates can easily make something up on the fly that makes them look good.

If the hypothetical question is about personality clashes on a team, the interviewee might discuss team building opportunities or personality testing to help team members understand their personality types and how to work best as a group.

In short, hypothetical questioning will receive hypothetical answers.

Instead: Tell me about a time you felt proud about a project you worked on. Or, What have you done in your career to date that makes you most proud?

Ditch the hypothetical question and go straight to one that’ll uncover more about your candidate’s genuine experiences and provide a glimpse into what makes them tick.

Interviews should give candidates the opportunity to discuss their career highlights and the times when they shined the brightest.

Similar to the question about a time when a project went off the rails, asking candidates to recount positive experiences allows you to test their communications skills, hear about their strategic thinking and planning, and more, depending on how responsive they are.

4) Why are you changing jobs?

If you’re expecting a candidate to respond to this one honestly, you’ve got another thing coming!

More often than not, candidates change jobs for one of the following reasons:

  • They want to make more money
  • They don’t like the leadership or management at their current place of employment
  • Their work-life balance isn’t satisfactory
  • The culture at their current company is toxic
  • There’s a lack of or disconnect between honesty/transparency/ethics at their current workplace

When you ask a candidate why they’re changing jobs, you’ll likely hear a well-rehearsed answer about how they feel ready for a change or that they like their current job a lot but want a new and exciting opportunity. What you won’t get is a true indication of how they view your job opportunity in terms of their overall career.

Instead: How do you see this role fitting into your career plans?

Asking your candidate how they fit the role for which they’re interviewing into their future plans will help you determine two things:

  1. How well informed the candidate is about the opportunity, your company, and the duties for which they’d be responsible
  2. What your candidate is seeking in their career

If a candidate has familiarized themselves with the job opportunity and your company, they should have a good sense of how they’ll grow within the role. You can dig deeper by asking them to discuss their career goals and motivations — do they see themselves on a managerial path? — and what drives them.

Carefully listen to their answers. If a candidate is looking to jump into a new industry by joining your company, it’s possible they’ll treat this role as a quick stepping stone to their next big opportunity.

5) Where do you see yourself in X years?

A lot can happen in a relatively short time (e.g., all of 2020). Asking candidates where they see themselves in two, five, or 10 years’ time is like asking a child what they want for Christmas: It’s subject to change, and quickly.

Gone are the days when employees regularly joined companies as junior staff and remained for decades with the same employer. According to the United States Department of Labor, men hold an average of 12.6 jobs and women an average of 12.3 jobs between ages 18 and 54. So, asking your candidates to predict their futures will yield information that’s irrelevant to your organization (i.e., cookie-cutter responses like, “I hope to have grown my skills and experiences and be in a more senior role”).

Instead: What professional milestones do you hope to achieve while working at our company?

Asking candidates about the professional milestones they hope to achieve whilst working for your company is a great way to find out what they really want in their career while also helping you determine how much they really know about the role and what your company does.

6) Why should we hire you?

Asking a candidate why they should be hired is one of the most useless questions you can pose.

Instead: Based on your knowledge of this role, can you think of a past experience or experiences that you believe would help you be successful?

This is a great chance to let candidates expand upon their past experiences and demonstrate their knowledge of your company and the role.

Pay attention to key skills and knowledge they mention and how they relate those to the expected duties and responsibilities of the role. This will give you a good indication of how closely they’ve considered what the role entails and how they would perform in it.

7) What would your last boss or colleagues say about you?

This is another question that almost never receives an honest answer. A candidate can respond however they like to make themselves sound like a great choice, and it forces you to check their references to verify their answer, which prolongs the hiring process unnecessarily.

Instead: If you accept this position, how would you bring yourself up to speed on the job and any tasks or projects we’ve discussed?

A great way to gauge how your potential hire will shape up is to ask them directly. This question reveals how your candidate approaches new situations and projects. It also gives you an estimate of their strategic thinking and how they work as part of a team.

Some important things to look for in their response include:

  • Meeting with other team members
  • Establishing KPIs
  • Setting a timeline
  • Questions they have (if any) about the onboarding process

The most important interview question to ask

The most important question to ask in interviews is, “Do you have any questions for me?”

The questions candidates ask you about the role, the work culture, or the company itself can tell you a lot about how engaged and interested they are in the job opportunity. If your candidate has no questions, that’s a big red flag.

Remember, your candidate is interviewing you as well.


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6 Signs your company needs HR and recruiting help

If you’re reading this article, chances are that you are wondering whether or not your company needs support in human resources (HR) and recruiting. Properly managed people operations are imperative to a company’s success. When teams are well-balanced and company cultures healthy, productivity and revenue take a positive bump, too.

Managing people operations and navigating the many regulations of HR and people operations are both time-consuming and difficult tasks. Hiring new employees, managing payrolls, fielding complaints and ensuring legal compliance at every step are all critical responsibilities for companies with employees.

While small businesses may be able to handle HR and recruiting tasks on their own, especially during the earlier days, growing companies often need to hire internal HR staff members or outsource HR functions by partnering with recruiting and people operations firms. Business owners should be focused on growing their businesses and running day-to-day operations, and while HR certainly remains a part of their level of interest, there are some key signs that it might be time to hire help.

What is HR, anyway?

Human resources, or HR, is the process of overseeing and shaping employee matters. The term “human resources” can describe the work itself or the company’s entire workforce.

HR can also go by other names, such as Culture and People Management, People Management, and so on.

HR professionals carry out the functions associated with overseeing and shaping employee matters. These can include important functions including:

  • Staffing: Recruiting prospective employees and assembling a workforce of employees in various capacities (full-time, part-time, freelance). The administration of benefits is often included in this function.
  • Employee Development: Onboarding and developing employees is an important part of any well-oiled HR machine. Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs), employee milestones, development plans, and even disciplinary guidelines are all a part of this function.
  • Compensation: HR departments typically administer payroll and often play a role in shaping the pay scale and salary ranges offered.
  • Health and safety: In many HR departments, health and safety education are top-of-mind and highly important functions of the role. This includes administering training and ensuring a safe and healthy environment for all employees.
  • Employee and labor relations: When disputes arise, HR teams manage the solutions-finding process. HR can also represent an employer in instances where employees unionize, strike, or otherwise seek changes to working conditions. When employee discipline is required – including termination of employment – HR plays an important role in ensuring that all labor laws are observed.
  • Cost management: HR is a key part of your overall business strategy. This function provides data and analytics to inform issues like succession planning and helps you understand employee burn rate and more.

6 signs your company needs HR and recruitment support

1. You don’t know who is supposed to be managing hiring and people ops

Many small companies spread their HR functions across team members, often headed by the owner of the company or an office manager. In some cases, companies may delegate HR functions to department heads (ex. sales or marketing leaders) as opposed to having a singular person or team responsible for the many tasks and functions that fall under the umbrella of HR.

As a business owner, you probably wish to be involved in the hiring process to some degree. Hiring managers – that is, the individuals to whom a new hire will report – often take the lead on recruitment efforts when their team has a new vacancy within companies where no HR function is present. When this happens, it can easily and quickly become confusing to understand who, precisely, is responsible for what as it relates to hiring and people ops. What’s more, redundancies can occur which then impact the overall productivity and the efficiency of your teams!

It’s worth considering hiring HR and recruiting support when you find yourself trying to figure out exactly who is responsible for these activities. Without a dedicated recruitment point person, you risk:

  • delivering a poor candidate experience
  • missing out on applications because they’re falling through the cracks
  • redundancies in efforts (more than one person contacting the same candidates, listing jobs, etc.)
  • loss of productivity
  • a game of “passing the buck” on recruitment and people ops activities

2. HR duties are seeping into the rest of your team’s time

Human resources duties are time-consuming and often challenging, especially if the person responsible for these duties is not an expert in this field. As such, handling such duties can take your team(s) away from the duties for which they were hired.

Consider the following scenario: Your Marketing Manager is seeking a new digital marketing coordinator to join the team. In order to hire for this position, the manager must:

  • Define the role and its responsibilities, determine a salary range or pay-scale, and create a job advertisement;
  • Post the job advertisement to job boards and promote the vacancy. This can include social media promotion, paying for placements, and more;
  • Screen applicants and determine which applicants to invite to interview. This may also include planning for, administering, and “marking” tests such as personality/fit assessments, or skills-based assignments;
  • Interview job candidates, including determining the questions to ask and then figure which candidate(s) to invite to another interview or offer employment to;
  • Write and send an offer of employment, handle any negotiation, and complete the hiring process;
  • Plan for, execute, and manage the employee onboarding process, including training, obtaining required hardware/software and administration of training, preparation of new hire paperwork (ex. tax forms, insurance paperwork, etc) and more.

If you think that sounds like a full-time job in and of itself, you’re not wrong. But that’s not all.

According to GetHired.com, the average cost associated with a new employee is almost $19,000. This figure includes both the recruitment costs and the hiring process costs… and that’s just the average! This cost is increased exponentially when you consider the productivity loss of having your existing team pulled away from their duties to concentrate on activities associated with hiring.

By partnering with an HR or recruitment service, you can increase the ROI on hiring and reduce the likelihood of lost productivity associated with hiring new team members.

3. You’re having a hard time recruiting top talent

Every company wants to hire the best possible talent, which means that every employer has competition when it comes to attracting candidates. If you’re struggling to attract top talent, it could come down to a number of things.

For starters, recruiting is a time-consuming (and can be an expensive) business. Without a dedicated recruiter or team dedicated to recruitment, it can be challenging devoting time from your busy day-to-day to concentrate on the activities associated with recruiting.

In addition, there’s more that goes into writing job advertisements that attract great candidates. Professional recruiters and HR professionals know what’s required and how to make the most attractive job descriptions, where to post, and even how best to market your company as an employer of choice.

HR pros can also expertly manage the recruitment process from beginning to end, which increases the likelihood that you seal the deal with the candidates who apply for roles with your company. They know what it takes to create next-level candidate experiences from interview to onboarding and increase the likelihood of both signing the top talent and retaining them.

4. You’re experiencing high rates of employee attrition or turnover

In addition to difficulty finding top talent, a common sign that your HR and recruiting needs help is when you’re experiencing difficulty retaining top talent.

Organizations should aim for a 10% attrition rate but according to an SHRM Human Capital Benchmarking Report, most organizations have rates of 12-20%. While it’s true that turnover occurs for a vast number of reasons, if you’re seeing higher than normal levels of turnover, it could be a sign that you need some help.

If your company culture stinks, employees simply won’t want to stick around. Having HR support to address cultural complaints and assist in building a more positive and healthy corporate culture can make a big difference.

Sometimes, cultural issues arise because bad hires have taken place – a problem that can occur because the person or persons responsible for hiring don’t have the expertise required to assess what is and isn’t a good hiring decision.

Speaking of bad hires… sometimes poor fit leads to turnover in and of itself. This can occur when an employee has joined your company only to realize that they’re not well-suited for the role for which they were hired. Sometimes, this happens as a result of inexperienced hiring teams who haven’t adequately or accurately described the role or company culture. Sometimes, it happens regardless.

A poor onboarding experience can also cause high rates of turnover as it gets new employees starting their jobs on the wrong foot, thus staining their view of the company.

While having help with your HR and recruiting won’t magically eliminate these issues, these issues can most definitely be better mitigated with the expertise and experience that HR and recruitment companies bring to the table.

5. Your onboarding process is failing new hires

When small companies are onboarding new employees, it’s probable that each new hire will have relatively easy access to the majority of the existing team. Onboarding sessions can be informally held, with opportunities for new hires to meet with and learn from other team members. In larger or fast-growing companies, however, this becomes far more challenging – especially if many new hires are beginning their work in a short period of time.

One in 10 employees say they’ve left a job because of a poor onboarding experience. Onboarding serves to set your new hires up for success, acclimating them to your company and its culture, and setting the tone for their experience as a part of your business.

When you do not have an onboarding process outlined, these activities are often left to the hiring managers to handle individually. This means that employees may have vastly different experiences in their onboarding, which can create dissent and lead to higher rates of voluntary turnover, poor corporate cultures, and even lost revenue. On the flip side, a good onboarding experience can lead to increased productivity and more positive outcomes.

6. Your company is growing fast

When your company is on a significant growth trajectory, the last thing you want to do is be pulled away from growth activities like building revenue and levelling your marketing up. Plus, have you ever tried to hire a lot of people in a short period of time? It’s a lot of work!

When your company is growing fast – especially when your hiring needs are growing at the same exponential rate – it’s probably time to seek help with your HR and recruiting needs. Here’s why.

Hiring for multiple positions at once is a huge undertaking. From job description creation to setting salary and compensation ranges, posting job advertisements, reviewing applicants, interviewing and negotiating offers, the activities associated with hiring can pile up quickly even when you’re hiring for a single position. Further, if you’re currently asking various managers to handle these activities there’s a significant degree of likelihood that applicants are having disparate experiences as they meet with different managers who choose to handle these activities in their own ways.

By having a dedicated HR team or recruiter handling all of these activities, you can offer a unified and highly personalized experience to each candidate – regardless of what role they’ve applied for.

Wrapping up – Don’t skimp on HR and recruiting

Every company has unique needs when it comes to HR and recruiting. What works for one may not work for another, and what works today may need to be tweaked tomorrow. This is why bringing in external help to support your HR and recruiting needs can make all the difference to your efforts and your overall business success. When you work with an organization such as Profiles Asia Pacific or other HR and recruiting companies, you’ll gain access to a wealth of experience and expertise to create a strategy that’s customized to your unique needs.


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The importance of managerial fit and how to find it

Today’s organizations are increasingly focused on cultural fit. And for most organizations, managerial fit — or the concept of matching management and leadership styles to the team and the work culture — is equally important, as the skills and approach needed to meet a team’s demand for leadership or to complete a task can vary significantly. Often, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach that works best across the entire organization.

Instead, you should rely on skills and competency analyses to determine where and how leadership fits into a particular team or role. That means first understanding the roles and the teams in question. However, taking steps to ensure a good managerial fit can improve business productivity more than many other remediation measures you take because it bottlenecks and detractors in leadership.

Components of a good manager

Nearly everyone is familiar with different management styles like waterfall vs. Agile. Most organizations would never try to put an Agile leader in a waterfall team or vice versa, unless they were shifting the entire team approach. People learn and work in different ways, and the management style needs to accommodate the various strengths and weaknesses. Managerial styles are commonly broken down into four major categories: delegation, coaching, training, and supervising.

Delegation

The leader directly plans and distributes tasks to individuals. The manager is responsible for signing off on all work and ensuring quality. This method is a good fit for task-based teams, such as maintenance development, customer service, pick and pack, etc. This is an authoritarian leadership style.

Coaching

This style maps to democratic leadership styles. In it, the leader helps the team plan, manage, and decide how best to achieve goals or outcomes. They help teams find individual solutions to issues by asking questions, coaching, and offering empowerment, while functioning as an expert in the field when needed. This method is a great fit for teams that work in product development, problem-solving, and engineering.

Training

The team lead is normally an expert in the field and primarily exists to enable the team to work efficiently, usually by directly showing them how. This tapers off in efficacy as the team’s skill level grows. However, if someone provides excellent training, they may be a good fit for managing starter teams, where people are introduced to the organization and its work before moving into their own teams. This maps to “visionary” leadership styles.

Supervising

In this style, the leader oversees the team and steps in when necessary to offer advice and structure. Their role normally revolves around quality and people management. However, it’s unlikely the leader would create or drive new strategies. This method is very common in manufacturing and production, where repetitive work is performed to a consistent standard. It’s also considered an authoritarian leadership style.

Each leadership style assumes different levels of commitment and attentiveness in their approaches. For example, a hands-on leader in a delegation process is likely to micromanage. Similarly, someone in a coaching role who is very diligent might find themselves doing all the work to avoid the longer process of getting someone to perform better through coaching.

Leaders have to balance how engaged they are with their team’s technical ability. The goal should be improving the team, not having one technically skilled person shoulder everything for efficiency.

Matching management styles

Every team is unique and requires its own combination of managerial styles. However, organizations can’t afford to maintain every type of management. So, it’s important to assess where different kinds of leadership best fit into your organization and then choose leaders that meet those qualifications. For example, a democratic leader who uses coaching tactics in a production line setting will often fail as a good manager. There, the job is to ensure teams know what to do, at what pace, and that quality remains consistent. Because there’s nothing new to learn and very little problem-solving, you’d be better off investing in a delegation expert.

Matching management styles to how teams work means understanding how those teams work and why. E.g., maintenance teams are usually slow, require delegation, and benefit from some creativity. Development teams working on new products and achieving outcomes normally benefit from freedom and a leader who can enable them to work together and use creativity.

  • Delegation works best in crisis periods or in cases of rote and repetitive work
  • Coaching and training work best for long-term creative work and performance
  • Supervising works best when teams are good at what they do and only need light guidance

You’ll also want to consider the personality styles of the people in the team. For example, if you have a team full of self-motivated people who continuously invest in personal development, a leader using a delegation management style would kill the team. On the other hand, if you have a team full of people who are accustomed to working in waterfall methodology, a training manager might help them to make the shift to Agile, but a delegation-focused one would maintain the status quo. Choosing good leaders for your teams means understanding the leader and the team.

Best practices

In most cases, the best leaders can leverage more than one style of leadership. That should be true whether they start out with just one style or if they start out being good at several.

Tools like Profiles Managerial Fit can help HR to map out leadership styles to employees – which can identify skills gaps and show you where to invest in training for those leaders. And, working to develop more diverse leadership skills before someone moves into a leadership position and after, will often help.

For example, if your team finishes the project they’re working on and has to move to a new one, your managerial style might have to shift from supervision to coaching or training. The more people can alter how they lead to meet circumstances, the better they’ll be as leaders.

Wrapping up — Managerial fit can make or break the best teams

Leadership is a make-or-break factor for your team. If you pair a bad leader with a great team, the team will decline. If you pair a great leader with a bad team, the team will improve.

Investing in working towards matching managerial styles to teams and to the work being done works to improve how managers work with their teams, so that good leaders don’t end up being bad managers for their specific team.


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The case for an efficient application process

For many employers, getting clients into the recruitment pipeline requires significant attention and energy. But, what happens once candidates apply? Not surprisingly, most candidates drop off during the hiring process. In fact, according ERE Media, 80% of candidates drop off during the application process. That can be problematic for organizations, which often need those extra candidates.

Here, the problem often lies in the application process, employee assessments, and even finding out too late that candidates aren’t good fits for the role. Streamlining the application process, starting with the job description and salary indications, can greatly improve how candidates react to the process and the number of highly qualified candidates that make it through the process.

Common issues with job applications

Non-Qualified Candidates

Poor, outdated, or poorly set up hiring processes always start with job boards, job profiles, skill sets, and required competencies. If your organization doesn’t know exactly what it needs to fill the role (qualifications and competencies, not just education), it’s impossible to sort out candidates who aren’t a good fit. You’ll spend significant money and energy filtering candidates who are applying based on unclear parameters, like the job skills, competencies, or actual requirements not being set correctly. Similarly, offering a salary indication can prevent applicants who might be looking into a better paying or more senior position.

  • Make sure that competency mapping is done and mapped to the job description
  • Ask for skills and requirements that are necessary not just nice-to-have

High Candidate Drop-Off

Most organizations lose roughly 80% of candidates during the application process. That’s after the initial weeding of unqualified candidates has been performed. So, 80% of the candidates you want to consider for your role drop off, usually without ever even telling you. Why is that? Often, it means that the application process is too long or requires too much involvement. That’s important considering many applicants apply to 10+ jobs at once. If they’re looking for a new role, they’re applying to every position that’s interesting. Keeping early investment as light as possible is important.

  • Use light screening and assessment to tailor your candidate pool, not several hours of assignments
  • Use several clear and defined application stages, with each designed to further qualify the candidate. Heavy lifting of projects and assignments can wait until you’re on one of the last few candidates

While you can’t help that some candidates will be hired to other jobs during the application, others will not get along with your recruiters, and others will decide the company culture is not for them, you can work to ensure the actual application process is streamlined and easy to go through.

High Costs

Most organizations spend several thousand dollars on each new recruit. For a mid-level position, that’s often well over $4,000. The Society for Human Resource Management quotes that as $4,129 days and an average of 42 days to fill a position. That’s a long time, considering the lack of a person in a role likely costs you significantly as well. But, it’s difficult to offset without designing more streamlined hiring processes. For example, many organizations are moving back towards opening up recruitment for mid-level positions to internal job boards. Hiring junior workers is faster and easier than hiring intermediate and senior workers.

At the same time, streamlining the hiring process by tailoring it down to what you actually need to know can shorten interview and application times. So, if you need to know a general assessment, general skills, whether the person gets along with a team, and then how they interact with company culture, you could design a simple and cost-effective application process of:

  • Initial phone interview/screening
  • In-person/video interview with team lead and recruitment manager
  • Final selection pool / competency assessment/skills test
  • Trial day working with the team
  • Hire

That short process is significantly faster than the 4+ interview stages that many organizations use today. It also means you don’t ask people to complete work or do anything that requires oversight until they’ve already been screened and interviewed. That reduces the drop-off rate, because you can tell candidates doing the work that they are in the final pool.

Improving Application Processes

Eventually, simplifying your application process benefits recruiters, teams, and the candidates applying. In most cases, that means defining what you need to make a hire, what you have to do to get that data, and then mapping out the easiest way to get to that. In most cases, you need, at minimum:

Of course, the exact requirements here vary depending on what the role is, the seniority of the role, and how important it is. If you’re hiring for upper management, you need a longer and more in-depth hiring process. If you’re hiring for intermediate roles, you can normally stick to a lighter approach, designed to get basic information that is most relevant to making the hire.

Here, you can always start by working with teams to define what they need to know. For example, do you have personality frameworks mapped for building teams? Do teams want someone who can work in specific ways? Is working with a new tool or technology important or can that be trained in with little effort? Making those decisions requires an internal assessment, prioritizing what’s important, and then updating that information on a role-by-role basis. Once you have defined what’s really necessary for making a hire, you can build the full application process around it.

Most importantly, simply customizing the application process and making the candidate feel important as part of the process can help a great deal. That means building assessments around their needs, introducing them to potential future teams as part of the application, and ensuring that the candidate gets to experience your company – rather than the company just getting to experience them. After all, they are deciding whether they want to work for you as well.

In almost every case, a shorter application process saves time and money for the organization. While it does mean that teams have less time to decide if a hire suits their needs, it also means happier candidates and less money spent on the process.


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Employee onboarding 101: Designing an optimal onboarding experience

Your employees’ experience with your company starts the moment you connect with them during recruitment. But once they sign a contract and get to work, your relationship with them becomes even more critical – you move into the employee onboarding phase.

What do their first days, weeks, and months look like? Do they have the tools and support they need to transition smoothly into their role and become an actively contributing member of your organization?

Or, will they experience the frustration of accounts that need to be set up, uncertainty about who to talk to, lacking the right tools, and other roadblocks?

Crafting a great employee experience takes time, effort, and attention to every stage of the employee journey. In this article, we’ll break down some best practices for designing a robust employee onboarding process to improve productivity, motivation, and retention.

Designing an enjoyable employee experience

Your employee’s journey begins before they’re accepted into the company. It starts when you first find them and determine how closely they fit the job description, with a crucial point being how they’re treated during the interview process.

You need to respect their time, ask the right questions, and let them know your decisions promptly. Also, provide proper documentation of all the processes they’ll handle. This includes how-to guides, training videos, recorded screenshares, and on-the-job training.

Design your onboarding process around the job, the team(s) that person will work with, and the tools they’ll use. In general, onboarding should include:

  • Employee orientation
  • Complete paperwork and other routine tasks
  • Clear descriptions of when onboarding starts, how long it lasts, and the included stages
  • Work culture and environment
  • The knowledge and skills expected of the new hire to do their job
  • The roles of HR, departmental teams, and managers in the onboarding process, including their responsibilities
  • Established goals for the new hire and how you’ll measure them

In addition, you’ll have to personalize individual processes like employee training and introductions and facilitate work by introducing software, people, and processes:

  • Evaluate how the new hire’s skills map to those needed for the role. If there are gaps, provide training.
  • Provide introduction opportunities so your new hire meets their colleagues, managers, and stakeholders.
  • Implement developmental programs immediately so new hires have access to training, self-improvement, and anything else they need to fit into your company’s culture and their role.
  • Offer two-way feedback in which new hires can give criticism, write down items they don’t understand, and share questions or concerns.

Every onboarding experience has to be designed around the individual. You can automate and employ standardized onboarding checklists to some extent. However, take time to assess what does and doesn’t work for each individual.

Employee orientation vs. employee onboarding

Employee orientation and employee onboarding are often used interchangeably. However, they’re distinct processes:

  • Orientation is a one-time event that’s part of the overall onboarding. It includes routine paperwork, general introductions to the company and culture, and basic start-up like giving an office tour, configuring computers, etc.
  • Onboarding can last up to a year and is designed to help new hires successfully transition into their roles.

Usually, orientation is standardized across the organization while onboarding is customized to each individual.

Employee orientation

Employee orientation serves as an introduction for new hires. HR may take specific steps to meet and greet employees during lunch, over video conferences, or by touring new hires around the office. This also includes time to discuss general company information, such as:

  • Explaining the company’s mission, values, and vision
  • Completing paperwork
  • Ensuring the employee understands or has access to a knowledge base of benefit plans and enrollment, and planning a follow-up meeting to verify correct enrollment
  • Stating safety, health, security, and other policies
  • Reviewing administrative procedures such as salary processes
  • Providing the new hire with parking tags, building keys, and any other company-provided equipment such as laptops, cell phones, printers, etc.
  • A guided tour of the workplace
  • A schedule of required training (e.g., company conduct, ethical business practices)
  • Introducing key contacts such as HR representatives, IT/support, and more

Before inviting a new hire to orientation, provide them with an agenda, tell them how to access training, and supply any items they need and the contact information of everyone conducting the orientation.

Employee onboarding

Employee onboarding is a longer operation that helps new hires integrate into the organization by explaining (and, if necessary, teaching) the skills and competencies they need to succeed in their roles. This can include introductions to specific work processes and tools, as well as training and one-on-one coaching in organizational procedures.

This process also introduces direct team members, managers, and stakeholders and lets HR and managers assess potential skills gaps to bring the new hire up to speed. This involves:

  • Role-relevant information and documentation such as assignment data, processes, etc.
  • An itinerary for the first week/month/quarter
  • A checklist of goals and expected outcomes for the first period
  • Access credentials for relevant software and tooling

Most importantly, successful onboarding should have clear outcomes for the short and long term. For example:

  • The new hire has met their colleagues and knows where to ask questions, where to access resources, and how to seek help.
  • The new hire understands team and company culture and can contribute to or challenge it respectfully.
  • The new hire understands their role and work and has the necessary training to adopt any software, technology, or processes they’re unfamiliar with.
  • The new hire has access to the resources needed to complete their work well and can requisition new resources, if needed.

Onboarding focuses on the new hire’s long-term success, which may require training and development depending on the person and their position.

Benefits of effective employee onboarding

Increased employee retention

Hiring is a tedious and expensive process. So, when you hire new employees, you want to select and retain the top talent.

Statistics from Click Boarding revealed employees who undergo a structured onboarding process are 58% more likely to stay with a company for longer than three years. Studies have also shown an effective onboarding process retains up to 90% of employees in the first six months.

Onboarding helps managers build long-term relationships with new hires, equip them for success, and retain them longer. In turn, keeping talented employees saves your company time and money.

Improved branding (and awareness)

A beneficial onboarding process will improve your company’s branding.

When your employees enjoy their new workplace and settle into their jobs smoothly, they’re more likely to share their experience with others outside the company. This plug will attract more talented individuals seeking employment at a desirable work environment.

You can play an active role in this by encouraging your employees to share their experiences during their initial days at work.

Greater employee satisfaction

Employees who clearly understand their jobs and skills can make meaningful contributions to your company.

With proper mentoring and guidance, they’ll be equipped to handle various challenges in their roles and related areas.

Employee satisfaction can also be reflected through positive word-of-mouth reviews. When employees are proud of the company they work at, they inadvertently promote your brand.

Higher employee productivity

Onboarding is your chance to foster feelings of value and motivation in your employees, which increases their desire to contribute to the company’s success. Share company values and core beliefs from the start to help new hires adopt and become invested in these goals. As a result, their quality of work will improve.

This is also an excellent opportunity for HR managers to learn more about employees, their existing skill sets, and any gaps that need to be filled.

6 Keys to effective onboarding

Your onboarding process can affect employees’ quality of work, motivation, and passion throughout their time with your organization. Good onboarding will aid productivity, employee retention, and ensure individuals fit their roles well, which will improve business metrics.

Investing in your onboarding process is crucial to the success of your employees and your business overall. Take the following six suggestions to begin developing an onboarding program that drives value for your organization.

1) Prepare onboarding before the new hire begins

Even large companies struggle to set up processes, accounts, and access rights before an individual arrives. As a result, many new hires spend their first few days or weeks waiting for IT to finish creating accounts, granting permissions, or preparing computers. Complete these processes before the individual arrives so their first impression is a positive one.

If you can’t manage a seamless transfer of assets, consider scheduling the first few days for the individual to sit in on training, observe other teams, or otherwise handle responsibilities that don’t require those resources.

2) Mentor new hires

Mentoring is becoming a standard practice in onboarding. Assign a colleague or mentor to an individual who’s responsible for a new hire, will provide access to company culture and processes, and will share relevant information not found in the documentation.

Your mentors must understand their responsibilities and what they should impart so they can be helpful and ensure the new hire is given the information they need to succeed. Coaching also reveals important information about the new hire, including:

  • The employee’s expectations for the job. Always address any questions or confusion a new hire may have about their job. Find out whether the job is what really interests them and see if you can build on that as they begin to work. 
  • The employee’s expectations for professional growth. Some employees have specific professional development interests and ambitions. Recognizing and gathering relevant resources to support and build a plan for individual interests helps strengthen employee loyalty.
  • Feedback on the employee’s performance. Consistent, constructive feedback can be extremely effective during onboarding because it sets expectations for everyone involved. It’ll give them a good basis of how to interact with the organization. 

Providing new hires with people to shadow, coaches, and mentors will give them the best tools for success.

3) Introduce new hires to (several) existing teams

Although most individuals will only work with a single team, it’s helpful to give them an overview of the organization.

Assign new people to a single team until they adjust to the company and their responsibilities. Then, consider giving them assignments on other teams over several days so the individual meets other colleagues. This ensures they can communicate with and access the most important resource in your organization: the people.

Rotating a new hire through several teams accomplishes several goals:

  • The new hire gets the chance to experience the organization from multiple perspectives.
  • It excites the new hire about how and where they’ll work.
  • They better understand the organization and how their work fits into it and contributes to overarching goals.

One caveat: Wait to rotate a new hire through teams until they’ve had a chance to become comfortable in their role. They need time to settle in and figure things out before changing teams

4) Incorporate development

Ongoing development is crucial to continued growth, adaptability, and agility. So, make it part of the process from day one to ensure new hires stay equipped to excel at their jobs.

You can offer courses to bring individuals up to speed more quickly, introduce tooling they’re unfamiliar with, and provide other development opportunities to help individuals move into their new roles efficiently.

Training creates opportunities for advancement, provides a competitive edge in the jobs market, and improves employee efficiency. Employees are the cogs that make a company run smoothly, so they should be constantly improving. If you can implement helpful training from day one, it will become a normal and expected part of ongoing employment.

5) Make onboarding part of your business strategy

Your company strategy wields significant influence over your employees’ work experience. By making onboarding a key focus in your strategy, you can align the process with your business values and nurture a seamless experience for new hires.

Start by crafting a one-page strategic plan, then refine and share it with your workers. Keep this plan short to ensure your team reads and understands it. It’s also good practice to have a comprehensive strategy document that’s succinct enough for any shareholder to review and understand.

Tip: If your business relies on technical tools (e.g., SaaS or a web app), train all your team members to use it, even if they won’t directly interact with your software on a regular basis.

6) Establish follow-ups and touchpoints

It’s important to follow up onboarding processes at set periods, such as at three, six, and 12 months, to ensure the process was successful, there are no skill gaps, and the employee still fits the role and culture well. If not, you can introduce additional development, offer more mentoring, or consider moving an individual into a more suitable role.

Examples of effective touchpoints and follow-ups are:

  • Schedule “bookend meetings” to check in with the new hire on the first day, week, month, and quarter. These should be 30 minutes at the start and end of each period to ensure everything is okay, concerns are being addressed, and the new hire has everything they need.
  • Establish a list of regular tasks, goals (performance and stretch), and performance indicators the new hire can use as guidelines. Follow up on those to see if they’re effective and why or why not.
  • Check in with growth opportunities, education, and to ensure the new hire has access to the resources, support, and equipment they need

Following up lets you gauge how new hires are adjusting to their roles, determine if they need additional support, and measure the efficiency of your onboarding process.

Onboarding tools

Good onboarding requires tools to manage new hires, share information, and track performance. In most cases, you can achieve this with your existing HR tooling and personnel management software. Some popular onboarding software solutions for this include:

  • Workday
  • BambooHR
  • Namely
  • Gusto
  • ADP Workforce Now
  • Freshteam
  • Monday.com

The right solution for your organization will depend on your framework and your needs. For example, if you have existing personnel management software but need additional tools for performance management and development, adding tools like Profiles XT and competency frameworks might be a better option than starting over with new programs.

Knowledge base

An internal knowledge base is one of the most efficient onboarding tools you can invest in. It saves you time and effort in the long run, and once you have the basics written down, it’s only a matter of updating the details periodically. Most HR software platforms offer these in the form of self-service, which allows you to create easy-to-access portals inside the software your teams already use.

Quick training

A knowledge base lets you train new hires quickly. After their initial training, give them read-only access to your knowledge base and allow them to answer their own questions with this resource. If your managers find themselves repeating what they’ve said to new hires multiple times, introduce the knowledge base in their training session so employees can run through it.

Easily updated

When you need to put together a quick training email or explanation, a knowledge base is a convenient source to tap. It’s stored and accessible for ready use, and if you keep your knowledge base online, it’s easy to update by simply accessing the back end of the system. For example, if you keep everything in a private WordPress website, update and add new pages or posts as you see fit.

Accessible referencing

Your new hires won’t always be able to ask managers questions. However, by giving them access to a knowledge base, they can retrain themselves without taking up their colleagues’ or managers’ time. If employees feel their questions are too simple or obvious to ask, a knowledge base would also encourage them to find their own answers.

Tips for building a knowledge base

Before you commit to building a knowledge base, answer a few questions to gain a sense of direction:

  • Is it a company-wide tool, or will you have specialized sections? Which department will it be for? Be sure to include relevant information only, otherwise your employees may skip over important items.
  • Are teams able to suggest changes to their knowledge bases to update information as processes or software change?
  • What medium will you use? Some companies invest in video knowledge bases, while web-based knowledge bases allow users to filter through the content with search terms and chapters.
  • Who will be responsible for reviewing and updating the knowledge base? It’s important to keep it up to date to avoid sharing outdated information, so review the content regularly.
  • Will it be internal, or open to others? Your clients may benefit from access (full or limited) to your knowledge base. If you open part of it to others, customers would be able to search through it to answer questions without needing to contact your support staff. On the other hand, if you keep your knowledge base (or at least part of it) internal, you’ll be able to include more sensitive information, such as business processes.

How AR and VR can help you onboard and train employees

Training and onboarding employees can be time-consuming and complex, but it’s a vital process for your company’s overall success. While HR specialists do their best to optimize these processes, they can’t predict how an employee will act in certain situations or how well they understand the company’s processes.

To fill this gap, more companies are implementing AR and VR technologies for training and onboarding. Although they’re usually associated with gaming, they’re also incredibly beneficial for businesses.

A look inside the company’s culture and processes

Ideally, every employee should have the chance to see the office, headquarters, and become familiar with internal processes. However, this won’t always be possible before making a hire, and if your employee is remote or on another continent, it won’t happen at all.

These circumstances make VR a great option during onboarding. One of the most popular uses of this technology is a virtual tour around the company’s office. This allows employees to see the company’s office, internal processes, and even meet personnel.

Not only does a VR tour enhance the employee-company connection, it also helps new hires feel engaged without ever stepping foot in the office.

More robust training and risk management

It’s the quality, not the quantity of training that makes an excellent employee. To enrich training and ensure employees know how to act in critical situations, companies use AR or VR technologies to recreate situations that teach employees to act and respond properly. It can even be used to train even soft skills.

One good example of this is Walmart: The company decided to use VR to prepare their employees for the holiday season with its long lines and huge crowds. This approach worked brilliantly as employees (especially the new ones) learned what to expect and were prepared to manage all sorts of customer issues professionally.

Interactive candidate assessment

Today, companies pay special attention to soft skills, but ordinary interviews and standard HR assessments are only one method to reveal a candidate’s personality. For example, when someone is aware they’re being interviewed, they tend to behave differently from their normal behavior.

Some companies use AR to overcome this problem and assess candidates in an unconventional way. Jaguar, for example, designed a fun mobile game with AR technology. The candidates would play the game while the company assessed their persistence, logical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Caveats

Even though AR and VR technologies can add a lot to your onboarding and training processes, there are a few things to remember that’ll help you get the most out of these tools:

  1. Define your goals. To benefit from AR and VR, you have to understand why you need it first. Analyze your processes, identify problem areas, and estimate whether the implementation of AR/VR will bring tangible benefits.
  2. Don’t rush to use complex VR videos or massive AR apps. Start small and see how well the employees and candidates accept this innovation, then refine it according to their feedback. 

How to deliver training as part of onboarding

Whether introducing new work methods, new skills, or working on development, choosing the right training methods is important if you want to ensure proper adoption and absorption.

You will often deliver the same information to a group of individuals, whether in a group or one-on-one. Both options have their pros and cons, and the best option for the material you’re delivering will depend on the job role(s) and the skill(s) being taught.

Team training

Team or group training is one of the most common ways to push information to a large number of people, as most can conveniently learn together with a single teacher or coach.

Pros of team training

  • Groups learn tasks and complete them together. Some studies show social factors influence learning, resulting in greater retention when learning skills.
  • Groups learn together, reducing time investment and costs.
  • Teams can give each other input and feedback, enriching learning.

Cons of team training

  • Entire teams will be pulled off work at once.
  • Social camaraderie can get in the way of learning topics by reinforcing resistance.
  • Individuals who require special attention or different learning methods may not receive them.

Individual training

Individual training typically involves using a mentor or coach to teach a specific skill or behavior to an individual, coach them, or work on development one-on-one.

Pros of individual training

  • Individuals can easily receive personalized attention, curricula, and coaching to ensure they’ll do their best.
  • The coach or mentor can tackle the individual’s specific barriers and obstacles.
  • Curricula can be tailored to meet the individual’s current knowledge, learning speed, and adaptability.

Cons of individual training

  • Training one employee at a time can be time-consuming and expensive.
  • Individual training doesn’t facilitate the same group/social retention of skills.
  • Individuals who learn alone may not work as well in teams compared to those who learn in teams.

Choose a training option based on the purpose of the training, the information being taught, and how it’ll be implemented in the role(s). You may find team training provides a helpful baseline for most skills, and you can then follow up with individual coaching.

How to evaluate your employee onboarding program

Employee onboarding and ongoing development is especially important for organizations that use internal programs to foster desired behaviors and culture, offer perks and benefits, and encourage innovation. Whether you’re in the process of adopting a new employee training program or want to ensure your existing one meets standards, you need to put metrics in place to measure its efficacy.

This requires setting standards, typically in the form of either realistic goals and expectations or based on developer promises, and measuring their impact and results across your organization.

Establish needs and goals

First, identify the goal of the program, what the total estimated benefits are, and what you need most from it. This allows you to track ROI based on which items add value and which are simply “nice to have.”

Say you’re implementing a training program to introduce emotional intelligence with a main goal of improving workplace communication. If you don’t observe any improvement, the training is considered unsuccessful, even if other metrics increase.

Identify main goals by establishing the business need or result you expect or want to see from the program.

Identify key metrics

Key performance indicators (KPIs) measure the efficacy of your training and so should track directly to the results you hope to achieve from your program. They have to account for variables in work and the workplace (e.g., new hires who haven’t taken the training), especially when measuring success at an individual level.

Some KPIs might include employee retention, how often those hires meet their department goals and objectives, and the results of employee annual reviews.

To determine what KPIs you should measure, answer the following questions:

  • What are the desired outcomes of the program?
  • What behaviors should the training nurture?
  • How do those behaviors manifest in work?
  • How do those behaviors manifest in productivity?

If you rely on measurable data such as work performance or how work is completed to set KPIs, you can accurately gauge the value and effectiveness of your training.

Measure KPIs

Organizations often rely on a range of tools to measure training program KPIs, including surveys, polls, competitions or games, and data mining based on work completed. This may involve directly interviewing managers and team leads, asking individuals questions, and evaluating performance on the work floor. Other companies use specific evaluation models like the Kirkpatrick Model, which evaluates individual reaction, learning, behavior, and results based on targeted goals.

Training programs are increasing in popularity, with an estimated 14% year-over-year growth in the United States alone. However, you need to be able to measure results so you can track their efficacy, refine programs to offer more focused training, and follow up when a program fails to meet its expected goals.

Recruitment checklist: Ensure seamless interviews and onboarding for all parties

Recruitment can be convoluted, with different hiring managers, agencies, and team members involved. Sometimes your interview and onboarding process are spot on, resulting in a long-serving, high-performing employee; other times, it’s a disaster that yields expensive recruitment costs with no returns.

The checklist below will arm you with the necessary steps to structure your processes and guarantee a seamless interview and successful onboarding process for all hires.

Your recruitment processes should give new hires a clear idea of what’s expected of them and the kind of organization they’re joining. To provide clarity for candidates:

  • Write comprehensive job descriptions that deliver a clear impression of the job and its responsibilities
  • Be transparent about company policies like salary, scheduling, remote work, vacation, etc.
  • Tell candidates about your hiring process, how long it takes, and when you’ll follow up
  • Be transparent about reference checks, background checks, and potential assessments

Also, be sure to follow up early and often with candidates at each stage of the process, including letting people know when they aren’t moving on to the next phase.

Advantages of a structured hiring process

A structured interview and onboarding process has significant benefits for your company, the hiring manager and, most importantly, your new employee:

  • It ensures consistency, meaning everyone is treated the same.
  • It reduces errors, preventing oversights and overcoming forgetfulness.
  • It creates a positive experience, making new employees more likely to stay.

Interview checklist

Although the event itself usually takes only an hour, its prep involves a significant amount of work behind the scenes. A successful interview process should be comprehensive, with detailed procedures established for before, during, and after the event.

Before the interview

Before holding the interview, you need to complete a few preparations beforehand, including:

  • Draft the job description, outlining responsibilities, qualifications, and expectations.
  • Include a qualifier in the job description (e.g. instructions to include a special word in the application).
  • Involve the team that’ll receive the new hire in the recruitment process.
  • Consult with the team that has an opening to learn their wants and needs.
  • Ask the department head what the ideal candidate looks like.
  • Determine the specific qualities you’re looking for in an ideal candidate, refreshing the job description if appropriate.
  • Arrange a date, time, and location with the candidate and the interview panel.
  • Book a meeting room and refreshments.
  • Prepare the interview technique and questions you’ll ask and a scorecard to record responses.
  • Review the candidate’s CV and application.
  • Have people from the team take turns interviewing different applicants.
  • Utilize assessments to match candidate skills and personalities to the team.
  • Ask the candidate about any concerns they may have about taking the job.
  • Ask the team about any concerns they have about the top three candidates.
During the interview

During the interview, it’s important to stick to an organized structure that involves:

  • Welcoming the candidate and explaining the interview process
  • Giving the candidate enough time to respond to your questions
  • Asking the candidate for their questions
  • Taking notes throughout the entire session
  • Explaining the next steps

It’s important to put the candidate at ease and to ensure the interview stays on track and on time.

After the interview

Following the interview, you should meet with the rest of the panel promptly to discuss the candidate and decide whether they’re to be rejected, invited to a second-stage interview, or offered the position. It’s good practice to deliver feedback to all candidates, regardless of their success. Once you’ve selected a candidate:

  • Call them to let them know they got the job.
  • Send an email introducing the company and team more thoroughly.
  • Have their future team introduce themselves and share one thing about them.
  • Send any forms that need to be completed beforehand so their first day starts on the right foot (and with less paperwork).
  • Assign a mentor to guide them through their first few days.
  • Check in with the new hire regularly to discuss any concerns, offer praise, and gauge their adjustment.
  • Check in with the team regularly to see how the new hire is contributing to the team.

Onboarding checklist

After you’ve selected your ideal candidate, you then need to onboard them. With 90% of employees deciding whether to stay with a company within the first six months, the onboarding process is extremely important. We recommend the following steps to provide an optimal experience for your new hires.

Before the start date

Prior to their first day, stay in regular contact with your new hire and complete any prep work to ensure they can start work without hassle. Some best practices are:

  • Send a welcome letter that includes their contract and any paperwork that needs to be completed.
  • Conduct pre-employment checks, like contacting references.
  • Send the employee their induction plan, along with information on where to go on the first day and who to ask for help.
  • Arrange for all tools, equipment, logins, and permissions to be ordered and granted.

One to two weeks before the new hire’s first day:

  • Prepare their employee paperwork. Consider including the following policies and forms for new employees to fill out and sign:
  • An Employment Agreement
  • NDA (when relevant)
  • An employee handbook or a link to the knowledge base
  • IRS form W-4
  • IRS form I-9
  • Set up online accounts:
    • Company email
    • HRIS software
    • Password manager (LastPass, etc.)
    • Work management software (e.g., Asana, Jira, Trello)
  • Set up technology:
    • Laptop/Desktop
    • Monitors
    • Phones
    • Peripherals
    • Headsets
  • Confirm phone numbers and add contact data to relevant databases.
  • Order parking garage tokens, access cards, etc.
  • Schedule introductory meetings with teams and key colleagues.
  • Encourage teams to reach out to their new colleague before the start date.
  • Schedule an HR onboarding meeting.
  • Plan a first assignment with the people the new hire will work with directly.
  • Schedule any required training.
  • Send your new hire any maps, meeting details, or schedules they need for their first day.

On the start date

A structured approach to the new employee’s first day will ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Provide your new employee with:

  • Someone at the office to greet and show them around, offer a tour, etc.
  • An assigned mentor, coach, or buddy who’ll have lunch with them for at least the first week
  • A schedule for the first few days in office
  • A welcome meeting with the team, manager, and direct collaborators
  • Time to sit down and review paperwork
  • A formal onboarding meeting with benefits, holidays, policies, etc.
  • Downtime to set up technology and accounts

The first few months

Your onboarding process continues well after the new hire’s first day. During their first few months at your company, it’s imperative you:

  • Have a structured induction plan that eases the new employee into their role and responsibilities, introduces them to other departments, includes necessary training, and gives them an overview of how the whole company works
  • Schedule regular catch-up sessions to see how they’re adjusting and to gather feedback on your induction process
  • Set goals and expectations for the first period
  • Create a roadmap of key projects over the first quarter
  • Request feedback and respond to requests by providing help or input
  • Ensure training and development opportunities are available as skills gaps arise

You’ll obviously have to adapt this checklist to your specific roles and personnel. Leadership roles also tend to need more coaching and mentoring than entry level positions. However, a general checklist is a great starting point that you can customize based on the individual.

Wrapping up – Invest in employee onboarding to set your team up for success

Onboarding is your first formal touchpoint with an employee. It gives them the foundation to perform their role, acquaints them with who they’ll work with, and allows you to implement a strategy that introduces tools, behaviors, information, and organizational knowledge for the new hire to succeed. Be thorough in your onboarding process, and your employees will feel equipped to transition into their new role and begin contributing to your company’s goals.


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How to optimize your hiring process to find top performers

Hiring processes today are longer, more complex, and more role specific than in previous years. They cost organizations significant investment, taking up to eight months of onboarding for an employee to reach full productivity. Failing to hire the right candidate can eat into budgets and performance for the company.

To strengthen their selections, companies are increasingly relying on long hiring processes. However, those extended processes run the risk of alienating potential candidates and failing to identify suitable candidates.

Optimizing the hiring process to provide both a good hiring experience to candidates and to look for the traits and skills you actually need in your teams is important. Sometimes, that can mean fully overhauling the recruitment process, simplifying steps in how you hire, and switching focus away from hiring for hard skills and towards hiring for competencies.

Steps in an effective hiring process

The ideal hiring process should be reasonably short and tailored to the individual role. The average hiring process has lengthened from 13 days in 2010 to about 24 days globally, which adds expense and complexity for both the company and candidates.

Defining which steps should be in hiring and who’s responsible at each step can help streamline (and shorten) the process. Understanding its stages also allows you to tweak the process and remove steps irrelevant to the role or the team.

1) Phone screening

Most organizations start the recruitment process with phone or video call screening. This lets recruiters have quick one-on-one conversations with prospects, reducing the time commitment for both the candidate and the recruitment team.

For example, Apple screens four times – each 30 minutes, with the chance for candidates to ask their own questions at the end — before inviting someone to the office for an interview. While Apple’s recruitment process has been criticized for being needlessly long and over-involved, making initial contact over the phone cuts down on everyone’s investment; if you realize the candidate is not a good fit, you can tell them on a call. Other phone screening tips include:

  • Keep calls short. Screenings are meant to assess general suitability, which can be done by gauging personality, comparing the candidate to their resume/profile, and gauging their general aptitude.
  • If the candidate doesn’t seem like a good fit, communicate this as soon as possible.

Calls aren’t always the right solution though. Microsoft’s hiring program, for example, was built around individuals on the autism spectrum. Rather than forcing those candidates into a mainstream process, Microsoft allows them to complete their initial screening via chat or email so they can excel and showcase who they are and what they know. Integrating flexibility into early screening ensures you attract and retain a diverse range of candidates.

2) First interview

Invite candidates who pass the initial screening to an interview, either over the phone, on a video call, or in person. Involve relevant people right away, including team members and managers who know what the role needs and can provide helpful insight to make the final decision:

  • For general and entry-level positions, especially if you don’t know where the recruit will end up, start with a general interview.
  • Consider asking stakeholders like team leads, managers, or senior personnel in the same role to join the interview.

First interviews are usually about an hour and may involve behavioral interview questions, simple personality assessments, and light, work-related questions. This is your chance to get a feel for who your candidate is at work while giving them the opportunity to ask questions and get to know you as well.

3) Assessments/Skills tests

If hiring stakeholders like the candidate, move them to the next stage. You can invite the candidate to take part in any assessments or personality tests you deem relevant; the more senior the role, the more you can ask the candidate to do to assess their compatibility:

  • Discuss key competencies for the role based on the job profile and highlight them for the candidate. Is it more important that they be technically skilled or that they have the right attitude and personality traits? Do you have robust internal training and coaching that can close skills gaps?

Give assessments based on each role’s competencies and priorities. This will prevent candidates from taking unnecessary tests and thus streamline your hiring process. Any other role-specific assessments can be delivered after the hire.

Tests commonly include projects such as building a web browser extension. Work with your team leads to decide relevant tasks that’ll accurately gauge a candidate’s skills.

4) Follow-up interview

Whether you ask candidates to complete a project, conduct personality testing, or give a skills assessment, you should follow up with a final interview before making the hire. This interview provides a deeper discussion about job expectations, what the candidate wants to achieve, how they see themselves fitting into the company, etc.

It’s also a good idea to have someone join the interview who understands the completed project or assessment. They can discuss the technical details of the assignment and gain a better understanding of the candidate’s skills and knowledge.

5) Making the hire

It’s not uncommon for two or even four candidates to make it to the final selection. In some cases, you’ll be able to hire more than one candidate if they’re a good fit. However, when the final selection comes down to several equally suitable candidates, you may need to invite candidates to the office for a trial run.

You could also ask the team that’ll work with the new hire which candidate they like better and why. You might get surprising answers.

Using competency frameworks to optimize hiring

Competency frameworks define hard and soft skills across an organization, either for the organization as a whole, for departments and branches, and for individual teams and roles. They define the skills and traits of successful, high-performing employees in those roles to create an ideal job profile, including the necessary competencies and skills.

However, a competency framework shouldn’t dictate your hiring decision, as there are multiple ways to be successful in a role. Sometimes, desired competencies will conflict, and your candidates will have many but not all desired competencies. Often, a competency framework transforms into a success profile that lays out a candidate’s strengths that can be applied to the role.

It’s best practice to base competency frameworks on internal benchmarks or industry standards. Many organizations sell generic frameworks that you can customize and update to match your organization. When crafting your framework, it’s crucial to have input from relevant personnel and to assign job responsibilities to the appropriate titles.

Involve internal personnel

For the best representation of your organization, you need to adapt job and success profiles to your company. To do this, you’ll want to interview people in those roles, team leads, and leverage performance management data to understand the current competencies in those roles.

Align job roles and titles

Many organizations hire for the same or similar roles under varying titles, and the same role can differ from team to team. It’s important to have flexible employees who can handle a range of tasks. However, that risks having an entire team with the same title – all with different roles.

Assigning specific work responsibilities to job titles before you build your competency framework can simplify the work and limit the number of roles you have to map.

Once you’ve developed a framework, you can implement it directly into the hiring process, which involves:

  • Using success profiles to build job profiles for hiring
  • Crafting questions based on the competency framework
  • Mapping assessments and tests to the competency framework

This will check how candidates compare to your ideal success profile to help determine if they’re a good fit. Note that you might need several profiles or a broad profile for many roles to measure success accurately.

Types of interview questions to find the best hires

Interview questions should be tailored to the role rather than general recruitment inquiries. That requires mapping interview questions to the hard and soft skills you’re looking for in the role or to your competency framework.

It’s helpful to create a list of questions based on competencies and other information you want to know and pull from them throughout the interview. You can then share those questions with candidates beforehand so they have time to prepare and relax for the meeting.

Interview questions can be divided into three categories:

Preparation

These are basic questions to see how well the candidate prepared for the interview. You can reuse the same ones in most interviews. Example preparation questions are:

  • What do you know about our company?
  • How do you feel about X job profile item?
  • Tell me a bit about your resume/portfolio/work history

Their generic nature makes them good for initial screenings. However, they can also be used during in-person interviews to follow up on answers given on a call.

Critical thinking/Role aptitude

Having an expert in the field help you design open-ended questions that facilitate richer conversation will better gauge aptitude, critical thinking, and how well the candidate fits the company.

For example, if you’re hiring for customer service, you could ask how they would respond to a disgruntled customer or have them give you a sales pitch.

Unfortunately, this means the questions will largely have to be structured by the team lead or a senior employee in that field on a per-role basis. You may want to ask that stakeholder to prepare questions when inviting them to the interview. Consider providing them with questions you used previously for that role as inspiration to new team leads when hiring in the future.

Listening and communication

It’s easy to discover how candidates listen and communicate through both an interview and personality assessments. Your questions should center around instructions, stimulating discussion, empathy, and ability to direct others.

One of the best prompts you can use here is, “Teach me something you’re passionate about or that you’re an expert in.” This will showcase the candidate’s ability to put together and present information in an educational way and how well they actually prepare.

Hiring remote employees

If you’re hiring for a remote position, it’s important to adjust your prioritization of personality traits. For example, if someone works in the office, their face-to-face interpersonal communication is more important than someone who works from home most of the time. Also look at your company policies to understand where you can be flexible and where you can’t.

With companies like Spotify, Facebook, and Salesforce implementing “Work from anywhere” programs that essentially allow employees to choose when and how to come into work, flexibility is a must when hiring for a role. You also need to prioritize certain soft skills, which we’ve broken down below.

Time management

Your remote or virtual hires need to be conscientious of time and deadlines. This is crucial to turn in work on time and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Assessing time management skills can be difficult, however, many recruiters use a combination of personality assessments to check for hard skills and project assignments.

You may ask your candidate to complete work in a team file or document such as a Google Doc or to log their progress through a program like Jira. This will give you significant insight into how that person works and how well they’re able to maintain a healthy schedule.

Self-discipline

People who come into work remove the distractions of family, chores, and other responsibilities; at home, they’re inundated with them, so they need to be disciplined and focused. To measure this, you’ll almost exclusively rely on personality testing. That can be difficult, as people often select what they think the right answer is to a question, even if it doesn’t necessarily reflect who they are. To combat this issue, a combination of a personality assessment and a project may be preferable.

Digital communication

Digital communication skills are important for virtual teams. A strong remote worker should be comfortable with video calling, instant messaging and maintaining clear communication and documentation on projects

When switching priorities, assess candidates on not only their job performance, but also how they perform their job in the intended work environment.

Hiring freelance or contract-based

Hiring full-time employees is often a lengthy process that includes recruitment process, multiple stages of interviews, and assessments. For freelance and contract work though, the process is more lax. Like hiring remote employees, you’ll have to change priorities for temporary workers, shifting your focus from hard skills to ensuring team fit.

Freelancers and contractors are a great option when: you’re seeking a full-time employee but have current work that needs to be completed; you’re training another full-time worker to fill a role; you’re running a project that briefly requires technical skill (e.g., an ERP implementation or a server upgrade); or otherwise don’t need to hire full time.

In these circumstances, hiring should focus on candidates who can self-manage, adapt to new responsibilities quickly, and grasp the project and its goals.

Team fit

In addition to culture fit and culture add, you need to know your freelancer will get along with other members of their team. If interpersonal issues take priority, your project won’t. As such, good communication, collaboration, and socialization skills are imperative here, especially since your freelancer will likely be working on a limited deadline.

Transparency

Freelancers and contractors can seem separate from your organization, especially if they work off-site, don’t integrate into team Slack or other communication channels, or otherwise aren’t treated like a full employee.

Look for communication, documentation, and other transparency-related skills so you know what your freelancer is doing and why. Although you’ll need to take steps to integrate your freelancer into the teams they’re working with, add them to relevant systems, and create channel accounts for them to communicate directly to relevant teams and stakeholders, they should have the skills to do that themselves.

Skills tests vs. portfolio reviews

While many hiring managers try to use traditional skills tests and assessments for freelancers, they’re often inefficient for short-term contracts. Instead, you can either offer paid trial assignments or use a portfolio review to assess a candidate’s work.

Trial work

A highly effective tactic is to invite your final candidate pool to the office to participate in a day of work. This will give you a strong indication of how they adapt to your teams, your software and technology, and the work itself (and how quickly). In general, this is a paid assignment, but it’s a great way to finalize your candidate pool based on practical application.

4 Key hiring assessments to reveal the best candidates

Pre-employment assessments and screening tools are an important part of your hiring process. They influence your hiring techniques, the information you collect, and how you store and map it to your profiles, roles, and performance data.

The following five tools are viable options you can consider. However, you’ll likely want to look at your technology’s current capabilities, how you map and manage your competency frameworks, and your data sorting and selection capabilities before making your tool selection.

EQ-I

The EQ-I tests emotional intelligence and interpersonal communication skills in relation to the workplace. This assessment is ideal for leadership recruitment or roles where communication and understanding how people fit together are extremely important.

Profiles Incorporated

Profiles Incorporated comprises a robust series of tools designed to assess competency, skills, and aptitude for a range of roles. With customization options, integrated assessments, and role mapping, their assessments enable any business to build success profiles and align hires to them.

Meyers-Briggs

Meyers-Briggs assessments are a simple way to gain a basic understanding of a candidate’s personality. Although not perfect, they’re good for teambuilding, determining general aptitude, and learning how people will work together in teams.

eSkill

eSkill assessments map hard and soft skills to job requirements. They’re designed around specific roles, making them essentially plug-and-play resources. Recruiters can modify tests to suit each role as well as deliver assessments digitally so candidates can complete them at home.

5 Tips for crafting hiring assessments

Assessments are powerful tools that help organizations identify and hire top talent. They delve deeper into a candidate’s background and skills to provide a clearer picture of their capabilities and potential fit for a position. To attract the market’s finest talent, design hiring assessments tailored to your organization and role requirements. The following tips will help you craft reliable tests that collect relevant data.

Tip #1 – Consider physical and mental ability

Ability examinations are extremely important to predict a candidate’s chances of success at a job. The tests should be customized to suit the occupation and need. These are helpful for entry-level roles and when you’re unprepared to train an employee.

Physical ability tests evaluate the candidate’s flexibility and endurance. They’re more relevant to jobs that require significant physical labor as opposed to a desk job.

Meanwhile, mental ability assessments play an integral role in measuring a candidate’s learning capability. These tests involve spatial, quantitative, and verbal skills and often come in the form of a quiz.

Note: Mental ability assessments are treated as authentic and critical predictors of a candidate’s ability to perform. However, the results can negatively influence an employer’s final decision: Various studies revealed mental ability tests have a strong impact on minority groups. Additionally, some people are simply poor test-takers, but this is not indicative of their overall skill level. So, it’s important that hiring teams design mental ability tests that are unbiased and appropriate for the job. 

Tip #2 – Test for achievement

Hiring assessments based on achievements are known as proficiency examinations.

Many industries use proficiency tests to evaluate a candidate’s current skills and knowledge. They focus on areas relevant to the job profile and can be categorized into two types: performance tests and knowledge tests.

When you craft performance tests, they should be designed to allow candidates to demonstrate at least two job-oriented tasks, such as diagnosing a problem, debugging code, or fixing a broken machine. As such, this is an expensive test that may need additional resources.

Knowledge exams involve carefully curated questions that test how much a candidate knows about the job’s responsibilities and tasks. They’re a traditional component of the hiring process, most conducted using paper-and-pencil tests. However, more companies are hiring third-party agents to create quizzes for more targeted assessments.

Additionally, many tech giants are using computers to proctor knowledge tests. This creates a calm environment for candidates so they can perform their best.

Group assessments

If you aim to hire the market’s top talent, you should bring them under a single roof. This is when group assessments become useful. For these exams, prepare a common questionnaire or create a quiz. The questions should be strictly job relevant.

For example, if you’re hiring for a designer role, ask the candidates about design skills or have them produce something. Then, evaluate the performance of each candidate to identify the best and fastest.

Note: During group assessments, completion time should be one of several considerations. The candidate who finishes the fastest may not produce the best work, so also look at the quality of the results.

Tip #4 – Unstructure your interviews

It’s easier to find top talent through unstructured interviews. Professionals in the role run them, using unprepared questions, and the time is unrestricted to allow for spontaneous conversation with the candidate.

Although the interviewer is advised to ask job-oriented questions, they have the freedom to probe the candidate on any job-related responsibilities and tasks.

Note: Unstructured interviews are not completely unrestricted; there are regulations and laws to govern how unstructured they can be. For instance, the Disabilities Act prevents interviewers from asking details about disabilities and medical conditions. The interviewer should abide by all these laws during both unstructured and structured interviews.

Tip #5 – Incorporate personality checks

Also known as personality inventories, personality checks analyze a candidate’s knowledge and skills in terms of their personal traits. Common metrics include conscientiousness, self-esteem, motivation, and future goals. Personality tests will help you make accurate predictions about how the candidate will integrate into the role, the team, and the organization.

Note: Conduct all hiring assessments in a controlled environment, including any unstructured interviews.

Key soft skills to look for

Soft skills are generally considered more important than hard skills because they’re difficult to train and often have an equal impact on performance. You can always train someone to use a software platform, but it’s harder to train a person to be conscientious and self-disciplined.

With this in mind, we’ve listed the top soft skills to look for during your hiring process.

Creative problem-solving

Most employees are content to follow procedure or search for tried-and-true solutions to problems. However, some issues will require creative thinking to produce innovative answers. So, test candidates for creative problem-solving to find someone who can bring an out-of-the-box approach to your company.

Communication

Good communication skills range from being able to express oneself clearly to timely replies and respectful written communication. Your specific priorities for this skill set may vary depending on whether someone works in the office or remotely, but communication in general should always rank highly.

For example, strong active listening can make the difference between a team member who makes their colleagues feel seen and heard and one who constantly sparks debate and interpersonal conflict.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is an umbrella term comprising several critical skills. It’s possible to train many emotional intelligence skills, but having candidates who can empathize, look at another person’s perspectives, and show an ability to understand, gauge, and respond to their own emotions in a healthy way is a good indication the candidate will be a good fit for the team.

Teamwork

People who indicate they’re good team players are extremely valuable to an organization. This includes the ability to compromise, collaborate, and encourage team building.

Investment in personal development

People who show an interest in personal development are often strong candidates. It indicates they’re likely to continue to invest in relevant job skills, learn new technology, and adapt to changing industries and organizations. In the long term, they’ll be able to grow with the organization and are more likely to stay in their role despite changes.

Attention to detail

Attention to detail is a soft skill you can test for during hiring, often by asking people to add small details, perform tasks in a certain way, or even to complete projects. You can also find it indirectly in resume and cover letter typos, punctuality, whether the individual remembers questions and topics between interviews, etc.

Best practices for your hiring process

To build an efficient and successful hiring process, start with industry standards, then optimize them over time and make tweaks to your organization as you learn what does and doesn’t work.

Start with industry standards

It’s a bit of a cliché, but you don’t need to reinvent the wheel: There are many ready-made tools and processes for hiring and recruitment. Research a few options, select one to adopt, and then adjust it to your organization to cut costs and investment while improving results.

Communicate clearly with candidates

Integrate steps to keep candidates involved in the process and informed of what’s going on. For example, making it a policy to share projects, interview questions, and what assessments candidates will have to take up front can benefit both the candidates and your company.

For example, if you let them know during screening that the interview process will be three to four weeks and consist of two interviews, a phone screening, a technical project, and a 90-minute personality assessment, they can decide if they’re willing to invest that much time. If not, your investment ends at the phone screening.

Additionally, sharing this information reduces candidate anxiety so you can gain a clearer idea of each one during the interview.

Conduct only relevant assessments

It’s understandable to want as much data as possible before making a hire, but trying to measure too much can be detrimental. Instead, tailor pre-employment assessments to collect the information you need for a specific role. Then, you can deliver DISC, EQ, or other assessments for team-fit and development after the hire. This will shorten the hiring process and reduce frustration in candidates.

Update your tech stack

If you don’t already have a strong recruitment tech stack, build one. Good role and profile management software can significantly improve how you manage recruitment, collect data, and what information you collect. Keep in mind, it often makes sense to source all of your technology from a single provider or to find a platform that meets your needs.

Wrapping up – Optimize your hiring process to invest in the right people from the start

Optimizing your recruitment process involves centralizing data, implementing profile management and competencies, and integrating assessments to better understand what to look for when hiring. Once you’ve accomplished that, you can focus on creating a structured hiring process that collects the data you need while keeping costs low and maintaining a positive candidate experience.


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Why you need to invest in more learning for your team (and e-learning solutions to choose from)

In the past few years, in-person events like conferences and seminars ground to a halt, creating skill gaps for employees. As a result, many businesses have looked to online opportunities to support learning and development for their teams.

Employee development can improve employees’ existing competencies and skills, and help them learn new ones that support the company’s goals. It’s important to note that employee development isn’t simply mandatory employee training, such as diversity awareness; instead, it focuses on supporting the interests and goals of your individual team members.

Why should I invest in employee development?

Investing in employee development creates opportunities for your employees to learn and grow their skill sets in an engaging format. This also allows employees to build connections with one another as they learn, which encourages stronger teams.

As an employer, this investment in your workforce pays off in big ways.

1) Retain top talent

Simply put, employees want to work for companies that care about their development. One of the best ways to show employees you’re committed to their success and continued growth is by investing in learning opportunities for everyone.

In one survey from Better Buys, 92% of employees said access to professional development is important or very important. Education is shown to benefit employers as well: Companies experienced a 34% higher retention rate for their employees who were given these learning opportunities.

LinkedIn echoed these findings, saying, “[E]mployees at companies with high internal mobility stay almost two times longer than those who don’t…. Not only are learners more likely to stay longer, but they are also much more engaged.” So, when employees are able to improve themselves, they improve their work as well.

2) Keep employees engaged and equipped

Speaking of engagement, the Better Buys study also found employees with professional development opportunities are 15% more engaged at work. This is critical to an organization’s success.

Employee engagement can help your company:

  • Increase profitability
  • Improve work quality
  • Boost productivity
  • Reduce turnover
  • Yield happier workplaces

Employee development motivates employees by giving them the chance to learn something new and useful, and by demonstrating the organization’s commitment to their individual growth and success.

According to the LinkedIn 2021 Workplace Learning Report, 76% of Gen Z learners believe learning is the key to a successful career, and watched 50% more learning content in 2020 compared to 2019.

3) Prepare your organization for the future

In business, change is inevitable. As technology evolves and trends change, companies must anticipate and be ready for the future. An effective way to prepare is to invest in continuing education for your team.

Consider, for example, the rise in digital advertising over the past 10 years. As social media advertising and digital marketing grew, the number of courses and resources available for marketers did too.

A social media marketer from a decade ago might be an expert in Facebook and Snapchat, whereas a successful social media marketer today might need to know more about TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter. Industries are constantly changing and evolving, and your organization (and workforce) should be able to keep up.

Deloitte’s Building the future-ready company report states that 42% of the core skills required for existing jobs are expected to change by 2022.

To address this, companies are turning to e-learning solutions. According to the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs Report 2020, approximately 40% of workers will require reskilling, and Deloitte found that “75% of organizations expect to source new skills and capabilities by reskilling current workforce.”

4) Improve employee retention

Every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs six to nine months of salary to recruit and retrain a new one. Turnover has a greater impact on your business than recruitment costs, as the loss in manpower forces current employees to take on extra work to make up for it, which leads to burnout and poorer performance across your organization.

Turnover can also cause your current employees to question their own job security, consider new roles, or disengage from their work. Finally, recruiting and onboarding takes time away from meeting your other business objectives like generating revenue.

The solution to keeping your recruitment costs down and turnover rates low can lie in developing your existing employees to provide more opportunity.

5) Strengthen your internal talent pipeline

Hiring new employees is expensive, and the cost to hire rises the more senior the role, and the more experienced and educated the candidate is.

The average cost to hire an employee varies by role and requires resources spread across the recruiting, interviewing, onboarding, and training stages. One of the best ways to cut down on your hiring costs is to promote from within and invest in internal development to create future leaders.

Let’s say you have a junior marketing coordinator who joined at the entry level, fresh from their educational program and keen to learn. You’ve already invested hundreds, if not thousands, in their hiring, onboarding, and training, and you want to keep them. You provide them learning opportunities and find they have a special interest in digital marketing and paid advertising. You could have them become Hubspot-certified or pay for their Google certifications so they can take on new tasks. With additional training, they can be promoted to new roles with more responsibility. This keeps them interested in their work, and benefits your business as well.

By moving your employees up the pipeline from junior roles to more senior positions, you can not only reduce your hiring costs and cut your turnover rates, but also improve your culture. When employees have opportunities for growth and advancement, they’re less likely to leave and more likely to remain engaged in their role.

Although employee development can be a costly endeavor, when done right, an employee development program can have a huge impact on an organization.

Read: Business leadership and succession planning: How to foster leaders from within

How to implement an employee development program

Because employee development supports continued growth, productivity, and an organization’s ability to retain valuable employees, it’s no surprise the 2021 Workplace Learning Report from LinkedIn found that learning and development (L&D) is a top priority.

But implementing an employee development program can feel overwhelming at the onset. There are many options and no one-size-fits-all approach, as each organization is unique and has different needs.

Employee development helps retain and engage talent, fill your leadership pipeline, and expand the skills within your talent pool. Here’s how to get started.

1) Start with a skills gap analysis

The first step in launching a successful employee development program is to figure out what’s needed across your organization. You might start with your lowest performing teams and dig in to examine what skills their team lacks.

Running a skills gap analysis can reveal your employees’ weaknesses, their severity, and how role-critical each skill is. You’ll then need to look at either upskilling or reskilling your workforce based on your team’s needs, interests, and talents.

A streamlined skills gap analysis might look like this:

  1. Identify the critical and recommended skills for a role or team
  2. Use assessments to benchmark the minimum acceptable skill levels for those roles
  3. Have your team take those assessments to identify where they fall under the optimal levels of skill

2) Identify top employee candidates for development

The best employee development plans don’t just hone in on gaps. Rather, they also identify employees who are keen to learn and want to advance their careers. You can focus efforts on these employees early on to build skills and invest in leadership and management training.

Consider the following soft skills:

  • Good communication skills
  • Eagerness to learn and improve
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Organizational skills

3) Align employee and organizational goals

Once you identify the areas in need of development and employees who are excited about growth, your goals for both need to be connected. Employee development plans are useless if employees aren’t engaged.

Talk to your teams to understand individual goals and cross-reference those against the company’s objectives. Professional development should further the ambitions of both the employees and your organization.

4) Choose a learning platform(s)

A learning platform or learning management system provides a single place for employees to access their learning, and can also help them stay on track. Find a platform that meets your needs, whether it’s web-based, customizable, or something else.

Top learning platforms for employee development

Thanks to technology, learning is no longer limited to physical classrooms or in-person sessions. All your team needs to pursue professional development is a computer and a reliable internet connection.

Learning platforms provide curated and easily digestible course material. What’s more, many offer group rates, which are beneficial for employers. Here are a few options.

LearnED

LearnED is an online-based learning management system designed to provide easily accessible learning tools that support learning and development needs for individuals and organizations.

Create unique programs from more than 300 courses to meet your learning needs. LearnED enables collaboration and connection through its conferencing time, collaboration tools, and breakout rooms in virtual classrooms, and provides real-time updates on individual’s progress so HR managers and department leads can monitor team success.

Udemy Business

More than 10,000 businesses around the world trust Udemy Business as a learning solution to equip teams with the latest in-demand skills, drive digital transformation and innovation, and achieve business outcomes.

Udemy Business enables leaders to customize learning paths for departments to develop specific skill sets. For example, you can bring your marketing department up to speed on the latest in digital marketing trends, or use Udemy Business as part of your onboarding process for new hires.

Like LearnED, Udemy Business allows leaders to monitor teams’ learning and analyze data to identify actionable insights.

LinkedIn Learning

Formerly Lynda.com, LinkedIn Learning is a subscription-based program available through a LinkedIn account. The professional networking site purchased Lynda.com in 2015 and gradually moved courses to the LinkedIn platform.

Like most online learning platforms, LinkedIn Learning offers users flexibility to learn at their own pace and from anywhere in the world.

The platform provides:

  • Over 16,000 expert-led courses
  • Flexibility to cancel at any time
  • Certificates upon completion of courses
  • Projects and quizzes to support learning
  • Mobile-friendly access

Lessonly

For organizations seeking a platform to support onboarding and enablement, Lessonly is a great option. The platform offers several products, including:

  • LEARN: Create onboarding and enablement lessons complete with your branding
  • PRACTICE: Specific to revenue-generating teams, this enablement software empowers teams to get up to speed 2.3x faster
  • SKILLS: A coaching program for sales teams to increase closed-won rates

Absorb LMS

Absorb LMS is another learning management system that provides intuitive online employee training software. It supports everything from new employee orientation to regulatory compliance training standards. Absorb can help businesses:

  • Increase retention
  • Boost productivity
  • Close skill gaps
  • Reduce admin workload

Absorb is another web-based software that requires no downloads or installations for companies or employees to access courses.

Other ways to support employee development

Learning and development can take many forms. While structured programs and the use of an LMS allow for close monitoring of employee development, there are other ways you can support your teams’ professional development.

Audiobook subscriptions

Audiobook subscriptions are an enjoyable perk for employees and can help your teams learn by listening to career-based books. Audible is a great example of a potential audiobook subscription to use, while a platform like Blinkist provides quick learning by giving employees the main points from books to save time.

Book clubs

Book clubs are a fantastic way to bring people together to spark conversations and facilitate continued learning. Members can meet once a month, biweekly, or whatever cadence is preferred to discuss work-related skills, leadership characteristics, and other traits they can then incorporate into their own roles.

Job shadowing and mentorship

Job shadowing and mentorship encourage more senior team members to support the learning and development of junior members. It’s also an important part of succession planning, or can be used as part of the onboarding process to help new employees understand the various departments and job functions within your organization.

Job shadowing and mentorship can be structured or more flexible, depending on the employees’ and organization’s goals.

Lunch and Learns

Why not have your teams share their expertise with the greater organization? Lunch and learns offer a low-cost way to educate teams while also giving businesses the opportunity to celebrate their teams’ successes and expertise. Lunch and Learns can also feature external speakers to mix things up and provide different perspectives.

Webinars/Conferences

Webinars, seminars, and conferences are valuable learning opportunities for teams and also provide a chance for professional networking. Whether they travel to an in-person conference or open their browsers for a virtual webinar, your employees will be exposed to new thoughts and ideas from experts in a given field.

Wrapping up — Invest in employee development to enrich and retain your talent pool

Employee development is an important part of your overall talent strategy. By implementing an employee development program and providing your teams with opportunities to grow and advance their careers, you can achieve a higher retention rate, more engaged employees, and greater success.


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The best personality and aptitude tests for interviewing and building teams

People management. Human resources. Recruiters. Three groups of professionals who have a significant need to make the best possible hires and personnel decisions… but how?

Talent assessments are just one of a myriad of tools available to professionals who are in the business of people for their business. These assessments can include cognitive, personality, motivation and interest, aptitude, and more. Talent assessments can be used to make hiring decisions, build teams, and even to inform cultural and work environment shifts within workplaces.

Read on to learn more about talent assessments and to understand how, when, and why you should consider assessments like personality or aptitude tests for your business.

The science behind assessments

A quick search on the Internet will bring you dozens (if not hundreds) of so-called personality or aptitude tests you can take in minutes and receive practically instant results. While some of these tests are based in legitimate research, there’s a big difference between your standard Buzzfeed personality test and a scientifically calculated testing protocol.

Aptitude tests are standardized instruments to assess specific cognitive, perceptual, or physical skills. These tests are used to help inform hiring, placement, and advancement decisions by organizations and can even be used by individuals in selection procedures for college, professional programs, and career planning.

Although they derived from subcomponents of intelligence tests, aptitude tests differ both in purpose and in scope from a traditional intelligence test. Aptitude tests are a great way to gauge a candidate’s suitability to a particular role.

Aptitude tests often address areas of aptitude including verbal reasoning, perceptual speed and accuracy, and language usage. The general purpose of an aptitude test is to determine whether or not an individual is suited to various roles within the organization, especially when it relates to a leadership position.

Personality tests differ from intelligence and aptitude tests. Personality tests aim to determine whether or not an individual is a good “cultural fit” within an organization by measuring personality traits.

Personality assessments are often based on the Five Factor Model which measures openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. Among the best-known personality tests used in research and career planning are the Big Five personality test, DISC assessments, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

It is important to note that not all personality assessments or tests are suitable for hiring, but rather should be used to help teams better understand one another and learn how best to work with others. For example, MBTI shouldn’t be used as a deciding factor in hiring, but can serve as a supporting assessment when putting together harmonious teams.

People with different personalities might do well in the same role, but it’s also true that people with the same personality traits may have vastly different aptitudes. With this in mind, it’s important to understand what your goals are when using any assessments and also to identify the best tests for your specific organizational needs.

Why should I use personality and/or aptitude tests for interviewing and building teams?

Assessments or tests can be used both in the hiring process and as part of your ongoing employee development and cultural management. Not surprisingly, the reasons for using assessments differ depending on when and how you use them.

During the hiring process, you might use assessments to ascertain whether or not an employee has the skills required for a role. When building teams or focusing on your culture, you might be looking to see which employees have certain personality traits so you can build teams who are most likely to bring out the best in one another.

When it comes to hiring, assessments can be an incredibly useful tool for recruiters and hiring managers. Research shows that as many as 78% of job seekers lie during the hiring process. Assessments can weed out candidates who have misrepresented their skills.

In hiring, assessments allow potential candidates to show off their skills and can be particularly useful in situations where a candidate didn’t exactly “shine” during an interview. Further, assessments or testing provides you with unbiased (or less biased) feedback on an employee’s cultural fit and skills that may have been overlooked or open to interpretation during the interview process.

In team building and ongoing employee development, assessments can be used as a tool to gather information from employees about cultural issues as well as to identify employees who are best-suited to moving up the ladder into more senior roles.

Here are some of the most common reasons HR teams and recruiters use assessments and testing:

To put people in positions where they will shine

If you want to build a successful team, it’s important that you make that individuals are in roles where they can be successful. Smart companies believe in committing to the right person, right seat to ensure their teams are built of people who are in the roles they’re best suited for.

Let’s say you poll your employees today and ask them if they would like to be in a managerial or leadership position. Chances are, many employees do aspire to this but not all of your employees are well-suited or ready for this type of role. By using an assessment, you can identify those who are best suited to moving into leadership roles and then nurture their skills and mentor them accordingly.

Similarly, you may have sales professionals who are customer-facing but have a passion for implementation or customer service representatives looking to make a shift to marketing or business development.

Assessments can help you both during the hiring process, in making sure that the person you’re considering is going to thrive in the role they’re applying to, as well as in your long-term employee development strategy.

To assess cultural fit and hire employees who will remain long-term

Much can be – and has been – said about hiring for cultural fit. Some say hiring for culture fit is perpetuating bias and this can be true if you’re allowing individuals to bring their personal bias into the consideration.

Remember, assessments can provide a less-biased or unbiased view of a candidate’s personality traits and motivations! This removes any personal bias from clouding judgment and allows hiring managers to make decisions based on the assessment results.

Cultural fit is an important factor in the selection process for recruiters. A cultural fit assessment is a combination of different methodologies designed to determine whether or not a candidate is a good cultural fit to your organization during the recruitment and selection process. To do this, you collect and analyze a series of data using an assessment tool.

Cultural fit typically refers to how well aligned an employee is with the culture of an organization, meaning that the employee’s goals, values, and belief system connect with the company’s.

To understand what motivates people

Determining what drives people can be a helpful tool in finding the right people to join your organization. It can also help you identify internal candidates for promotion and allow you to create a more positive work environment for your employees.

Motivational or interest inventories can be incredibly useful when hiring or promoting team members to more senior roles. If a candidate for a senior leadership position is most motivated by power, for example, that person may not be well-suited to a role where they are in a position of power over others. Contrarily, a person who is motivated by helping others succeed would be a fit for a more senior leadership opportunity.

Further, when you better understand the motivations and interests of your teams, you’re better able to bring them work that is meaningful and helps them feel successful. This yields more positive work environments and creates a more productive workplace culture.

Different types of tests

There are many different types of tests that HR or recruitment teams can choose to employ during the hiring process as well as those better suited for post-hire assessment by managers.

Narrowing down which assessments to use during the hiring process is critical YOUR success. If you throw too many assessments at candidates, it can be overwhelming and draw the process out unnecessarily. But, if you’re choosing the wrong assessments, you’re wasting everyone’s time.

Profiles Asia Pacific can help you determine which assessments to use and when to give you the best measurements for your organization. We have a unique library of assessments that can be leveraged to support your organization’s needs.

Emotional Intelligence Assessments

One of the most popular emotional intelligence assessments out there is the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i. The EQ-i is the world’s leading measure of emotional intelligence! Emotional intelligence skills are critical for building relationships and teams, leading effectively, and building resilience – making them incredibly important in the workplace.

An important thing to measure here is resilience. Resilience is critical to employee success as it is one of the key markers in learning, building skills, and effective leadership.

Of course, the EQ-i 2.0 is not the only emotional intelligence test out there. Every emotional intelligence assessment will ideally walk users through a series of questions and generate a report that identifies their strengths, weaknesses, and highlights emotional intelligence skills critical to workplace success.

Personality Assessments (DISC, Myers Briggs, FIRO)

Personality assessments have become a popular tool for people managers to use with their teams to help individuals better understand their own personalities as well as how their unique personality traits are perceived by others and how to work with different personalities.

DISC Theory & Personality Traits

DISC is an acronym for the four personality styles that make up the DISC model of behavior: Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S) and Conscientiousness (C). The DISC model is a powerful and remarkably simple tool for understanding people and what drives them.

DISC assessments yield reports that uncover a person’s primary, secondary, tertiary and even absent personality traits. The unique blend of DISC personality types affects how individuals go about their day-to-day

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment is often used by organizations to help individuals develop and build self-awareness to help teams work better together. MBTI should not be used in the hiring process. The design of MBTI is for development.

The MBTI identifies a person’s personality type, strengths, and preferences and is claimed to be the most widely-used personality assessment in the world. The MBTI measures the assignment of individuals into one of 16 personality types from the combination of four dichotomous attitudes or functioning styles:

  • Extraversion – Introversion
  • Thinking – Feeling
  • Judgment – Perception
  • Sensing – Intuition

Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-Behavior

The FIRO-B (Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-Behavior) is a useful assessment for team building. This insturment helps individuals understand their own behavior as well as the behavior of others to strengthen teams, repair relationships, and take good or functional relationships to a higher level.

The FIRO-B assessment provides a score that is used to estimate how comfortable an individual is with a particular behavior. The test includes three main areas:

  • Inclusion (relationships with others)
  • Control (preference for having influence over others)
  • Affection (need for 1:1 relationships)

Profiles Asia Pacific assessments and profiling

Our unique library of assessments and profiling tools can be used throughout the employee journey – from recruitment and hiring to employee development and feedback. These assessments include:

  • ProfileXT: a multi-purpose, total person assessment
  • eSkill: customizable online tests for specific job requirements
  • Profiles Managerial Fit™: a manager assessment tool
  • Checkpoint 360* Feedback System™: leadership assessment tool

To learn more about these assessments, get in touch today.

Benefits of using assessments

Just as there are countless assessments available for HR teams to choose from, the benefits of these assessments are almost too many to number. Personality, aptitude, and emotional intelligence assessments are excellent tools that can help you determine which candidates will best integrate with your company culture, who is suited for leadership roles, and to support teams looking to grow in strength.

Better hires

Using assessments can help you hire better by identifying the candidates who truly have the skills and personality traits necessary to be successful both in their individual role and within your overall company culture. Talent assessments can weed out candidates who have misrepresented their skills, education, or experience as well as those whose values and motivations are not aligned with your organization.

Improved retention

When you hire right, you’re more likely to retain those employees. But the use of assessments throughout the employee lifecycle can help you retain employees long-term by helping you understand what motivates your people and identify those well-suited to new positions within your organization. This includes those employees who would do well as managers.

Nurturing talent

As mentioned above, assessments can be used to nurture your own talent. An assessment can identify those team members who are well-suited to managerial promotions or senior leadership roles and provide your team with the opportunity to nurture their skills and interests as part of an overall employee development strategy.

Happier customers

Happier teams yield happier customers. It’s really that simple!

You can – and should – use assessments specific to customer-facing roles, such as the Customer Service Profile™ which can help you measure how well a person fits a specific customer service position within your organization. You may also choose to use sales-focused assessments for your sales teams to ensure your team members are “right person, right seat”.

Increased revenues

When your team is set up for success, you will be more successful. By putting the right people in the right roles, you can increase your revenues. Use assessments during the hiring process and throughout the employee lifecycle as part of your overall employee development to ensure that your team members are sitting in the right seats to propel your business forward.

Healthier workplace cultures

Every employer should aspire to have the best workplace culture possible. One way to move towards this goal is through the use of assessments to:

  • ensure a cultural fit when hiring
  • understand the motivations of employees
  • support employee development, including self-awareness and personal growth
  • help employees understand how they work with their peers (or improve their working relationships)

Wrapping up – Build the best teams with personality and aptitude assessments

Talent assessments and personality indicators can be a great tool for identifying, hiring, and developing talent in your organization. It’s important to make sure you are using the right test at the appropriate time but it’s even more important to ensure that you always look at the full picture. Assessments are, of course, just one of many tools you can use to improve your HR activities and practices.


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