Tag Archives: eSkill

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Why You’re Failing at Recruiting Really Good Candidates

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recruiting

How many times has a recruiter uttered the words, “I’m looking for a really good candidate for this position?” It’s an interesting phrase for several reasons. First, no recruiter would ever say, “I’m looking for a mediocre candidate for this position.” Second, if every recruiter is looking for really good candidates, it’s safe to assume that actually finding them must be very difficult, simply given the competition. And third, really good candidates are very likely to be already happily employed—and, if they’re available, the reason why might make them not so good after all.

As if these weren’t reasons enough why you might be failing at recruiting those really good candidates, consider the following recruiting traps that are all too easy to fall into.

Making It All About You, Not Them

Many recruiters make the mistake of doing all of the talking during an interview, instead of letting the candidate tell them why they’re right for the job. Not only does this come off as rude to the candidates, but the recruiter also fails in his or her mission of finding out more about the candidate than what is in the resume. The interview should be about the candidate, not about the recruiter.

Relying Too Much on “Gut Feeling”

How important is that gut feeling that tells you a candidate is perfect for the job? Well, it’s very important, but it’s not the only thing that matters. Going on guts alone can backfire tremendously when you’re trying to recruit really good candidates. A charming candidate who wins you over may be charismatic and may give you a good gut feeling, but he might turn out to be pretty mediocre when it comes down to doing the job. Don’t ignore your gut, but base your decision on deeper reasoning.

Playing Too Hard to Get

You want really good candidates to want to work for your company, so you sell it very well. But there’s a difference between a good sell and coming off as standoffish and too hard to get. Of course you want to present your company in the best light possible, pointing out why working there is a great opportunity for the right candidate, but try not to go too far and make it seem like working there is the be-all and end-all of all jobs, or you may put some candidates off.

Forgetting You Need Them Too

Another easy mistake recruiters make is forgetting that they need the candidate just as much (if not more) as the candidate needs the job. This can lead recruiters to act too aloof and as if they don’t care whether the candidate takes the job or not, potentially driving really good candidates into the arms of competitors. If you find a really good candidate, don’t be afraid to express how much the company would like to have her on board.

Thinking They’re Too Good

Not unlike the dating world, rejecting a candidate because he’s perceived to be too good is a real roadblock in hiring really good candidates. Sure, all recruiters say they want really good candidates, but many end up feeling intimidated by top talent (whether consciously or subconsciously), and they wind up bypassing them. Don’t feel threatened by talented candidates; instead, focus on how much their expertise will help the company grow.

Making It All About the Money

Focusing too much on money can also be a turn off for candidates. Whether it’s asking what their current salary is, how much commission they get, or how much they would expect to make their first year if they’re hired at your company can all be a bit much for a first interview. This is especially true since really good candidates might be more interested in increased job responsibilities and growth opportunities, rather than money.

Misunderstanding the Generational Divide

Really good candidates may come in all shapes and sizes, and they also come from all different generations. Younger Gen Y (Millennials) and Gen Z candidates view the workplace completely different from Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. Misunderstanding this divide can really cost you in acquiring talent, since a simple difference in perception can be all it takes for recruiters to dismiss a younger candidate, even if she is a really good—and maybe the best—candidate.

Having Too Great Expectations

Finally, looking for really good candidates can end up making you set the bar too high. Sure, you want the best talent out there, but what should really matter is finding someone who fits in well with your company culture, who brings a different set of perspectives and skills than everyone else, and who will succeed on the job over the long term. Expecting everything from a candidate right from the start is more likely to hinder your recruiting efforts than help you hire really good candidates.

Are there other reasons why you think you might be failing at recruiting really good candidates? In what ways have you adapted your recruiting strategies in order to attract and hire the best candidates?

Eric Friedman, Author

Eric Friedman

Eric Friedman is the founder and CEO of eSkill Corporation, a leading provider of online skills testing for pre-employment assessment and benchmarking. Eric has degrees in Psychology and Business, and a fascination with matching people with roles they’re best at, and that they enjoy.

A company built on exceptional talent from Internet technology, test development, and iterative product development, eSkill leads as an independent assessment company helping HR departments with relevant and accurate job-based tests.

To learn more about Eric and eSkill, visit the company website at www.eskill.com, or contact him on LinkedIn.


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How to Hire and Retain Highly Engaged Employees

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Highly engaged employees are a valuable resource, since they also tend to be reliable and successful. Every company should try to stack its roster with such people, since successful employees make for a successful business. By attracting and retaining employees who are engaged and motivated, companies are more likely to secure a solid future for themselves as well as their employees. It’s a cycle that benefits all who are involved.

There are a lot of ways to increase your chances of hiring high-caliber, engaged employees. Once you’ve signed these kinds of employees, though, you must do your part to maintain that engagement. Engagement is a two way street. It requires your efforts as well as the employee’s, so that you can create a partnership together that is mutually beneficial. But getting there isn’t always an easy task. A 2014 Gallup study showed that less than 32% of the U.S. workforce was engaged, 51% were just plain not engaged, and 18% were considered to be actively disengaged. That’s three different ways of saying there are a bunch of people out there who are not engaged in their work.

Going Beyond HR

When it comes to attracting and retaining highly engaged employees, the retaining aspect is not only the responsibility of HR, but of the company as a whole. It could also be argued that highly engaged employees aren’t hired; they are made. While a candidate might show some characteristics that would imply a higher likelihood of engagement, it’s the company’s responsibility to go beyond that. A company that fosters a culture and environment that encourages and enables higher levels of engagement is going to keep these types of employees around. If it’s left only up to HR, a company may be able to attract these types of employees, but retaining them might be an entirely different story.

Recruiting

Throughout the recruitment process, there are specific questions you can ask and different ways to assess or evaluate candidates, in order to determine whether or not they are likely to be engaged individuals. Being conscious of these processes and proactively using such strategies will help get the ball rolling.

Motivation

Motivation is going to look different at different points in the process. The motivation a candidate may show while trying to get a position might be very different from the motivation you see once he or she is hired. Unfortunately, for many, once the job is obtained, they are less motivated because they already have what they were going for. That is where incentives or recognition can play a big part in motivating employees as well as keeping them around.

Communication

Making sure that communication is efficient, accurate, and concise throughout the recruiting process, and also once an employee is hired. Not only does this show respect for individual employees, it’s a way to let them know exactly what is expected of them. On the front end, you need to be able to communicate job expectations and environmental factors. On the back end, you need to be able to work with an employee and make sure that everyone is consistently on the same page. When communication is effective, problems can often been dealt with before they become bigger problems, everyone stays happier, and employees feel respected. That goes a long way towards encouraging them to stay engaged for a long time.

Eric FriedmanEric Friedman, Author

Eric Friedman is the founder and CEO of eSkill Corporation, a leading provider of online skills testing for pre-employment assessment and benchmarking. Eric has degrees in Psychology and Business, and a fascination with matching people with roles they’re best at, and that they enjoy.

A company built on exceptional talent from Internet technology, test development, and iterative product development, eSkill leads as an independent assessment company helping HR departments with relevant and accurate job-based tests.

To learn more about Eric and eSkill, visit the company website at www.eskill.com, or contact him on LinkedIn.


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Find Top Qualified Candidates with Job Simulations

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Finding the most qualified candidate for a job is seldom easy. Even when you think you’ve found the perfect candidates, they sometimes don’t succeed as you thought they would. Through pre-employment job simulations, recruiters can find out whether the seemingly perfect candidate will actually do well on the job.

Job simulation tests present real-life work scenarios that assess how well a candidate would perform if on the job. Simulations engage candidates in environments that recreate what they would encounter in real life. Like an astronaut in training has to master a space shuttle simulator, candidates can demonstrate their skills and expertise while navigating a job simulation.

Job simulations can apply to many different industries and functions, including call centers, manufacturing, finance, banking, and even simple office tasks. Say you’re looking for someone to run your company’s social media accounts. You can assess the candidates’ skills through MS Office and Digital Literacy simulations to make sure they are well versed in these competencies. Through these assessment tests, you can better determine if a candidate truly has the skills needed to succeed.

Some of the benefits of implementing pre-employment simulation tests include:

  • Higher engagement. The recruiting process isn’t always easy and can even be quite stressful and/or dull. Through job simulations, candidates can experience what a day on the job is like and will get a better idea of what the role entails, increasing their level of understanding and engagement.
  • Better accuracy. Since job simulations test how a candidate would apply his or her skills to an actual work situation, they showcase how the candidate will perform in real life. The scores of a simulation test more accurately predict whether the candidate will be successful or not.
  • Increased objectivity. The task of recruiting is mostly subjective—candidates write resumes and cover letters in their own words, boasting about their skills, while recruiters read those resumes with their own personal preconceptions. Job simulations objectively evaluate how a candidate applies those skills to real work situations, reducing the level of bias toward a particular candidate.
  • Lower costs. If time is money, then the time spent recruiting, hiring, and training adds up. The cost multiplies when candidates don’t perform as expected and have to be replaced, making the recruiting process quite costly. Assessment and simulation tests save you money by helping you hire the right candidate the first time.
  • Workforce assessment. Job simulation tests are not just for pre-employment assessments. You can conduct employee evaluations that include job simulations to assess your current workforce’s skills and abilities. This can help you determine where extra training is needed.

Of course, as with most things, job simulations have a few downsides. Establishing job simulation testing in your company does incur a cost. It may be eventually offset by money saved from smarter hiring, but it still needs to be budgeted for. Candidates may also be nervous while taking the job simulation tests, which can affect their responses and inaccurately assess their abilities. Some candidates learn quickly on the job, so while their job simulation test scores may not be very high, they could still prove to be excellent employees who learn while doing.

They can’t replace a recruiter’s experience and judgment, but together with the information gleaned from a candidate’s resume, references, and the all-important interview, simulations can provide independent, objective data about current skills and abilities that can prove invaluable. In context with all of your other sources of information, it can make your decision clear.

Have you used job simulation testing as part of your recruiting process? Do you think it effectively helps assess a candidate’s skills and job potential?

Eric Friedman, Author

Eric FriedmanEric Friedman is the founder and CEO of eSkill Corporation, a leading provider of online skills testing for pre-employment assessment and benchmarking. Eric has degrees in Psychology and Business, and a fascination with matching people with roles they’re best at, and that they enjoy.

A company built on exceptional talent from Internet technology, test development, and iterative product development, eSkill leads as an independent assessment company helping HR departments with relevant and accurate job-based tests.

To learn more about Eric and eSkill, visit the company website at www.eskill.com, or contact him on LinkedIn.


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Testing for Hard and Soft Skills

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When you’re looking for candidates to fill a position, it’s easy to see their technical skills—it’s all over their resumes in the projects they’ve worked on, their qualifications and experience. Few people write words like “integrity” and “prioritizing” on their resumes and even if they do, those words tend to be taken as filler words that don’t mean anything. But they do mean a lot. In fact, these soft skills are crucial when it comes to finding the right candidate.

Soft skills are the qualities that define a candidate as an individual and therefore as an employee. Sometimes called “people skills,” soft skills are subjective and include a person’s work ethic, time management skills, and ability to work in a team. These are skills that all employees should have in order to succeed. Depending on the job, some soft skills may be more important than others. For example, a candidate who will have to work on multiple projects at once should have the soft skills to be able to prioritize and meet deadlines. On the other hand, a candidate who will be working in a sales position should have soft skills of being outgoing, assertive, and self-confident.

Hard skills, on the other hand, are based on the experience and technical know-how. Hard skills cover the actual tasks that an employee is responsible for, like operating machinery, writing news articles, or using design software. For instance, a nurse’s hard skills include knowing how to check vital signs and administer first aid. An IT professional’s hard skills probably include application development and database administration.

One of the main differences between soft skills and hard skills is that hard skills are pretty easy to spot, since they’re usually clearly listed in a candidate’s resume. Hard skills are more tangible and objective than soft skills, so they’re easier to identify. Someone who lists “10 years of experience in graphic design” should have the hard skills associated with that job. Hard skills are not only easier to identify through a candidate’s list of experiences and education, they’re easier to test for as well. Through pre-employment testing you can find out if a candidate has the specific skills associated with a particular job.

Another difference between hard and soft skills has to do with an employer’s ability to offer training. While hard skills can be taught—an employee can take a workshop to learn how to use a specific type of software—soft skills are more innate and are not easily taught, since they’re subjective and strongly tied to a candidate’s personality. However, there are some ways to encourage soft skills—like reliability and a willingness to take risks—among employees. Through employee empowerment, engagement, and encouragement, employers can nurture a workplace environment that promotes soft skills.

So why should you look for candidates with both hard and soft skills? A candidate who has both sets of skills is a better-rounded person, and therefore is more likely to succeed at the job. Take the nurse mentioned above, who has the hard skills required for the job, like the medical training and know-how. But it’s the soft skills, like empathy and being a good listener, which can take that nurse from being average to being exceptional.

Although it can be tricky, it is possible to find out which candidates have the soft skills that will make them exceptional at the job. The interview stage is the perfect time to assess a candidate’s soft skills. A good interviewer should ask questions that shed light on the candidate’s personality traits and potential soft skills. Personality tests are also a tool to determine whether a candidate has the soft skills needed for a position.

What’s important to remember when thinking about hard skills vs. soft skills is how crucial each set is to the success of a given employee in the position you’re hiring for. Is a candidate with strong hard skills but weaker soft skills still going to do well at your company? Maybe the position doesn’t really require many soft skills, but the technical know-how an absolute must. In this case, you’re better off choosing the candidate with very strong hard skills. Just remember, a candidate with strong hard and soft skills can be a more valuable asset in the long run.

Eric Friedman, Author

Eric Friedman

Eric Friedman is the founder and CEO of eSkill Corporation, a leading provider of online skills testing for pre-employment assessment and benchmarking. Eric has degrees in Psychology and Business, and a fascination with matching people with roles they’re best at, and that they enjoy.

A company built on exceptional talent from Internet technology, test development, and iterative product development, eSkill leads as an independent assessment company helping HR departments with relevant and accurate job-based tests.

To learn more about Eric and eSkill, visit the company website at www.eskill.com, or contact him on LinkedIn.


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Web-Based Assessments and RecruitmentHow Web Technology Can Lead to HR Success

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The recruiting game is constantly changing, and knowing how to best use new and emerging technologies is the key these days to winning the game. Web and mobile technologies are great resources that can transform the recruiting process, especially when it comes to pre-employment assessments and interview screening. Replacing outdated assessment methods with web-based technologies can help you take your recruiting game to the next level.

Here are a few examples of how recruiters can apply web technologies to pre-employment testing, to improve their recruiting process:

  • Mobile testing. Mobile websites and apps are among the most game-changing technologies in the HR and recruiting world. By tapping into mobile resources, recruiters and candidates have access to information on the go, anywhere and anytime. This also applies to pre-employment testing. Mobile-based assessment applications offer candidates the convenience of completing tests on their smartphones whenever they want, while allowing recruiters to get the results faster.
  • Simulation testing. Through simulation testing, recruiters can test candidates in real work environments that simulate anything from the MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PPT, Outlook) to web browsers and email providers. These tests can help recruiters assess how candidates work in real life: how they respond to problems and the extent of their knowledge of certain software. These tests are especially helpful when you’re hiring for positions that require specific skills that can be tested in a simulation, such as a customer service call center representative or a web designer.
  • Multitasking testing. Multitasking has increasingly become a necessity in the workplace. Most employees now wear many different hats and have to constantly switch gears to accomplish tasks as they arise. However, multitasking effectively takes skill. Testing a candidate’s ability to multitask without losing focus or sacrificing quality is crucial to finding the right person for your position. Recruiters can supply a multitasking scenario through a web-based assessment platform and evaluate how candidates manage it.
  • Video interviewing. Web technologies have made it easier than ever to conduct remote interviews with candidates. Skype, Google Plus Hangout, and FaceTime are just a few of the platforms recruiters can use to conduct effective interviews with candidates that live in a different city. It can also save time for all candidates if you have a video interview before asking them to come in person. In a preliminary video interview, recruiters can quickly assess candidates without spending too much time or having to set up a meeting space.

These web-based assessments provide a lot of benefits for recruiters, which make investing in the technology very worthwhile, such as:

  • Saving time and money. Assessing candidates remotely via web-based testing and interviews saves a significant amount of time and money. Pre-employment assessments help recruiters find the best candidates so there’s less time spent training them, since you know they come with all the necessary skills for the job. This saves money in terms of man-hours both before and after hiring.
  • Reduced turnover rates. When you find the right candidate for your position, you know it, and most of the time he or she knows it too. This means that once hired, candidates are more likely to stay at the job since they know what it really entails after having gone through simulation testing, for instance. HR managers also benefit of course, because a reduced turnover rate means fewer open positions and less time having to recruit for them.
  • Identify top talent. Every recruiter knows that their goal is not just to find candidates to fill jobs, but rather to find the best candidate to fill the right job. Identifying top talent is tricky, but pre-employment assessments can help recruiters find the candidates who truly excel in the skills that are needed for the job. Going beyond just reviewing a resume and conducting an interview, these web-based tests give recruiters almost instant access to the candidate’s actual skills and how they would apply them to the position.
  • Discover both hard and soft skills. A resume and a cover letter can only tell recruiters so much about a candidate. Through assessment testing and video interview screening, recruiters can learn more about a candidate, especially when it comes to soft skills like overall attitude, communication skills, leadership, work ethic, and multitasking abilities. These soft skills are vital for success in the workplace, and pre-employment assessments can help recruiters find them.

Have you implemented—or have you thought about implementing—any web-based assessment testing and interviewing in your recruiting process? Which pre-employment assessment practices have worked best for you?

About Eric Friedman, Author

Eric Friedman

Eric Friedman is the founder and CEO of eSkill Corporation, a leading provider of online skills testing for pre-employment assessment and benchmarking. Eric has degrees in Psychology and Business, and a fascination with matching people with roles they’re best at, and that they enjoy.

A company built on exceptional talent from Internet technology, test development, and iterative product development, eSkill leads as an independent assessment company helping HR departments with relevant and accurate job-based tests.

To learn more about Eric and eSkill, visit the company website at www.eSkill.com, or contact him on LinkedIn.


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