Monthly Archives: April 2013

craigslist hiring nightmare

Hiring on Craigslist is a Nightmare

It’s no secret. Hiring on Craigslist can be a nightmare.

You spend an hour or two creating a job description using specific keywords and language in hopes of attracting the right candidates for the job. You spend some more time getting the details neatly formatted, take one more look for final edits,  then (finally) submit your job ad.

You wake up the next morning, get a cup of coffee and sit down at the kitchen table, ready to check a few emails before heading to the office. As you pull up your inbox, you almost spit out your coffee!

57 resumes are waiting in your inbox.

After the daily commute, you settle in to your office. Again, you open your inbox. Suddenly, the number of resumes has now climbed to 85, all in the matter of an hour or so.

You start to feel a bit overwhelmed. Determined to make way through this daunting stack of resumes, you reluctantly open the first resume at the top of the list.

And this is what you find:

bad resume

Does this look familiar? Photo via FunnyorDie.com

Obviously this is a gross exaggeration but it makes a solid point.

You spend the majority of your time filtering out applicants who are completely unqualified in the first place. The endless stack of resumes consuming your inbox is plagued with candidates who either have no relevant experience, unrealistic salary expectations, or simply those who use a “shotgun approach” and blast out resumes to any company that is hiring at the moment.

You’ve made a valiant effort so far, but your’e running out of time because you need to choose at least 5 applicants for a phone interview by the end of the day.  So after only getting through half of the resumes, you decide to cut your losses and wind up choosing only from the resumes you were able to scan through.

The result of all your hard work?

You rarely end up with the best candidate for the job.

This unfortunate result is not because all applicants are unqualified. Most likely, it’s because a candidate you “should have” hired was either lost, languishing at the bottom of the stack, or their resume was glossed over due to mental fatigue.

So how can you prevent this?

At Ovation, when it comes to screening resumes, we believe in the 80/20 Principle. You should spend 80 percent of your time focusing on the best 20 percent of applicants. With the 80/20 Principle, your company will arrive at the best possible hiring decision,

Ovation’s dynamic hiring tool puts you in charge! Ovation makes the 80/20 Principle possible by automatically vetting and ranking each incoming application, based on your custom criteria.

Resumes are no longer crammed in your inbox based on “first come, first serve”. Instead, they are neatly organized and placed in order by “best-fit,” so top candidates (those that deserve to be noticed) rise to the top.

Finally… Hiring on Craigslist doesn’t seem like much of a nightmare anymore.

8 Ways to Eliminate Hiring Bias During Interviews

Finding the perfect candidate has always been a challenge. Hiring bias, by emotionally and subjectively judging candidates, does not make these complex hiring decisions any easier.

hiring bias during job interviewIn a competitive marketplace, the best way for business to thrive is by hiring the right people. A candidate that is not a good fit can have a negative effect that ripples throughout the entire company.

Not only can poor hiring be responsible for things like lost sales, revenues or profits, they can also potentially affect the efficiency of the whole workplace.

Hiring Bias Is a Major Problem

Hiring bias is a problem that hamstrings the process. In the end, prejudice in hiring hurts everyone—the company, its employees and reputation.

Prejudice in hiring is nothing new. However, prevalence of hiring bias—a hiring manager allowing emotion to influence the outcome of an interview—has turned into a substantial problem for companies of every size. Businesses are clearly at risk when they continue noncompliant hiring and interview procedures.

Hiring Bias on the Rise

In the 12-month period from October 2011 to September 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received nearly 100,000 claims of prejudice in hiring. One can only imagine the number of incidents that go unreported. With more charges making way to the EEOC, and millions of dollars in fines assessed to irresponsible companies, hiring bias has arrived in the federal spotlight.

Benchmarking Helps Curb Prejudices

One way to help reduce bias in hiring is by benchmarking. Companies use benchmarking to define job descriptions clearly as a way to rank each candidate objectively—eliminating the majority of subjective judgment that leads to charges of prejudice. This modern benchmarking process identifies competencies, behaviors, and motivators required for each one of the jobs a company looks to fill.

Benchmarking is a powerful tool which ensures your business will hire the best candidates—fairly and objectively. Here are 8 tangible ways you can combat hiring bias in your organization.

Eight Ways to Eliminate Bias in Interviews:

1.  Be crystal-clear on the jobs you need to fill.

It is necessary to start with a complete, clearly written job description, knowing exactly why the job exists and how the company measures success in the jobs. Hiring managers should also know the history of the position and how each of the jobs fit into the company’s overall business strategy.

2.  Start with an extensive phone interview.

After benchmarking a job description, and establishing a ranking system using objective qualifications, begin the process with a 30-minute phone interview prior to an in-person meeting. Not only will this support the rankings, but also it will help reduce anxiety when the candidate actually comes in for a face-to-face interview.

3.  Wait at least 30 minutes in the interview before deciding.

Before you make any decision during an interview, wait about 30 minutes after the interview starts. This delay will help reduce the impact of first impressions. This will allow time to discover that the good may not be as impressive as you first thought, and the bad is not so terrible.

4.  Do not do-it-yourself; have a hiring team.

A second interviewer—or group of interviewers—removes a lot of emotion from the process, with fewer opportunities for bias in filling jobs.

5.  No one person on the hiring team gets a full “Yea” or “Nay.”

Both benchmarking and candidate ranking make hiring less subjective. In the interview, use a similar procedure. If using two interviewers (or more), each should be responsible for ranking two or three different factors. After the interview, team members use evidence and facts to support their rankings.

6.  Be harder on the people you love.

Often, when an interviewer likes a candidate, they relax, ignore negatives and start asking “softball” questions. Do not be afraid to ask well-liked candidates questions that are more difficult. Dig a little deeper into their experience and qualifications.

7.  Stick with the facts.

Stop using emotionally-charged words to describe the interview—words like “think,” “feel,” “good” (or “bad”) personality and “soft skills.” These, and other words, hint at emotion and prejudice—a path leading to charges of favoritism. If hiring managers uses those words frequently, it is a hint they are not applying the right filters during the interview. When employers stick with facts and concrete evidence, they remain objective and avoid claims of prejudice.

8.  Take time in the interview.

Hiring and interview tools, such as Ovation’s candidate ranking feature, can speed up the overall process considerably. That does not say an employer can shorten interviews. Each member of the hiring team should individually spend 30-40 minutes with the candidate, or organize a group interview lasting at least an hour. To arrive at a fair hiring decision, simply add up the rankings from each interviewer.

Bias Begins With Human Nature

We are all human, and we naturally seek out evidence supporting our initial reactions to a candidate. They also filter out contradictory information, sometimes unconsciously. Reducing bias in hiring begins by recognizing that bias is a part of human nature.

Technology Removes Bias In Hiring

Ovation Technologies’ innovative hiring tool takes the guesswork out of the hiring process. Benchmarking transforms a standard description of jobs into a set of key accountabilities within the organization. Ovation prioritizes and weighs key accountabilities, using them as the focal point for an interview.

Ovation grades candidates, providing reference points to define the appropriate candidates for the selection, interview and coaching process.

Using technology to rank candidates objectively, taking the time in making a hiring decision and requiring interviewers to justify assessments with evidence allow every company to take one more step toward eliminating hiring bias.

Finding the Perfect Incentive for Top Performers

Employee_incentiveIs there a perfect employee incentive?

Well, not all employee incentives are created equal. Employee incentives are to reward top performers.

That is the point! Just like a diverse workplace, incentives can take any shape—from the occasional treat or paid meal, to days off, vacations and extra income.

The best incentives should be like your best employees —innovative, motivating and willing to support the entire team to advance to new heights. Developing an effective reward system should be as valuable as your top performers.

Reward Programs Promote Empowerment

The key to an employee reward program is to promote a sense of empowerment and ownership. Hard work equals more profits, so employees should be able to share in profits, as well as receive individual recognition for their performance.

The first thing is to make employee incentives, rewards and recognition public and highly visible! Everyone in the workplace should understand that the company values good work and rewards high performance.

Concrete evidence of the company’s appreciation of top performers will provide each employee a sense they are working for something than the benefit of senior management.  The result is a more motivated, energized and enthusiastic work force—the perfect recipe for high productivity.

Employee Recognition Equals Employee Engagement

As one of the most powerful tools in the business world, incentive programs can improve the overall quality of employees, more than almost any other factor. When employees are adequately recognized and engaged, they will take less sick days, they are less likely to leave, more flexible and much, much more valuable.

Faced with sagging performance in customer service, American Express needed a change to motivate its call centers. After attempting several plans, with limited success, company leaders came upon a truly brilliant idea. They began providing a revamped benefits package: more pay, flextime and clear recondition for higher performance.

Almost instantaneously, American Express call centers reacted positively, with a 10 percent increase in processing customer calls.

Paid vacations are another popular employee motivation for to reward highest performers.

A paid trip—perhaps costing up to a few thousand dollars—can seem like an extravagantly expensive premium. However, when you crunch the numbers, an investment in employees, by setting an example for all employees to shoot for, becomes money well spent.

The ROI of Employee Incentives

Employee incentive plans—vacations and trips—can have much more “bang for the buck” than a one-off cash bonus. After a time, a single $2500 gift may lose its appeal (especially after it is spent).

However, apply that same $2500 (or even a little less) to a getaway for a top performer, and he or she will return to work with a “glow,” something that will spread throughout a department—or the whole company.

What is a better motivation for a company to get more out of its people? Everyone will need to be the next one on a company-paid holiday!

A well-executed incentive program pays for itself. Spending money on employees provides a return on investment with higher productivity, less sick days taken, improved compliance and better overall morale.

A company can combine the ROI by having the top two (three or more) performing employees take a weekend trip together. When the best employees are enjoying themselves in the same place, who knows what extraordinary things can happen? This makes it a networking opportunity, a way to build relationships and maybe even come up with the next impressive business idea.

Find The Perfect Employee Incentive Program For You!

Not every business can give their best employees paid trips as a way to thank them for their hard work. No matter direction you take your employee incentive program, it should be created to fit your top performers. More importantly, a rewards program should be a highly visible demonstration of their value to your business success.

Of course, employee incentive programs begin with talented employees! Recruiting hiring and onboarding the best talent starts with organization—developing a strategy to cut through the clutter and get the right people for the job.

Searching For the Perfect Driving Job

Ask anyone in the trucking industry to describe the perfect driving job; you might not hear the same things twice.

The trucking industry is a fast growing one with a high turnover level. Keeping drivers happy by listening to their needs lowers turnover and makes for better working conditions and more productivity.

A happy trucker is a productive one

What is the perfect driving job? Is there such a thing?

Asking people in the trucking industry to describe the best driving job, and you will probably get a different answer every time.

For some truckers, the perfect gig is a good seat behind the wheel of a rig with plenty of power, enough clearance, a good set of chains, nice CB, good radio and a cab that cleans up easy. Other drivers look for things like benefits, expected mileage and operation area.

After deciding to be a driver, there are a number of puzzles to solve. What may be the perfect opportunity for one trucker might not suit someone else. There is a wide variety of positions available in the trucking market, so the best driving job for you depends on a combination of your skill, knowledge and experience.

Start by thinking of what type of truck driving job you want. Simply getting behind the wheel is not enough. You want to be happy with long or short hauls and know which one is more preferable for you.

Will you be involved in the pickup and unloading process for loads you carry? Perhaps you will be an owner-operator. Will you want to move up, becoming a manager in the future? Knowing what equipment you will use, as well as pay, expected mileage, home time and operation area.

The answer to all these questions will help you find a company that suits your requirements.

In the eyes of some drivers, the perfect driving job is all about pay. Even if a job pays well, other drivers think a fantastic job should also include health benefits. Many drivers in the trucking industry see driver training as a “meat grinder,” where the only drivers to succeed are those who are better at it and enjoy driving the most. Others see training as an indispensable part of a career.

The most popular features of the “perfect” driving job:

  • Pay and benefits
  • Home time
  • Management to employee relations (and vice versa)
  • Customer relations
  • Equipment maintenance and upkeep
  • Mobility (how a driver spends his or her time—spending time driving or just sitting around)

It is not about how terrific a job sounds on paper. It is about the way a company treats employees. With driving in the trucking industry, a perfect job is about the amount of money earned, compared to sitting around waiting. The value in a trucking job is the actual work required, time spent away from home, benefits, equipment and maintenance.

As in virtually every industry, the worst jobs, ones with the highest failure and turnover, are with companies where owners look like they have no idea what they are doing.

What makes a perfect trucking job? When management understands what it is like to be on a work floor, warehouse or on the road. Passing judgment is much more effective when supervisors understand how a decision affects the rank-and-file.

Even in the cases of managers promoted from warehouse operations, there are many with utterly no idea of the transportation end of the business.  Frequently, new rules and regulations come down to a driver, making it much harder for them to do the job. Solving many of these problems could only be a matter of dispatching more efficiently to reduce (or eliminate) wait time at warehouses. Just a small increase in efficiency for the consignee or consignor could make an inferior trucking job considerably better.

If there is one thing many drivers will agree on, you do not choose a career as a trucker. The career chooses you. The majority of truckers simply drive for the passion of driving.

Think Employee Lawsuits Can’t Happen to You?

Think again.

Discrimination in hiring can be costly when employees sue.When dealing with hiring issues, “I didn’t know” and “I didn’t mean to do that” are excuses that don’t get too much sympathy in court. Discrimination in hiring and firing are serious issues that can be very costly for your business. When cases go to trial awards can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars because punitive awards are often tacked onto actual damage amounts. Fortunately, most cases are settled out of court somewhere in the middle of what a claimant asks for and what and employer believes is fair. The real winners are, you guessed it, the lawyers.

 So…what kinds of discrimination are common?

 Discrimination comes in many forms.
  • Age discrimination laws are designed to protect workers over the age of 40.
  • Race and ethnicity discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act requires reasonable accommodation in the workplace of disabled workers if the disability is known to the employer.
  • Several States have passed legislation that prohibits practice of excluding unemployed individuals in advertisements for job vacancies.
  • According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), A blanket refusal to hire workers based on criminal records or credit problems can be illegal if it has a undue impact on racial minorities,

 OK….How do I protect my company from discrimination actions?

Avoiding lawsuits, penalties and fines in employment related matters requires a framework of compliance measures put in place at your business and constant monitoring of your company’s compliance. That is one of the key benefits provided by human resource (HR) professionals.

You can employee in-house HR professionals or you can outsource that function. Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) provide the HR functions on an “as needed” basis. PEOs can help establish the proper framework including employee handbooks, sensitivity training as well as procedures to deal with discrimination issues as they may develop.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is an excellent resource for HR professionals to stay abreast of the laws and regulations surrounding the employer/employee relationship. They also have HR certification programs that result in Professional Human Resource (PHR) and Senior Professional Human Resource (SPHR) certificates.