We are excited to announce that Premium Texting is available in ApplicantStack Recruit & Onboard as well as WorkforceHub Plus.
What is Premium Texting?
Premium Texting includes everything in Basic Unlimited Texting (discussed ahead) plus Text-to-Apply and Workflow Embed.
With text-to-apply, candidates can apply with their mobile device at the point of initial engagement. When the candidate clicks APPLY in the job posting, the system will text the candidate a link to a mobile friendly application.
Why is Text-to-Apply a Game Changer?
More and more people find a phone more convenient for online access than a laptop or desktop. In fact, most of us have our phone within arm’s reach day and night. Today’s job seeker uses their mobile device to search job boards, research companies, communicate with recruiters, and submit applications. Because of this, text-to-apply is critical for employers trying to attract more applicants or speed up their hiring process. Furthermore, companies competing in the same labor pool as their local Walmart or Amazon warehouse will have an uphill battle without providing text-to-apply.
Candidates can apply immediately when they see your job posting on their mobile device
Applicants experience a modern, convenient candidate journey that reflects well on your company
You will have fewer abandoned applications because candidates can apply without delay
Add Automated Texting to Workflows
Automated texting makes it easy to engage with candidates as they move through the hiring process. With Premium Texting, you can embed SMS in workflows and trigger texts with hiring stage changes.
Advance applicants and inform them of next steps with automated personalized text messages
Speed up the hiring process and avoid slowdowns due to poor communication
Never accidentally ghost another candidate
Premium Texting is sold at the account level, which means that if you have both ApplicantStack Recruit and Onboard, you can use Premium Texting in both modules under the monthly price.
Basic Unlimited Texting
Basic Unlimited Texting has been available since 2019 and our users love it. It makes hiring faster, easier and more engaging for candidates. Just as important, it improves efficiency for hiring teams. With texting, our customers extract even more value from our hiring platform. ApplicantStack Basic Unlimited Texting, not surprisingly, lets you send as many texts as you want for one monthly fee. The software saves the conversations and several members of the hiring team can text as if from one person.
Send a text instead of an email any time you need to communicate with an applicant:
Confirm an interview appointment
Send a link to a screening questionnaire
Send a quick text as a follow-up to a call, email or interview
Send interview instructions – parking, building access, etc.
Answer candidates’ questions
Send a bulk text to a group of candidates
Improve the candidate journey with quick communication that keeps them engaged – applicants can respond immediately or at their convenience. Many top candidates are currently employed but looking for a better opportunity. With many job positions, the employee can communicate with text in situations where they couldn’t necessarily take a voice call. With texting, you can engage a larger hiring pool. This makes it quicker and easier to find the perfect hire for the job.
As with Premium Texting, if you have both ApplicantStack Recruit and Onboard, you can use Basic Unlimited texting in both platforms.
What is WorkforceHub Plus?
WorkforceHub Plus is the small business time and labor solution from Swipeclock. (ApplicantStack Recruit and Onboard are also part of the Swipeclock product suite.) WorkforceHub Plus includes Timekeeping, Scheduling, Hiring, PTO Management and Human Resources. The Applicant Tracking module in WorkforceHub Plus has similar functionality as standalone ApplicantStack Recruit. However, it syncs with additional functions in WorkforceHub Plus.
Over one million people use Swipeclock workforce management solutions every day. To schedule a demo, visit WorkforceHub Plus demo.
One type of recruiting platform is an applicant tracking system (ATS). It is a type of HR software that manages the hiring workflow from job board posting to onboarding. With recruitment software, a small team can manage multiple job openings simultaneously. Importantly, recruiting software shortens time to fill which minimizes costly lapses in productivity. With an applicant tracking system, you can:
1. Hiring Software Saves Money With Better Screening
Evaluating candidates is one of the most time-consuming hiring tasks. However, a structured screening process is key to hiring success. Let’s discuss how software makes screening faster and more effective.
Screening can be divided into two stages – immediately upon receipt of the application and post-interview evaluation. Hiring software can automate 100% of application screening and up to 80% of post-interview screening. Applicant screening is a first-pass filtering of job applicants. Separating unqualified applicants quickly is key. With the process of elimination, you create a smaller pool of promising candidates.
Application Screening Questionnaires
Though you begin filtering as soon as you start receiving applications, you prepare earlier. Create your prescreening questionnaires before you post your job, once you have created your job description.
Once you post a job you are competing with other employers to find great candidates. Take the time up front so you don’t slow yourself down after the applications start flowing in. Another advantage to creating your filtering questions before posting the job is that you can make changes to your job description if necessary.
In your hiring software, create an application questionnaire based on the job description. Following that, determine the scoring system for the questionnaire and assign point values. In addition, identify elimination questions that will knock out the applicant. For example, if you are hiring a CPA, you may want to eliminate job seekers without the certification.
You can also use the applicant’s resume for first-pass filtering. You assign points based on resume keywords. For example, if you are looking for an accountant, you can add points to their score if their resume includes “CPA.” Consider how knock-out questions, weighted scoring, and resume parsing can separate qualified candidates from the applicant pool.
Once you have screened the questionnaires and resumes, your hiring system can sort your applicants by score. Contrast this process with reviewing applications and resumes by hand.
The interview evaluation process is a critical time. At this point, you’ve invested many hours engaging and interviewing your finalists. But for many recruiting teams, it’s challenging to get useful feedback from all decision makers. No matter how many employees you engage in the hiring process, it’s important that you have a structured, thought-out process. This is where candidate scorecards are an invaluable recruiting tool. With your ATS or hiring platform, create interview evaluation scorecards. These are similar to the filtering questionnaires, except each member of the interview team fills them out.
Based on the job ad, use multiple choice, star ratings or scale questions in the evaluation form. This prevents vague “gut feelings” from introducing bias into your decision. When each member of the interview panel gives feedback, you improve the evaluation process. Each person’s perspective and expertise improves the scoring.
Finding a great hire requires a well thought-out structured interview evaluation process. Yet if the process takes too long, the best candidates have already taken positions with employers that have a faster process. The best recruiting software helps with both speed and effectiveness. First, it gives you the tools to screen strategically. Second, it automates where possible to compress the timeline. The result is a high quality hire poised for success.
2. Hiring Software Saves Money by Shortening Time to Hire
A long recruitment process increases the chance that you’ll make a bad hire. High quality candidates are being recruited by your competitors. They aren’t going to wait weeks or months for a job offer.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a bad hire can cost you up to 30% of the employee’s wages for the first year. Let’s do the math for both an entry-level and senior employee. ZipRecruiter tracks the average entry-level salary by state, with a range of $25,712 to $35,793. Let’s take the lower number: 30% of $25,712 is $7,713. A minimum wage employee – say a fast-food or retail worker – costs their employer enough to employ a great hire for four months. On the other end of the spectrum, the cost of a bad hire in a senior position can be astronomical. A bad hire in a $200,000/yr executive position would cost $60,000.
Recruiting software doesn’t just speed up filtering and interview scoring. It shortens every step in the hiring process.
As mentioned previously, hiring platforms with job posting software integrate with job boards like Indeed and LinkedIn as well as job marketplaces like JobTarget.
The best recruitment software integrates with scheduling calendars. This allows interviewees to self-schedule their interview slot. This can shave days off time to fill because it eliminates back-and-forth texting, emailing or calling to pin down a time.
Background and Reference Checks
Background checks are essential for due diligence in the employment process. With the one-click integrations, hiring managers can order background checks from their recruitment software.
Keeping applicants informed of their status is critical, though time-consuming. If you’re doing high-volume hiring, however, it’s nearly impossible. An applicant tracking system automates this with templates and triggers. Stage change triggers automate candidate updates, for example. This is how it works:
Build your hiring workflow using hiring stages (applicant status): Application Received, Do Not Pursue, Schedule Interview, Interview Confirmed, Make Offer, Background Check, etc.
Create an email or text template for each stage in your applicant tracking software (these can vary by job title or other criteria)
Enter merge fields in the templates to personalize the message with the candidate’s name, address and the job title
Imagine the time you can save with automated recruitment texting. Ghosting candidates is a surefire way to lose them. With auto-communications, your top candidates will always know their status and be less likely to abandon the process.
3. Save Money on Hiring With Lower Administrative Costs
What are the labor costs associated with your recruiters and hiring managers? Let’s say you have five people who earn an average of $30 an hour. Now suppose it takes your team 20 hours to hire one employee from job opening to onboarding. That’s $600 in labor.
What if automation could shorten the time to five hours? This would reduce the labor cost to $150. Now we’re not encouraging you to let anyone go, but you could delay hiring a new recruiter as your company grows. Or you could lessen your dependence on an outside staffing agency. In addition, your talent acquisition team and hiring managers could spend more time on revenue-generating activities.
Improve Efficiency with Mobile
Modern recruiting software is cloud-based can be used with any connected device. Mobile recruiting software is another key efficiency booster. It allows your recruiting team to work from anywhere. In other words, your recruiters can work 100% remotely or have a hybrid work schedule. Giving your employees flexibility in where and when they work is a powerful retention tool. Higher retention saves money as well.
Hopefully, we’ve made the case that hiring software is a savvy investment – especially when you are trying to cut operating costs. To try our award-winning small business recruiting software for free, visit ApplicantStack Free Trial.
According to recent statistics, the average length of the hiring process takes around twenty-four days. In a market that favors job seekers, this time span is just too long for some companies. Many have resorted to cutting down on background screening in an attempt to make up for lost time. But more often than not, companies that skip this vital step risk the integrity of their organization and their hiring process.
You don’t have to cut corners to get the hiring results you want. Background screening can be a helpful tool in your hiring process and not a hindrance in attracting talent. With information from Verified First, check out these three ways background screening brings value to your organization.
1. Background Screening Authenticates a Candidate
Screening candidates looks different for all industries, but the heart of the matter remains the same. Background screening is performed to better ensure that the candidate you’re about to hire is the best person for the role. It works to authenticate a candidate by looking into a person’s background to verify their history. These screens can contain a multitude of solutions such as:
Screening also helps you verify that everything a candidate has said to indicate they’d be a great new hire is accurate.
2. Background Screening Protects Your Workplace
Information gleaned from background screening can speak to the potential risk of hiring that person. Choosing not tobackground screen your candidatescould discredit the integrity of your business and put your existing employees, clients, and partnerships at risk.
Certain screens are designed with workplace safety in mind. These screens in particular will check for candidates who have previous offenses that could put vulnerable populations – including the elderly, children, and more – at risk.
National Sex Offender Registry search – Searches if a person has been added as a sex offender to the National Sex Offender Registry.
Federal criminal records search – Uncovers if a person has been convicted of a federal crime such as firearms or drug trafficking.
Global Homeland Security search – Identifies if a person has been added to any known terrorist lists.
Over 70 million American adults have a criminal record. Screening your candidates can help you navigate records and better protect the people already within your organization and community.
Partners keep you in mind in every step of the screening process. They work to take the best care of their clients from integration to implementation.
Background screening adds value to your hiring process by helping you identify which candidates are the best fit for your workplace. A solid screening strategy starts by finding a screening partner with your specific needs in mind. Check out how you can get started with background screening today through Verified First!
Background checks are an important part of an employer’s due diligence when evaluating job applicants. Thorough background investigations protect the business, the employees, and the customers. For some job roles, they protect public health and safety.
1. Delays Are Easing Up–So Don’t Stop Doing Background Checks!
However, some small business owners are considering whether to stop doing background checks because they have become more complicated and time-consuming in the past two years. Hurdles include pandemic-related court backlogs and a patchwork of regulations. In addition, many small businesses are limited by short-handed hiring teams. Fortunately, courts and other government agencies are working to get their records up-to-date. And while some new laws delay the process, some states (like California) are considering bills designed to make things easier.
Recruiters and hiring managers that don’t have the resources to perform them on their own should consider a professional service. It does make the hiring process more expensive, but the cost is far less than making a bad hire.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that a bad hire costs the employer up to 30% of their first-year earnings. In a CareerBuilder survey, 3 in 4 small business respondents reported having hired the wrong employee for a position, with costs ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
2. A Negative Background Check Experience Can Drive Candidates Away
Despite economic uncertainty, the talent market is still ultra-competitive. Job seekers have many options. The companies that win the war for talent have an attractive employer brand and a candidate experience to match.
Any bottleneck or inconvenience in the hiring process–including a lengthy or confusing background check process–increases the risk of the candidate withdrawing their application.
There are two main ways to prevent delays in the background check process. First, if the employer and candidate work together diligently to complete the required release forms and authorizations, the process can proceed more smoothly. Second, candidates can prevent delays by ensuring all submitted information is accurate and correct to the best of their knowledge.Indeed
According to LinkedIn, the average time to hire is 41 days. How does your company compare? Is your background screening stage a bottleneck in your process?
In a CareerBuilder survey, 38% of respondents reported losing a candidate because they had a negative experience with their background check; however, less than half of HR managers who conduct background checks (44%) have tested their background check experience themselves. When employers do test their process, they identify a less than ideal candidate experience, with around 1 in 6 (14%) rating their background check candidate experience as fair or poor.
3. There Are New Background Check Laws
Employers need to stay abreast of the employment laws in the locations where they have employees working–including remote employees. Multiple hiring laws impact background checks, including criminal records checks, drug tests, driving records, and credit reports. Let’s discuss some of them.
According to the National Employment Law Project research, 37 states, the District of Columbia, and numerous cities/counties have recently enacted or modified laws that affect employment screening in general and various types of background reports.
Cannabis Screening Laws
In 2022, Virginia,Connecticut and Philadelphia modified cannabis screening laws. Connecticut’s new employment regulations went into effect July 1, 2022. The law prevents employers from penalizing a job applicant who used marijuana prior to being hired. If an existing employee tests positive for cannabis, the employer can’t take adverse action unless they had a written drug policy in place before the test. Note, however, that there are exceptions for drug background checks for positions that affect public health and safety.
As with Connecticut, the Virginia law also went into effect July 1, 2022. The Virginia law prohibits employers from taking adverse action against applicants for the legal use of cannabis oil. The law also requires current employees to obtain a written certification from a medical provider verifying that cannabis oil use is prescribed to treat a health condition.
Effective January 1, 2022, Philadelphia employers are prohibited from requiring job applicants to undergo pre-employment tests for cannabis use. Visit the City of Philadelphia website for more information on how this impacts background checks.
State and City Fair Hiring Laws
Some states and cities have passed laws that expand on federal regulations that affect background checks..
Effective August 2021, Louisiana restricts employers from considering an applicant’s arrest record or non-convictions in hiring decisions. If an employer believes criminal history could affect job performance, they can get an individual assessment from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to obtain permission to conduct a criminal background check.
As of October 2021, Maine prohibits recruiters from asking about criminal history on applications. The law also bans job applications from saying candidates with criminal histories should not apply or will be eliminated. However, federal or state laws require criminal background checks for certain employment.
Effective April 2022, an amendment to Philadelphia’s Fair Criminal Record Screening Standards (FCRSS) broadens the scope to cover both independent contractors and gig workers. Philadelphia’s FCRSS prohibits asking job applicants about their criminal history on applications and/or in interviews.
Changes to the New York City Fair Chance Act became effective July 29, 2022. The law requires employers to conduct all non-criminal background screenings prior to making a conditional offer. In contrast, companies can only conduct criminal employment background checks and driving history checks after making an offer.
Both Michigan and California added restrictions regarding using an applicant’s date of birth and other information during background screens. Note, however, that California’s provisions have been challenged and are working their way through the courts. If you are based in California or have employees working in the state, stay apprised of the latest rules.
Michigan previously had a DOB redaction rule, but as of April 1, 2022, employers can use an applicant’s DOB with their permission to access criminal databases or for confirming identity.
Salary History Bans
While not directly applicable to employment background checks, be aware that at least 14 states have laws that prohibit employers from asking job candidates their salary history, and 20 states and Washington, D.C. offer protections for employees to discuss compensation.
Fair Credit Reporting Act
Though not a new law, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) applies when employers hire a third-party service agency to conduct employment consumer credit reports and other investigative reports. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces the FCRA.
When in the Recruiting Process Should I Do Background Checks?
The size of your company, the job role you’re hiring for and your industry influence the timing of both background screening and reference checks. If you field hundreds of applications, there are advantages to doing reference checks before the interview stage. It will help you narrow down the applicant pool earlier in the process.
For higher level positions, it’s customary in most industries to delay a background check until the final stages. This could be immediately prior to the formal job offer – and some companies don’t do a background check until they’ve extended a conditional offer.
Verified First Integrates With ApplicantStack for Streamlined Background Checks
Have you updated your Employment Value Proposition (EVP)? If not, get it on your to-do list. It can help you attract and retain talent in a competitive labor market.
Don’t have an EVP? Today’s job seekers expect a prospective employer to showcase their employer brand front and center.
An Employer Value Proposition is also called an Employment Value or Employee Value Proposition. Your EVP should succinctly explain the value you provide to a potential candidate as well as your existing employees. This includes compensation, benefits, perks and, increasingly, your company’s commitment to causes your employees care about.
Why Is an EVP Important?
An Employee Value Proposition is a useful tool in any labor market. But it’s especially important now, because it’s never been more difficult to find top talent. Surprisingly, recession fears and rising inflation haven’t put a damper on hiring, at least in most industries.
Employer Value Proposition Example
You don’t have to be a large business to create and benefit from an EVP. Small businesses can (and should) articulate what they have to offer, specifically the benefits of working at a small company. Swipeclock, for example, is a 100-employee company. Here are some excerpts from our employment value proposition:
Our team casts a wide net across numerous locations, lifestyles and backgrounds. We celebrate the uniqueness and strength found in diversity and inclusivity. It’s our differences that make us interesting, and our shared belief in Swipeclock’s core values that bind us together. Resilient: We are a resilient group of individuals. We know the business environment can be unpredictable. Thriving means being able to pivot, respond to the unexpected and keep the focus on what’s important — our customers. Agile: Phenomenally agile are able to take a problem and work it into a success story. With our agile mindset, we seek to deliver solutions quickly and respond to customer inquiries with the same speed. WorkforceHub.com
How Has Your Value Prop Changed?
As reflected in the title of this piece, it’s time to update your value proposition. Your company and employees have changed dramatically. If your workforce is thriving, you have been successful at supporting your employees and adapting to the new world of work and life. In other words, you have a strong EVP.
Have you revamped your benefits package by adding mental health coverage or childcare? It’s never been more important to strengthen your commitment to work live balance. Do you provide hybrid working and flexible schedules to make life easier for your current employees? What causes do you support? Your ideal candidate shares your values.
How about career development? This has become increasingly important to candidates and employees. A work environment where employees understand their career paths is critical if you want to improve retention and find the right talent.
If so, update your Employer Value Proposition so you can convey these things to prospective candidates. Furthermore, it will help you unify your workforce which will, in turn, reduce employee turnover.
This evolution in thinking has undoubtedly been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which put immense pressure on leaders to not just communicate their values but also to demonstrate them. In the face of difficult decisions, employers suddenly had to decide whether their professed ideals and “north stars” were real and substantive or mere lip service. They gained a heightened awareness of the importance of organizational purpose, team cohesion, and employee experience. Bryan Adams, Harvard Business Review
What if I’m Creating Our First EVP?
It’s important to realize that your company’s EVP merely expresses the value of working for your organization. In other words, you already have an identity and culture. To write your value prop you need to figure out what it is.
Begin by identifying what makes your company special. An anonymous employee survey can help. In addition, you can check Glassdoor and other workplace review sites to see what current and former employees say. Customer testimonials and feedback from your support team can shed light on how your company is perceived in its space.
How Can We Improve It?
Once you understand your current value proposition, you can make a plan to improve it if needed. This is called your employer brand strategy.
If you have high turnover, it’s not just your EVP that’s weak, Unfortunately, it’s the company culture upon which it’s based. If this is the case, it’s time to re-evaluate the employee experience you provide as an employer. Create an ideal Employer Value Proposition to guide you as you work toward it.
If your employees are loyal, but don’t have clarity why, you have a communication problem. This is not the worst problem to have. It means you have a terrific culture and can create a strong Employee Value Proposition. As discussed previously, use focus groups to identify your company values.
Then, work to get your compelling Employment Value Proposition out to your team and potential candidates. Share it with employees in your HR portal. Have your talent acquisition team Include it in your job descriptions and discuss it in interviews. Talk about it in company-wide meetings.
We appreciate our valued customers who took the time to leave an ApplicantStack review. Here is a sample:
The recruitment side keeps all your applications in one place and allows you the option to text (!!) or email. It’s neat and orderly and helps me with time management. The onboarding side keeps all the paperwork in one place, eliminates all the copying of forms and looks so much more professional than what we were previously doing.
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