Against All Odds: A Story of Hiring Success

I want to tell you a story. I want to tell you a story about a guy named James.

James is a singer, a songwriter, and a classically trained musician.

As the co-founder of the folk duo, Ash & Bloom, James spent 10 years on the road touring and making great music.

Despite finding real success in the industry, James was feeling the effects of a life spent living in motel rooms and touring vans.  Personal relationships were suffering, other pursuits and passions (the ones that actually refreshed and fueled his musical creativity) were falling by the wayside, and the stress and effort of becoming successful was changing who he was.

When James looked in the mirror, he didn’t like the person he found looking back. He was faced with a life defining choice – continue his pursuit of musical success despite the personal cost, or find another line of work that would help him to be healthier and happier, at the expense of leaving the music industry behind.

For James, the choice was obvious. And that choice led him to Fitzii. James standing

The recruiting world knows what a false positive is. That candidate who looked terrific on paper, sounded great in the interview, and when they got on the job… well, let’s just say it’s back to the drawing board.

Unfortunately, everyone seems to have these hiring horror stories, and every company who finds themselves in this situation pays the price. And if you’re the owner of a small business, you can’t afford the cost of a false positive.

But what about the false negative? The one who got away, because the hiring manager didn’t like the resume, or the computer keyword search screened out the application. Not only has your company lost out on a great hire, you also face the possibility that your competitor may benefit from your mistake.

So how do hiring managers avoid costly false positives, not lose out on potentially great candidates, and at the same time, maintain an efficient and cost-effective hiring process?

Answering that question is exactly why we created the Fitzii Assessment.

After James left the music industry, he was faced with a daunting task – finding a “real-world” job, without any applicable “real-world” experience. He knew he had great instincts for business, and was willing to work really hard, but his only other experience outside of music was working part-time in a cabinet-making shop.

James didn’t stand a chance by traditional hiring standards. But, he actually scored pretty well in the Fitzii Assessment.

Each and every one us at Fitzii believes that by finding great fits between candidates and employers and connecting more people with meaningful work, we can help move the needle on that sad stat – that most employees aren’t engaged in their jobs.

With this in mind, the Fitzii Assessment was created to address what we believe to be the single biggest barrier to finding great matches for open jobs – resume screening.

The HR world has long known that resume screening doesn’t work. Back in the late-90s, a meta-analysis was done of 85 years of various studies, covering 19 different employee selection methods and their correlation with overall job performance. This landmark investigation found that the only way to have a good chance of hiring success is to combine multiple “predictively-valid” methods of selection. Things like work sample tests, structured behavioural interviews, skills and experience scoring, and psychometric tests all scored well (over .31) in predictive validity.

Resume screening, on the other hand scored just .18, one of the lowest of all selection methods; barely better than flipping a coin.

So instead of just collecting the resume and forcing hiring managers to look through them one-by-one, the Fitzii Assessment takes applicants through a 10-15 minute evaluation using attributes which are predictively valid.

The first section is a skills and experience review, which replaces resume screening with a standardized review of the qualifications hiring managers are looking for.

The second section is a personality (psychometric) test, which evaluates whether the person has the right traits to both enjoy and succeed in that particular job. Fitzii’s psychometric partner has correlated personality with success for more than 15 million employees over the last 30 years to create these predictive benchmarks.

And finally, the third section is about work-environment fit, where the candidate’s preferences for the type of culture, management style, and environment are compared with the role. This isn’t scientifically predictive, but can be a great indicator of red flags.

And it all comes together in a custom interview guide, where you can view the “Impact Statement” (the difference they want to make) of each candidate, and use recommended behavioural questions for a structured interview (another one of those high scoring methods).

The goal of the Fitzii Assessment is to see every candidate as a “whole person,” and help identify those who are most likely to both enjoy and excel on the job. The traits that underlie an individual’s personality are much more highly correlated with success on the job than a set of duties listed on a resume. Plus, it’s very easy to exaggerate and mislead on a resume, but far more difficult, and unlikely, to hide the characteristics that actually build a personality type.

James’ experience in the job market underscores the issue.  “I feel like the traditional application process is a sham on both sides. The employer pretends they want somebody perfect, and the applicant pretends to meet those standards. If both sides were honest with each other, they would both have more success at finding a real fit.”

Fitzii’s Hiring Success guru, Luz Iglesias, agrees. “The act of writing a resume is a deception in and of itself. The applicant isn’t telling the employer who they really are, and the employer is pretending that all that really matters is what’s written on the resume.”

One of the (many) problems with this model is that hiring managers hire candidates based on the resume, but fire employees based on personality. A recent study found that 46% of newly-hired employees failed within 18 months, and only 11% of them were unsuccessful because of technical competence – the vast majority were due to personality and attitude.

“Of all the competencies that predict on the job success,” Luz Iglesias says, “the two that are most highly correlated – the ones that neither employer nor employee can live without – are integrity and conscientiousness. And a resume doesn’t tell you if the candidate possesses those traits.”

If any other hiring manger had even seen James’ resume, they would have dismissed him immediately. They would never have seen that James’ personality traits predict that he is a hard-working, meticulous, and proactive problem solver with a high drive for results.

“I find it incredible,” says Luz, “not only that Fitzii found James, but that no one else was even willing to look at him. In James, we have a fantastic employee who contributes to the success of the business in a meaningful way, every day. He also complements the culture of the team in a way that makes everyone else better.”

This is what Fitzii does. This is how Fitzii is trying to make the world a better place, one hire at a time.

So let me tell you a story. A story about a guy named James.

James is a customer support specialist, a content creator, and a project manager at Fitzii.

Since coming to work with us, he has brought tremendous purpose, vision, and value, both as a co-worker and a friend.  He has made Fitzii better, and has found the kind of meaningful, fulfilling work that we believe all job-seekers deserve.

Oh, and that music thing?  He hasn’t entirely left that behind either.

Major New Fitzii Feature: Options, Options

Today we’re releasing one of our most important feature updates ever. It’s one that’s been frequently asked for and that we’ve been very carefully considering, since it’s in the direct territory of our purpose, our WHY – to better connect people with meaningful work.

We’re really excited to have found a way to stay true to our goals around better fit and more objective hiring, while making the Fitzii tool more flexible and more broadly applicable.

So, drumroll please….

As of today, it is possible to post jobs on Fitzii without requiring every applicant to complete the assessment portion of the application. In fact, there are now three different ways to post a job opportunity:

1. Assessment Required – This is exactly the same as how all jobs on Fitzii have been posted to date. Every applicant for a position has to complete the full application that assesses fit on three dimensions: skills & experience, personality and working environment. There are many jobs where this approach makes the most sense. Any job where applicant quantity is really high for example, or cases where skills and experience are less important, such as entry-level roles. There have been cases reported by our customers, however, where it’s been hard to predict the number of applicants in advance. This has led to a concern about having the assessment mandatory (even though when applicants do the full process, 89% like it). The second option is, therefore:

2. Assessment Optional – It sounds simple, but the results are pure awesome! As the name suggests, jobs are posted as before, but applicants are given the choice to apply quickly by simply answering any eligibility questions and uploading a resume (a 2 minute process) or submit a full application including the fit assessment (10-15 minutes). For the jobseeker this gives the convenience of getting an application in quickly if they are in a rush, on a mobile device, or not that excited by the job, but also with the option to apply in full later, if they like. For employers it brings the best of both worlds. The “quick-apply” option ensures you’re not missing out on any applicants who would have been turned off by the assessment, while also getting the full fit profile of those who really want the job. You also have the ability to ask one or all of the resume-only applicants to complete the full application, with just one click.

3. Résumé Only – Honestly, this was a hard one for us. Résumés are not good predictors of performance. They’re also not great at keeping the hiring process objective. That’s why they play a less central role in the Fitzii tool. The problem that wouldn’t go away, however, was that for some types of hiring, like some unionized jobs, even an optional assessment was not appropriate. This was hard for our customers, because they didn’t have any other choice but to hire outside of the Fitzii system. For this reason, posting a job where applying with a résumé is the only option, is now possible.

We will be rolling this feature update out to customers over the next week. Your account manager or someone from the support team will contact you when your account is ready to be transitioned and walk you through the new functionality. There is also a how-to guide available on the knowledge base. All new users will have the feature enabled by default.

If you have any questions or would like to request your account to be transitioned immediately, please email us at support@fitzii.com or call 1-888-707-1977.

Happy Hiring!

Product Update: Quarterly Release

Time flies! Hard to believe it’s been three months since our last major release. Here’s what we’ve been working on this winter:

  • Multiple careers pages. Now you can create more than one careers page and select which jobs appear on which pages. This is great if you have an internal careers page or hire for multiple brands / companies. If you’d like to take advantage of this feature, email us or call 1-888-707-1977 and we’ll help you get set up.
  • More and better notifications. When sharing candidates, the system now records this in the progress tracker for each candidate shared along with the recipient details and the share date. When a recipient confirms they have finished reviewing the shared candidates, the email notification now also includes details of which candidates were reviewed and the job they applied for.
  • The ability to password protect shared candidates. Accessed from the preferences menu, this allows you to require a (randomly generated) code when recipients view candidates you have shared with them. We also now expire any share link after 90 days.
  • Collecting and validating zip / postal codes from job seekers that either apply to jobs, or sign up for job updates. This allows you to search for candidates by location. This is the first step on the route to more advanced searching in your applicant pools – Watch this space!
  • Small improvements to the layout of some of the job seeker application pages based on job seeker feedback.
  • A number of small tweaks, formatting and wording changes in response to user feedback on things that aren’t quite perfect.
  • And, of course a few bugs squashed. Mostly obscure use-cases that only come up in our testing, but one that we’re sure has been super annoying and we can’t believe we hadn’t heard about until now: The preference setting for number of jobs to display on the dashboard wasn’t persisting, and so the view kept defaulting to ten. That’s now fixed and so, for those of you with lots on the go, you can set that preference to 25, 50 or 100 and see all your jobs on one page.

Finally, we want to share a significant change we’ve made that doesn’t impact our customers, but our prospective customers. We’ve been surprised by the number of attempts to use our free trial to try to take advantage of job seekers. These consist of individuals signing up, usually with a private email address, claiming to represent a company and then posting (very generic) job ads to try and attract job seekers. We assume they then plan to scam or take advantage of these job seekers somehow.

Our support team catches all of these attempts, as we review each new account before allowing postings to go live. However, this is a manual and time-consuming process, especially as we keep growing. What we’ve implemented, therefore, is a change in our sign up process: We no longer accept new company sign ups with a personal email address and also now require a quick conversation with a member of our support team before an account is activated. We apologize for the small inconvenience this causes for serious new clients, but feel preventing abuse of job seekers is a core value we want to protect.

As ever, please continue to send thoughts, feedback and questions our way!

Big News! – Fitzii Teams Up with the #1 Nonprofit Job Board in Canada

CharityVillage logo

We’re extremely excited to announce that this week we released a special technology integration that we’ve been working on since the summer.

Our partner, CharityVillage, Canada’s leading job board for the nonprofit sector, has called this their “biggest announcement in almost 20 years of working with the Canadian nonprofit sector”.

Why is this such a big deal? Because it’s a game changer.

CharityVillage’s mission is to support and strengthen the nonprofit sector in Canada. By helping these organizations more frequently pick exactly the right person for the job, the positive impact they make in the world can increase exponentially.

With highly desirable working environments and the ability to make a difference doing work that really matters, the biggest challenge nonprofits have when it comes to hiring is not attracting candidates – it’s selecting the right ones. To boot, most nonprofit jobs are as much about successfully working with people and possessing a passion for the sector, rather than having certain technical skills or a specific education. That’s why the Fitzii assessment works so well in helping nonprofits discover who they should focus time on interviewing.

CV-IQ-Talent-PredictorSo how is this going to work? It’s a seamless integration of the Fitzii technology right into the CharityVillage experience. All job postings are now using some of the core Fitzii applicant tracking features in an offering CharityVillage is calling Talent Manager. This solves the problem of emailed resumes and the inability to sort and track applicants.  The real value, however, is that anyone can upgrade their job posting to have every applicant put through the Fitzii assessment. This product, called Talent Predictor, will allow CharityVillage customers to quickly gain insights into which applicants really are the right fit for a particular job at their organization.

CharityVillage continues to offer free assistance for all postings and this will now include optimization tips for every Talent Predictor job posted. For those nonprofits looking to fill more senior or complex roles, an additional fully managed option called Recruitment Advisor is also available. You can read more about the offerings here.

For Canadian nonprofit organizations who are hiring frequently enough, or that have more complex applicant tracking requirements, there’s some good news for you here as well. A nonprofit version of Fitzii will be available and will be the only ATS that has integrated automatic job posting distribution to CharityVillage. Stay tuned for more news on this and other exciting developments soon!

Product Update: Customer Feedback Release

It’s time! We’ve spent the last few months working on adding a whole bunch of new functionality to the Fitzii system and are now ready to release it. We know you’re going to love the new things that are coming – Why? Because this is release is dedicated to adding features and usability improvements that have been requested by our customers. We’ll be updating the system this weekend (November 15/16) so look for a new improved Fitzii on Monday. If you’re an existing customer you’ll be receiving an email with more details.

Here are some of the exciting new features that will be available on Monday:

  • Built-in email templates that allow you to send applicants predefined emails from within Fitzii. The library of templates can be customized for your company and uses tags to personalize the message to every applicant. We know this is going to save our users a ton of time and help ensure candidates receive feedback where appropriate.
  • One of our most common support calls is “I just posted a job and noticed I forgot to include/misspelled/accidentally included something. Please help!”. So, we’re giving users the ability to edit a Job Ad after the posting has gone live.
  • A much improved database of example skills and experience questions that make selecting the right ones for your specific job posting even easier. The examples are now much more specific to the role selected and formatted for better clarity and a better candidate experience. We’ve also changed the wording on the requirements page to make it clearer and more user friendly.
  • The option to link your Fitzii account to BambooHR (a powerful but easy-to-use HRIS that we chose to integrate with as we use it and love it) and directly export successful applicants into your organization’s account. This in addition to our standard export functionality and takes just a few minutes to set up.
  • The ability to re-add sourcing to an open posting. This is really useful for those jobs where attracting qualified applicants is hard, or where you’re continually looking for a certain role. Now when you click on Find More from the Job Manager you can add new sourcing options or renew existing ones.
  • The ability to change a posting’s owner. This is useful if you want to hand over a posting to a colleague temporarily or permanently. This feature is accessed from the Action menu on your Dashboard.

We’ve also included a large number of usability improvements, including:

  • Easier and more effective sharing of jobs by recruiters and candidates.
  • The ability to pause a job to new applicants from the Dashboard using the Action menu. Previously you had to open the job to pause it.
  • Improvement to the resume upload functionality for job seekers.
  • Automatic conversion of uploaded resumes to PDF format to improve formatting and display.
  • Spell check enabled on the email fields.
  • Persistence of views when switching between reports or pages.
  • Improvements to the display of careers pages.
  • We’ve renamed Job Description and it’s now called Job Ad (read why here). We also expanded the size of the entry box as a number of customers said it was too small.
  • Plus another 20 or so small tweaks and polishes based on recruiter and candidate feedback.

And yes, as no-one is perfect, we also found and a squashed a few bugs:

  • In some cases applicant pictures were being displayed if they were shared, even if the “Anonymous Candidates” feature was active. This has now been fixed and the pictures (and other selected data) is hidden from the shared landing page and the interview guide if this feature is on.
  • There was the risk for an error if extremely long skill questions were entered. This is now handled more elegantly.
  • There were some reports of problems adding multiple users to an account. We’ve made this more robust.

If you’re a user you can find more details on these features in the Help section. Alternatively, please reach out to our support team if you’d like to set up some time for us to walk you through any of the new functionality.

We’re now already working on the next round of updates and so please keep the feedback coming.

It’s a Job Ad, not a Job Description

We’re currently in the final stages of testing for a new release scheduled for next month. It’s going to include a lot of great things and we’ll be covering all the new features and improvements in an up-coming post.

In addition to the new functionality and user experience improvements, we’re also making one tiny wording change – The Job Description field will be renamed Job Ad. We’re sorry it’s taken so long and we’ve been contributing in a small way to a practice that is common in the industry – using job descriptions, not job advertisements, to try and identify and attract job applicants.

A job ad and a job description are not the same thing. A job description is an internal document that describes the responsibilities, authority, complexity, reporting structure, working conditions, etc. associated with a specific job. The job ad should be a (usually shorter, but more jazzy) version that still describes the job in sufficient detail so that a prospective candidate can determine if they’re a good fit. Just as importantly, however, it should do a really good job of highlighting the reasons why people would want this job at this company. A good job ad shouldn’t include a laundry list of pointless skills and requirements, but rather set out the results that the successful candidate will need to achieve to be considered a success.

The job ad can often be the difference-maker in making a great hire. Done well it will bring not only a higher quantity of candidates, but a higher quality as well. If you need more persuading, here’s just one example of the impact a good job ad can have. This feedback was sent via our support page just this week, and it really demonstrates the effect the job ad has on the candidate experience and the employer brand as a whole.

“Hello!

I came across a job posting by [Company Name] for a help desk technician. The description of the job and the overall feel that was produced by this posting was something I strongly want to be a part of.

I then took a couple of minutes to review the [company] website and I was totally blown away! The atmosphere, professionalism and overall culture is embedded into every aspect of the site which leads me to believe that it wasn’t just words typed into a computer but that employees of [the company] truly enjoy their work!

[Personal details removed…]

Even if there are no openings within the company, I would like to thank whomever wrote up that posting and the [company] as a whole! For giving hope and empathy to what has become a concrete jungle!

Have an amazing night!”

(This feedback was in response to job ad written by our friends at Hirefly; part of their service is the creation of truly awesome job ads. Services like this are often a great option if you don’t have the expertise, or the time, to create job ads internally).

This feedback demonstrates that the job ad achieved it’s 4 key objectives, akin to the key objectives of any advertising, but relating to applicants and jobs rather than customers and products:

  • Make applicants aware of your job or opportunity
  • Convince applicants your company’s job or opportunity is an attractive one;
  • Make applicants take the next step (apply, make contact, etc); and
  • Enhance the image of your company

Kudos as well to Hirefly’s customer that continued to engage the candidate by presenting effective and compelling employer brand proposition on the company website.

We hope that our small change will encourage more people to think twice before posting a job description, instead of a job ad. If you have any other thoughts, ideas or tips, please share them in the comments below and we’ll include the best in an upcoming post on how to writer killer job ads.

The ATS is Dead, Long Live the ATS

I just read this article on The Failure of Automated Recruiting by an author we always enjoy reading at Fitzii, Liz Ryan. The article was forwarded to me by a business partner along with a question along the lines of “isn’t this bad news for you, Fitzii is after all an ATS right”?  – In summary, the article states that we should “throw in the towel on automated recruiting” and asks if it’s time “stop trying to prop up the ATS monster”?

Turns out, I agree with almost everything Liz lists in her article that is wrong with applicant tracking and automated recruiting today. In fact the problems with how the process works and how it treats applicants are exactly why we started Fitzii in the first place; out of a desire to make a difference and enable organizations to hire better and more objectively.

Some examples:

Keyword Searching – As Liz points out, this was never going to work: “We should have known better. We should have known that when we put in a job ad “The Selected Candidate must possess interpersonal, organizational and administrative skills” nearly every candidate — certainly every one with the intellect to connect the dots between our job ad and our hiring process – is going to put those very same keywords into his or her resume or job application. Once that happens, all the keyword-searching algorithms in the world can’t help us“.

Ironically, keyword searching is probably the #1 feature that we get told is “missing” from Fitzii (and, yes, we lose sales because of it). This is a challenge for us as we get the usefulness of the concept of being able to find all the applicants that have a specific skill or experience, however, it just doesn’t work well – applicants stuff the keywords, and with no context, the presence of a keyword alone doesn’t tell you anything useful. That’s why our tool assesses skills and experience based on specific responses to objectively what is needed for the role.

Talent Repelling Portals – Liz nails this one: “The best candidates, the ones who could help you the most, will be the first to flee a talent-repelling job application portal“.

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to bring to mind the applicant horror stories we’ve heard. At Fitzii we treat job seekers as customers too and give them the same level of support and attention as our paying clients. We do this to protect our customer’s brands and reputations, but also because we strongly believe that applicants should be valued and treated with respect. There is no reason for the process to be painful, it’s often just old technology and inertia. We offer all applicants the option to rate and provide feedback on the process and use this to continually improve the candidate experience.

Zombie Job Ads – I included this one as I love the term and it’s sadly very common.  Again, the best applicants won’t be attracted by a dry ad with a list of requirements and responsibilities.

When hiring today, Marketing skills are just as important as recruiting skills and and well written job description can increase the quantity and quality of the applicants in your talent pipeline. There are no short-cuts to writing great job ads, they take time and effort. If you don’t have the skills within the HR department, you can also turn to your own marketing department or an external partner. We work closely with Hirefly, our sister company, which provides job profiling and job ad writing services to organizations that do not have the resources available internally.

Logical Gates – Liz suggests using “logical gates” to help the initial screening: “If this job sounds like a fit, send me a 300-word email message that tells me why, and be sure to share your comments on what we could do better in our online store”.

It’s almost like Liz has used Fitzii! We identified early on that cover letters add value in determining fit. The issue, however, is they are time-consuming to read (and to write) and as a result, are not suitable for the initial screening process. Instead, we added the “Impact Statement” which is a way for the applicants to provide a concise description of their main points of fit. The Impact Statement is displayed on every applicant’s Candidate Profile, which also contains details of the individual’s fit against the job skills & requirements, psychometric profile and working environment.

Tracking is Easy – This is the only aspect of the article I didn’t agree with. Liz says a common excuse given for using an older system is: “The government requires us to use our antiquated ATS” but “…that’s falseThe government couldn’t care less, as long as you keep track of the people you interact with, an easy thing to do”..

I’d argue that keeping track of any significant number of applicants is not easy. We have customers that receive hundreds of applicants per day and can get well over a thousand applicants for one position. Keeping track of more than a handful of applicants without some kind of automated application system is virtually impossible, or at least extremely time-consuming and definitely not a whole lot of fun. Not to mention the fact that Fitzii, and other systems allow companies to track their employee equity data and performance which is not only good practice, but also mandatory for certain organizations.

In summary, the ATS as most people know it, is guilty of crimes against good hiring and candidate experience and should be relegated to the scrapheap. The good news though is that there is a new generation of tools, like Fitzii, that achieve the dual benefits of enabling better, more objective hiring AND a vastly improved candidate experience that helps put the human back in hiring.

New Packages and Pricing

Today, we launched new and revamped packages and pricing. This is our first pricing change and is driven by feedback we’ve heard from our current and prospective customers.

First things first, all existing customers will remain on their current plans and will have access to all the job slots, users and features with no increase in price.

In summary, what we’ve learned is:

  • There is demand for an “entry-level” package aimed at small organisations, generally those with one individual responsible for managing the recruitment process. These customers wanted to keep it simple and do not require some of the more advanced features Fitzii offers. The consensus was that 3 job slots was ideal for smaller customers.
  • We received a lot of feedback from our small and medium business clients that the jump from our previous small to medium packages was too big, both in terms of number of jobs and price.
  • Many customers currently subscribed to the large package were also asking for product customization, tweaks and dedicated transition support.
  • Our customers appreciated the monthly pricing model that allows them unlimited candidate assessments and the applicant tracking functionality.

Based on this feedback, we now offer four plans that align more closely with our customer’s needs:

  • Small ($349) – Ideal for small organisations with one individual managing the hiring process. The plan includes 3 job slots, 1 user account, access to unlimited assessments, all the core applicant tracking features and email/online support.
  • Medium ($449) – Designed for small to medium organisations with a small recruitment team. The Medium plan includes 5 job slots and up to 3 users. In addition to unlimited assessments and core features, the Medium plan includes more advanced features and dedicated support.
  • Large ($849) – Used by medium to large organisations with a larger recruitment team.  The Large plan includes 15 job slots and up to 5 users. It has all the features of the Medium plan plus phone support.
  • Enterprise (custom pricing) – For large organisations or those with more complex needs. The Enterprise plan includes all the features as well as the ability to customize the Fitzii platform to best match each customer’s requirements. The number of jobs and users depends on the size and hiring volume of the company.

You can find all the details of each plan on our pricing page. We continue to offer our 30-day free trial for everyone that wants to give Fitzii a try at no risk (no credit card required).

If you have any questions or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to us via our contact form or add a comment below.

Five Tips for Creating an Effective Careers Page

One of my favourite features that Fitzii offers is the ability for recruiters, using a simple drag-and-drop interface, to create, publish and maintain attractive, company-branded, careers pages. This feature was driven by our small and medium business customers who often expressed dissatisfaction with their existing on-line careers presence, but whom were finding it difficult to make improvements due to the need to involve their IT departments or other technical resources to make them happen.

No matter which mechanism you use to create and maintain your on-line careers page, here are some tips and tricks to make sure it is working hard for you:

  1. Give it some time and attention – The careers page is often an applicant’s first exposure to your company. It deserves more than a few paragraphs and a “please email us your resume” message. Get assistance from your Marketing colleagues or any other creative people in your organization if you can.
  2. Describe your company and your culture, honestly – You want to create an employment section that attracts not just well-qualified applicants, but also people that are a good fit for your company and your culture. Consider covering topics like “What We Do”, “What it is Like to Work Here”, “Our People”, “Our Location”, “Community Involvement” and include employee testimonials. Try to avoid the temptation to use the company history and vision statement here.
  3. Keep it up to date – Obviously, most important is that the job listings are easy-to-find and still open to new applicants – there isn’t much worse for a jobseeker than putting in the effort of applying, only to discover the job is no longer available. In addition to updating the job listings, renewing and refreshing the other content is valuable in strengthening your employee brand and keeping the interest of potential employees.
  4. Make it personal and authentic – Similarly to describing your culture accurately, using photos or short videos of actual employees, locations and activities sends a much more meaningful message. Describe the benefits and perks that employees enjoy anything else that makes your company special.
  5. Build a strong process – Remember the careers page is just the starting point. Make sure interested applicants can apply to jobs easily, register their interest in your company for future opportunities or just reach out with a question.  It may help to think of potential applicants as customers and a successful application as a sale.

Using these simple guidelines, it is possible to create a professional and compelling careers section. If you examples of great career sites, or have other tips and tricks, please share them in the comments.

Our Candidate Experience – Good, Bad or Ugly?

We spend a lot of time working with our customers – recruiters and hiring managers – to make sure Fitzii offers them the tools they need to hire better. But, it is important for us to remember that we also have another “customer” group – job applicants. Now these people don’t pay us to use Fitzii, or in some cases even know we’re hosting a company’s application process, but we think they’re as important to us as our paying customers, for the following reasons:

  1. Companies that use Fitzii to find and assess applicants are trusting us with representing their brand to job seekers. A bad applicant experience is associated not only with Fitzii, but also our customer. This is the worst thing we can imagine. (OK, we can imagine worse, but we take this very, very seriously).
  2. Looking for work and applying for jobs is hard work and can be frustrating. Every job seeker is also a human being and should find the process as painless as possible. If we can make it rewarding and perhaps useful or fun, even better.
  3. We give job seekers access to our support channels because the last thing we want is for someone not to be able to apply for a job because of a technical issue. However, while it’s important they can contact us, we’d rather the process is so robust and simple they don’t have to.

We don’t normally get to talk to applicants directly, but we do give every single one the chance to rate and comment on the application process after they are done. We let them know that their feedback will not be shared with anyone involved in the hiring decision and will solely be used to improve the online process.  We review this data regularly and use it to drive improvements. We thought it would be interesting to share some of our recent results to start a discussion on how we can continue to make the applicant process better. We found this is a topic that is often talked about in general terms, but it is much harder to find real data on what companies are doing to drive improvements.

The data below summarizes the results from the last 5,000 applicants to leave feedback (which is completely optional) after applying for a job powered by Fitzii.

Rating

Number

Percentage

1-star

43

0.9%

2-star

66

1.3%

3-star

450

9.0%

4-star

1949

39.0%

5-star

2492

49.8%

Total

5000

100%

Not bad! Almost 90% of applicants give the application process a 4 or 5 star rating. Remember our process is 12-15 minutes and assesses the applicants on our 3 dimensions of fit –  it is not an “upload-your-resume-and-click-apply” kind of a deal. Now, despite the clear notice they are given that their feedback will not form any part of the hiring decision, there is likely still a tendency for candidates to “be safe, rather than sorry” and write nice things. However, this high level of approval suggests we’re on the right track and establishes a baseline that we can manage to and try to improve upon.

In addition to the rating, the comments people provide present us with the opportunity to really understand what it is that the job seekers like, or don’t like, about the process. Interestingly we found that the comments associated with the 3-star rating offered the most value as these were often balanced and thoughtful.  Some representative examples of the feedback we received from the entire satisfaction spectrum are given below:

The Good (4 and 5 stars)

We had a hard time selecting a small number of these. It definitely gave us all a warm and fuzzy feeling to read the feedback from the 90% of people that gave the process a 4 or 5 star rating. Can you imagine, job seekers actually saying that applying for a job was “rewarding”, “motivating”, “a chance to reflect” and “fun”! The overall theme here was that the application process was different, but in a good way.

  • “I wish that more employers would have job applications like this one! The candidates can answer questions of relevance directly in direct to the point answers. Cover letters can take hours out of your day and the applicant never knows the impact it’s made. The job application experience with [your company]  is a win-win experience for both the applicant and the hiring company!”
  • “Best application process I have experienced. Saved my assessment, as it is a valuable tool and I believe provided an accurate evaluation in all areas covered”.
  • “Probably the best application experience ever. It was very unique, interesting AND unexpected! It manages to make the application process a lot of fun”
  • “This process was different than any other application I’ve submitted.  I appreciate the thoroughness and the need to be succinct while still being given the opportunity to have a voice.  I would definitely use this service if I were doing the hiring”
  • “Intuitive, and far better than the mundane application submission forms online.”
  • “It was actually kinda fun to fill this out.  Kudos”
  • “Very concise and clear. Modern and very easy to navigate. Very motivating”
  • “Easy to use and fill out, especially by connecting to the LinkedIn profile. Survey portion was easy to understand and complete. Application time and survey was very quick, less than 10 minutes. Great job”
  • “As a Manager who also staffs my own employees, I really thought this application hit the nail on the head for almost every question I would ask a potential employee”

The Bad (3 stars)

Actually this feedback isn’t really bad, it’s incredibly useful. We’re not going to make a process that everybody likes, but we truly appreciate the people that take the time to explain why it wasn’t great for them. As mentioned before, this generally came from those people that gave the process a 3-stars rating. The common thread in this feedback was the length of time it took to apply, having to enter some information already contained in the resume and other usability issues.

  • “I like the personality assessment but having to submit employment/ education is a bit redundant since it’s already on my resume”.
  • “Experienced a glitch in uploading documents but the help desk was able to remedy the situation for me promptly”.
  • “Better than others, but longer than should be”.
  • “I wanted to write a great “impact statement” that differed from my cover letter and LinkedIn profile but there wasn’t enough space”.
  • “The forms were easy to complete.  The survey should be optional, in the event applicants do not wish to disclose certain information”.
  • “A brief list of requirements should be listed before start the application process, in order that the applicant have everything on hand”.

 The Ugly (1 and 2 stars)

Of course, there were also some people who absolutely hated our application process. No real theme here and some feedback we can’t print due to bad language, but the sentiments generally seemed to reflect a frustration with the job application process as a whole.

  • “Terrible. Waste of time answering stupid questions”.
  • “I would have preferred to just send my resume and cover letter that I had already prepared and customized for this position. Both were ready before I even entered the first “apply” button”.
  • “I dislike this process…for all the reasons I’m sure you are already aware.”
  • “Your survey is pathetic. A job seeker needs direct websites and quick way to apply”

Our Favourite:

Of all the job seeker feedback, yes we do review it all, this was our very favourite. Why? Because it reflects our goal of having every applicant treated objectively and fairly.

“I really love using this site. It’s a very human way to do human resources. I feel as if I’m more than just a resume on a pile.”

Some other key lessons from the data and feedback we’ve collected:

  • Applicants don’t mind a longer application process if they feel they are being asked to provide information that leads to a better screening process
  • A large percentage of people will provide feedback if you give them the opportunity. This is vital if you want to make things better
  • Applicants directly correlate the application experience with the brand and culture of the company they are applying to

We think we’re off to a pretty good start so far, but in order to keep improving, we will continue collecting and acting on this data and acting to make our process better. We’ll also continue to make the data public to drive the bigger discussion around candidate experience.

We would really love to hear how you measure the way job seekers feel about your online application process.  Please enter comments below or contact us.