Hireology Blog

Why Your Company Needs an HR Strategy, No Matter Its Size

Posted by Emily Woodward on July 30, 2014

Successful hiring is about more than simply filing qualified employees through your company's doors. A great hiring process feeds into a more comprehensive plan--a human resources strategy that actually improves your business. 21862302_l

By definition, strategic human resources planning aligns the management of your company's employees with its overarching mission. This kind of big-picture thinking during the recruitment process is fairly common in mid to large-sized companies, but has failed to become a hiring standard amongst businesses of a smaller size.

If you're a small business manager, you might think developing such a strategy is a waste of your company's precious time and resources. However, it's time to think again. No matter the size or scale of your business, it can reap the many benefits of a solid human resources strategy. Here's why:

An HR strategy moves your business forward

The people your company employs can influence its success just as much as the products or services it provides. A plan that integrates the people you hire with your business vision will significantly improve your ability to achieve it.

An HR strategy makes hiring decisions easier

Having a plan makes hiring decisions a whole lot easier. For example, if you're hiring with the idea of improving your company's customer service reputation in mind, the purpose becomes much clearer to both you and your new hire.

An HR strategy protects your investments

Making initial investments in employees and then failing to see them through could be the cause of a plethora of small business problems. This includes turnover and workplace motivation. By taking the time to think about how your employees will be trained, promoted, and treated, you'll create a thoughtful work environment that people want to work in. This, in turn, will attract even better talent. 

No matter if you work in the automotive industry or own a restaurant, formulating an effective HR strategy has the potential to change your business. For more helpful small business advice, check out our ebook, A Small Businesses' Reference Guide to Hiring. 

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Topics: Small Business Hiring, HR & HR Technology

Three Tips for Improving Your Candidate Experience

Posted by Emily Woodward on July 21, 2014

As a manager or company recruiter, there are a couple of different ways you can look at the hiring process. On one hand, you can look at it as a one-sided game in which it's completely up to the candidate to impress. On the other, you can look at it as a collaborative conversation--one in which you are equally responsible for the resulting relationship. 21384524_l

If you're a fan of the second (and more effective) hiring perspective, then you already display two of the basic elements of a great candidate experience: respect and appreciation. And in our increasingly connected, increasingly personalized world, a candidate experience built on these principles is becoming more important. Candidates now expect to feel excited about the positions they are interviewing for, often making job decisions based on "feeling" rather than factors like compensation. The fact is that the impression your company makes during the recruiting process can decide the level of talent that's acquired. 

So how, specifically, does your company execute an experience that leaves candidates wanting more? Here are three fundamental tips: 

Be genuinely interested

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how often this simple conversational etiquette is neglected. In fact, one of the most common complaints candidates have is that of a distracted interviewer. People, and this is especially true of the millennial generation, want to work in a place where they feel valued and motivated. Try making a personal connection with your candidate, whether it's from something you spotted on their resume or a story they tell during the interview.

Expose them to your culture

Equally important as exposing them to your culture is making them feel like they could be a part of it. If you feel like the interview went particularly well, share a few stories about work outings or funny things that have happened around the office. Even better, give them a post-interview tour. Make them feel personally invited and let them see for themselves. 

Always respond promptly

If you expect your candidates to get back to you in a timely manner, then you could hold yourself to the same standards. This holds true even in rejection. Failing to send an appreciative rejection letter can leave a bad taste of your brand, and you never know who that news is going to be spread to. 

Following these simple guidelines will allow you to create a great candidate experience--one that doesn't need gifts or flashy social recruiting campaigns to leave a good impression. For advice on another recruiting aspect that can help you win talent, check out our guide on job descriptions.
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Topics: Hiring

Quiz: Is it a good interview question?

Posted by Emily Woodward on July 15, 2014

Finding the perfect interview questions can be hard. Take our quiz: "Is it a good interview question?" and see if you can tell the difference between the good, the bad, and the illegal. 

Still stuck on what questions to ask your candidates? Check out this guide on the truth about weird interview questions. 

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Topics: Interviewing Help, Hiring

Three Hiring Lessons from Brazil's World Cup Loss

Posted by Emily Woodward on July 9, 2014

It seems the entire world is still reeling in shock after Brazil's 7-1 loss to Germany in Tuesday's World Cup semi-final. For Brazil, it was a defeat that transcended the loss of a simple soccer game. As a nation nearly synonymous with the sport, Brazil didn't just want the win -- they expected it. 

If there's one thing we can take away from the loss, it's that even what seems like a foregone conclusion is never a guarantee. And the same can be applied to hiring. If you've been in the hiring game long enough, you may have experienced a similar kind of shock and disappointment when a candidate you thought would be a sure-fire star turned out to be a flopping disappointment. They may have interviewed flawlessly, positioning themselves as your company's saving grace, only to underperform when it was finally game time. 7250839_l

As Brazil's fans can certainly attest to, this kind of unexpected letdown is painful. The difference between you and them, however, is that you have the option of preventative measures at your fingertips. Below, we've put together a list of three precautions you should always take before allowing yourself to become invested in your dream employee.

Ask the right interview questions

To find out if a candidate is really worth the hype, you have to ask the right questions--questions that probe deep into their core skills and attributes. It's easy to sail through general questions like, "Can you tell me about a time when you succeeded?", so make sure you've selected questions that are job-specific and tell you what you really need to know.

Perform background checks

Performing background checks on your candidates before your hire them can save you from defeat after you bring them on. Look for an HR technology partner that offers a tools like criminal background checks and drug screening, which will help you feel confident in who you're hiring. 

Think about culture fit

Your new hire might possess all of the required skills on the job description, but if they don't work well in your company's environment, they aren't going to perform well. Take a look at your most successful employees and decipher the traits that help them work in and contribute to your company culture. Then, ask yourself if you can see this candidate flourishing in the same way. 

For more tips on finding the perfect candidate, check out our guide on conducting phone interviews. 

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Topics: Hiring

Two Questions to Ask Yourself When Facing Turnover

Posted by Emily Woodward on July 7, 2014

High employee turnover is a concern on every employer's mind. The process of losing and gaining employees is frustrating both financially and emotionally, and at its worst is a cyclical problem. 
Sudden departure leads to hasty hires, which leads to dissatisfaction and more departures, and soon managers have no idea where to stop the problem. 15173494_l

Without proper care and observation, this turnover cycle can evolve into much larger problems for your company. For any business, constantly training new hires is unproductive, and it's hard to truly build anything when your foundation pieces are constantly rearranging. 

To help you untangle the web that turnover issues often result in, we've selected two key questions your company needs the answers to. 

Am I hiring the right people?

If there is a way to nip turnover at the bud, hiring the right people might be it. When an employee leaves a company after less than twelve months, the majority of the time it is for a reason that could have been deciphered during the hiring process. Asking strategic, purposeful interview questions will help you find candidates whose expectations align with yours, and who you know will be around for a while. 

Am I creating an environment that people actually want to work in?

Some industries, like the restaurant industry, have notoriously high turnover rates that are too often accepted as part of the trade. While it may be true that completely avoiding turnover is impossible, businesses in any industry can combat it by simply making their employees happy. This can be done both on a larger scale by creating a thriving company culture, and on an individual scale with better employee interactions. 

While these tips are meant to help your company reduce turnover, sometimes it is inevitable, and it's important that your company has a method for handling it smoothly and gracefully. For more on reducing turnover, check out our guide below!


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Topics: Management, Hiring

Three Tips to Handle Turnover Like a Pro

Posted by Maggie Coffey on July 3, 2014

Sometimes turnover is inevitable. Regardless of how happy an employee is with their company, or how long they have worked there, that "what if" in the back of their mind begins to grow stronger and stronger. And in some cases, that curiosity of what else is out there turns into a job offer. 

Decisions like these aren't personal - your employees just need to do what is best for their careers and futures. With that being said, I would like to let everyone know that as of this evening I will no longer be 10498583_10152483974000979_3442995197423431449_oHireology's marketing coordinator. It was a difficult decision, but Erin Borgerson and the rest of the Leadership Team have made my last two weeks with Hireology absolutely incredible. 

So if you ever find yourself with an employee who has just formally resigned, here are three tips to make the most of those last two weeks:

1. Hold regular meetings

The first thing my manager did was make a process doc. Anytime I completed a task, no matter how mundane, Erin wanted me to notate it. Of course she knew what projects I was working on, but it was the little things she needed to know about if she wanted to keep the department running smoothly. Since starting this list, we've met almost daily to discuss the best practices for these little tasks, and to determine who would take over after I leave. 

2. Prioritize projects

If your team is anything like ours, then you are more than familiar with operating at full speed every single day. Once an employee informs you of their decision to leave, you need to slow down. Sit down and figure out what projects must be completed before they leave, where good stopping points are on others, and what can be eliminated from their to-do list. Some things aren't going to get done, and you need to realize that it's ok. Your team will get back to normal, but for the time being, it's going to be a bit chaotic. 

3. Start hiring

I gave my notice in the morning, and that afternoon a job description was posted. Now you may be thinking that it seems a little harsh to already be seeking a replacement, but it's not. It has to be done, and the sooner the better. I was more than happy to Erin with the job description, and was relieved when I saw qualified candidates applying.

I've learned so much over the past two years with Hireology. It's truly an incredible culture, and while I'm sad to go, I know I've made lifelong friends. All I ask of you is that if an employee resigns, to handle it just as Hireology did for me - with organization, prioritization, and most importantly, genuine happiness. 

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Topics: Talent Management

Hireology CEO to Speak at Techweek Chicago

Posted by Erin Borgerson on June 26, 2014

The 4th annual Techweek Chicago conference began earlier this week and already social media is blowingtechweek-chicago-event up with the latest innovations in Windy CIty tech.

Hireology's CEO, Adam Robinson, will be hitting the Techweek stage on Saturday June 28th for a panel session with four other technology entrepreneurs and leaders. The panel is titled: Technology and Hiring: How Companies Use Technology to Make Better Hiring Decisions and will feature the following moderators and panelists:


Aaron VanderGalien
Founder of Deksia 



CEO of Instant Technology

President and CEO of LaSalle Network

Co-Founder and CEO of Hireology

Founder of Argyle Search Partners

The session will begin at 12pm at the Summit Stage (222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago, IL 60654). Tickets are still available! Get a Summit pass here. Follow the conversation by using the hashtag #Techweek.
Having trouble hiring a developer? Download our guide!
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Topics: Hireology Updates, HR & HR Technology

An Even Stronger Case for Hiring Veterans

Posted by Emily Woodward on June 25, 2014

If you were lucky enough to attend the 2014 Society of Human Resources Management Conference this week, you saw former First Lady Laura Bush lend some inspiring words to the hiring community. For those who weren't there, here was a key and timely takeaway from the closing keynote speech: you should hire veterans. 6969167_l

The topic of hiring veterans comes into discussion every year around this time, when between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July we turn our thoughts to those who have served our country. While we are undoubtedly thankful, a veteran unemployment rate that holds steadily above the national average shows a disconnect between this gratitude and businesses' willingness to take a chance on their skills. According to Bush, there is a "divide" between the work lives of veterans and non-veterans. 

In order to bridge this divide, it will take a year-round combination of effort, open-mindedness, and recognition of the fact that hiring veterans can actually be very beneficial to your business. After all, how hard is it to fathom that a job candidate rooted in hard work and discipline could turn out to be one of your best employees? For a more in-depth look at precisely what veterans can contribute to your company, take a look at the ebook below.  

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Topics: Hiring

Writing on Candidates' Resumes: What Not to Say

Posted by Emily Woodward on June 23, 2014

Asking an illegal interview question isn't the only way misinformed hiring practices can get in you in trouble: according to experts, you might want to watch what you absentmindedly scribble on the side of a candidate's resume. 


While there are no laws outright banning the practice, there are several ways in which a note taken the wrong way can translate into legal problems. For example, while you might think your comment on a candidate's appearance is simply a way to jog your memory later on, in court it looks more like support for a discrimination claim. Notes on a resume or application also make it difficult for future eyes to look at the document objectively, and can be made out as an attempt to decrease the candidate's chances. 

To help you avoid this gray area, we've put together a list of topics to steer absolutely clear of when taking notes during an interview.

  1. Age, race, gender, and place of origin
  2. Pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital/family status and disability 
  3. Financial status, political views and religion 

Here's a great rule of thumb: just like interview questions, comments should be job-related only. If you still think this might slip your mind in an interview, you might want to nix resume note-taking all together. Try taking notes on a separate pad of paper instead, or utilize Hireology's "notes" feature to attach notes to specific applicants online. For more great interviewing tips, check out our guide on phone interviews.

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Topics: Hiring

The Do's and Don'ts of Hiring the Long-term Unemployed

Posted by Emily Woodward on June 19, 2014

Long-term unemployment is a big problem in the country-- 3.8 million Americans have been out of work for over 6 months, and it seems like the number of opinions on the issue is just as large. In the context of hiring, it's an issue that is perpetuated both by the bias of potential employers and the discouragement job-seekers subsequently feel. In an attempt to solve long-term unemployment discrimination earlier this year, President Obama even secured pledges from large companies like Proctor & Gamble.

Your company might not be signing any documents, but it is important to consider where you and your hiring practices stand. To help you navigate these waters, we've put together a list of Do's and Don'ts to keep in mind when hiring the long-term unemployed.

Don't: Use it as a way to quickly narrow down your applicant pool

The long-term unemployed are subject to many biases from potential employers. First of all, there's the stigma that these individuals are probably rusty, or that they just don't have the industry skills whatsoever that have become so critical since their last run. There are also the personality flaw projections--employers thinkthey're lazy, or that there must be something wrong with them if no one else has picked them up. However, using these generalizations as a way to make your job easier is a sure way to miss out on some great talent. Don't allow the length of a candidate's unemployment to override their accomplishments.

Do: Realize that things happen

While the above thoughts might come to mind when you see that someone has been out of work for a year, it's important to remember that things happen. Sometimes it doesn't matter how skilled a worker is, they might have simply run into bad luck when their company 
cut their project. This means that there are plenty of talented, unemployed workers out there, you just have to give the benefit of the doubt to find them. 

Do: Look into their past

This brings us to the next point. If you want proof that a candidate's unemployment is due to something other than their own inability, do some digging into their past. Perhaps a call to a former manager will give you rave reviews, or you'll get the real story of why they were let go. Taking the time to consider the applicant's past experiences will give you an idea of what their skills are and how quickly they'll be able to jump back in. 

Do: Consider the relationship between opportunity and hard work

It feels good to hire someone who wants the job. It feels great to hire someone who needs it. For those of you who have seen The Pursuit of Happiness, imagine the emotional scene when Will Smith's character walks triumphantly out of the office after receiving an offer. While it might not happen exactly like this, granting opportunity is a sure way to receive hard work and determination in return. Anyone who has had to work that hard to get land a position is going to work very, very hard to keep it. 

Don't: Hire someone out of pity

Maybe you decided to bring a long-term unemployed applicant in for an interview. You gave them a fair chance, but for various other reasons they just didn't stack up to your other candidates. While you might feel a pang of guilt, hiring out without a good fit isn't good for either of you in the long run. Instead, reach out to your candidate to let them know that it wasn't their unemployment that cost them the job, and tell them exactly what they can improve for next time.

Hopefully this list gave you a few things to think about before tossing resumes to the side. To avoid making any other poor hiring decisions, take a look at our guide to the top reasons managers make bad hiring decisions!


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