5 Ways to Clean Up Your Hiring Process

Your company probably has an existing hiring process, but is it as efficient and effective as it could be? A lot of recruiters and companies set broad, but formal hiring process and stick to it for years to come, with just enough room to make minor adjustments along the way. But, just like any other strategic plan in a business, it needs to be cleaned up and evaluated every so often. It’s time to do some housework and clean up your hiring process with these steps.

5 Steps to Clean Up Your Hiring Process

1. Evaluate your current approach

If you don’t track metrics such as quality of hire, turnover, time to fill, candidates per hire, and hiring satisfaction, it’s time to start. These metrics can give better insights on what’s working in your process and where you can improve. Also, gather information and opinions of employees to clean up your hiring process. Ask what they think could be eliminated or streamlined to encourage efficiency, if the software you use offers everything needed, and how they think it could be improved. Recent hires might have a few opinions on the process, so it’s important to consider their ideas since they just experienced it first-hand.

2. Polish your job descriptions

Many companies and managers just write a brief job description and post it on a job board then never look at it again. If the job descriptions are unclear, it’s likely that you’ll have tons of unqualified applicants and ultimately waste time with interviews that turn into casual chats. Clearly defining the job responsibilities and requirements can make your hiring process more efficient and also help job seekers to know when not to apply. You’re wasting both your time and the applicant’s time by not gearing the job listing to a specific audience. Also, make sure everything in the posting is accurate. If you hire someone that thinks his job will include XYZ, but he end up being tasked with ABC, it’ll lead to low employee satisfaction and a higher turnover.

Meme about incorrect job descriptions

Be sure to convey accurate information in job descriptions.

3. Make sure everyone is on the same page

Educating your team is a great step to clean up your hiring process. Everyone involved in recruiting and hiring should have the same knowledge regarding the process, specific jobs, and HR software. You should even involve more than one person to evaluate applicants past the initial stage to minimize error and get a second, or even third or fourth opinion. Any mistake can set the process back or send it for a loop. Of course, mistakes are inevitable, but it’s better to take more proactive steps than reactive.

4. Use technology

Lots of hiring managers and companies start with a phone interview to get an initial feel for the candidate’s experience and potential. This is more efficient than having each individual prospect come into the office, for what might not be worth it. This is a great way to add technology into the hiring process, but you can even take it a step further. Programs and software for video interviews can drastically help clean up your hiring process. It can be hard for candidates to find the time to make a trip to the office, especially if they are currently working a different job. So, video chatting allows an easy and efficient way to screen candidates, but also offers a greater human connection with a visual of them.

Also, make sure you are using the best talent management software for your needs. Some even include video interview features and can make the process go a lot smoother.

5. Organize your folders

Whether its physical folders or digital folders, make sure everyone knows where to find important information. This includes any forms or paperwork for hiring, interview questions, job descriptions, and even the hiring process laid out step by step. This ensures that all involved in the process have the resources to carry out the hiring process correctly and as efficiently as possible.

6 Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Being one of many small businesses in a world of business sharks can bring on a plethora of challenges. Working on a small budget is never any business owner’s ideal situation, but it happens. And, knowing how to promote your business and it’s awesomeness to the world is important if you want to get your name out there. You may be wondering, “Okay, but I don’t have a lot of money. How can I compete with the big guys?” Well its actually a lot simpler than you thought.

There are tons of great ways to brand and market yourself without spending thousands every month. Some of the greatest content and marketing strategies are born from the simplest of ideas. Below, we’ve compiled some marketing ideas for small businesses trying to get their name out there and promote themselves.

Top 6 Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Now, there are definitely more than just six marketing ideas for small businesses. But here, we’re focusing on low budget, quick, and easy ideas to get your business where you’re going. Stick with these marketing ideas for small businesses tips and you’ll be an expert in no time. You may even be coming up with your own ideas!

1. Always. Produce. Content.

Now, this should be a no-brainer, but baby steps, right? Producing and publishing great content is literally going to be your best friend and one of the best marketing ideas for small businesses. I mean it. If you don’t or can’t put content online for your business, there is no point in trying to market your business. Even if you aren’t the strongest writer, someone on your team is capable of cranking out a few blogs or articles a day, week, or month relating to your business. And the blogs don’t have to be lengthy or heavily researched every time. Take a hint from BuzzFeed; they just might be the king of all things “listicle” (take this post for example). People love short lists and fun content they can relate to. Stay on top of trends and what’s happening in the world around your business and fill people in!

2. The Wonderous Beauty of Interns

Now, not to get all personal here, but I myself am an intern. And I’ll let you in on a little secret – Interns will do anything (within reason obviously) for experience or credit just to impress you and get experience. Internships can also be offered as school credit, which means you can pay them if you want (and are able – remember this post is about low budget small businesses), or you don’t have to. So, hiring a college student interested in marketing, writing, or business is a great way to have extra help around the office producing content. Have some interns write some catchy blogs or post on social media. We are currently in the age of the Millennials and Generation Z who are all over the social media scenes. Let them take over (again within reason) especially if you’re a younger, trendier business. You’ll end up loving their work, and they’ll love you for the great time and great experience.

3. Video Marketing is Calling Your Name

 Video content is one of the most valuable assets to small businesses. You just have to do it. And, what’s so great about making videos you ask? Literally everything. They are fairly easy to produce and don’t cost as much as you’d think. While it is beneficial to invest in a decent camera and maybe a green screen, you can make usable and interesting videos just using your phone. Short, online videos are the way to reach people – especially on social media. The average attention span has decreased significantly, so short 1 to 3 minute videos are perfect. Get creative and start reaching out to your followers!

4. Social Media – If it’s Free, It’s for Me

Okay, let’s be real here. If you own a business and you’re not already utilizing the free platforms already available to you (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest), you might as well quit. Okay, that may be harsh, but someone had to say it. These social media platforms typically cost nothing to join and it is the easiest and fastest way to get your amazing content to the public. They are also great platforms for marketing campaigns and consumer reach. Everyone loves getting a reply from a post they commented on. Interact and build a personality. Sign up for all you can and keep all profile information, pictures, and posts consistent. That is the best way to build a brand and familiarize followers with your business. Starting a website is another great way to increase your online presence. There are many free or really cheap website creation sites you can manage to fit your own business.

5. Link Up on LinkedIn

If you’re already using LinkedIn, fabulous! If not, what are you waiting for? Get going! LinkedIn is absolutely a great way to connect with fellow business and increase your knowledge about competition. Many small businesses go on LinkedIn to promote themselves and you should too. Don’t just connect with people though. Join conversations, post blogs, join groups, update your profile and build your network. And what’s even better? IT’S FREE (head back to number 4 if you need a refresher).

6. Don’t Sizzle…Pop!

I’m talking about having clever, interesting, and up-to-date branding materials. Sure a plain white business card with black Times New Roman font is “professional,” but it’s 2017. Splurge (a little) on a good designer or get your creative juices flowing with some great business materials. I’m talking business cards, flyers, coasters, t-shirts, chapsticks, buttons, letterhead, magnets. If you can print something on it, do it. This works especially well if your small business is centered around a trendy industry (like a hipster coffee house) or fun name. Plus, having a tangible, well-design product to distribute literally puts your business into the hands of a client. Find what works best for you and your brand, run with it, and run far.

People love what other people are passionate about. So, needless to say, if you’re passionate about your business and it’s success, people will love it too! Marketing doesn’t have to be difficult. Chances are, you already have an awesome team behind you to help every step of the way. Follow these tips and mold them to your business’s personality if you need to. The world of business and marketing isn’t always cut and dry, but knowing the basics to get started is a great place to start.

The Psychology of Clickbait

We’ve all fallen victim to the clickbait game. I mean, don’t you want to find out what your inner potato is? It might sound stupid, but for websites like Buzzfeed and Upworthy, using clickbait headlines has become a way of life – and there’s a reason why.

What Exactly is Clickbait?

When is the last time you scrolled through your feed on social media and it wasn’t full of strange, yet questionably intriguing links? You just HAVE to find out what character you are on F.R.I.E.N.D.S., and you might die of curiosity if you don’t find out how that adorable koala managed to cross a busy street and live. This, my friends, is clickbait.

Clickbait has become so habitual that Merriam-Webster added the term to their dictionary in 2015. It’s defined as:

“Something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest.”

Essentially, the headline is misleading and the content does not deliver. The marketing idea was that any headline that gets people to click is a quality headline. This is quickly becoming old news, as quality content is becoming more important to retain consumers. But yet, clickbait is still everywhere.

Clickbait meme

Do you remember when headlines weren’t clickbait?

Why are Marketers using Clickbait?

With all of the fake news, propaganda, and “alternative facts,” people can’t tell what’s real and worth their time without actually clicking. It’s also more difficult for marketers to gain attention from their audience. So, they resort to emotional, quick-hit headlines that draw attention even if the content isn’t meaningful.

This is great for brands that use page views and cost-per-impression metrics to judge content performance. But, if you want to keep your audience’s attention, these are the wrong metrics to focus on. Using clickbait can result in higher bounce rates, lower engagement rates, and low credibility for your brand overall. Marketers are realizing this and quickly learning that misleading clicks can do more harm than good. So why are brands still using clickbait tactics?

Because it still works – for now.

The Psychology of Clickbait

Most people are well aware of clickbait and know that clicking on that link to find out dumbest things celebrities have done will probably be disappointing, but they still do it. Why? There’s a psychological reason behind it. Humans are undeniably curious, and there’s an information gap. George Loewenstein, a professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, developed the information gap theory of curiosity. It’s the idea that people feel a gap between what they know and what they want to know.

Even when you scroll past a link that you know is clickbait, you’ll still be wondering what in the world the answer is. It’s just human nature, and we can’t help it. Curiosity is a mental appetite that we keep feeding but is never fully satisfied. So, as long as humans are curious, clickbait will still work at least to some extent.

The Future of Clickbait

While clickbait still draws in clicks right now, the popularity is likely to decrease in the future. Facebook made changes to its algorithm in 2014 to better control the content people see in their feeds. Users were complaining about how much viral junk with no real engaging content was all over their page, so the site reacted. The algorithm takes more control of the content seen by taking looking at much time users spend on the link they click and if they share/comment on the post.

With changes to social media platforms, marketers are changing their efforts as well. Not only to have their articles actually show up on social media, but to really engage their readers and focus on the right metrics. While having a great headline is still important, quality content is what keeps consumers coming back for more and will build trust in your brand.