Candidate Tracking Spreadsheet

Candidate Tracking SpreadsheetHR Managers:  Did you know you can use Smartsheet to track all of your open jobs and active candidates?  You can even attach resumes into specific fields.  This is a low-cost (free in some cases) way to automate your hiring process and collaborate with stakeholders.

Smartsheet is like Excel on steroids – it gives you all of the great features from Excel you are used to, but makes them collaborative, so you can track projects with other members of your team, in real-time, on the web or through your mobile phone.

Best of all, you don’t need to get your IT team involved because it’s all hosted in the cloud.

Smartsheet has a pre-configured Candidate Tracking Spreadsheet available in their templates library.  Check it out.  If you need something heavier that includes a company job board, job application templates and complete hiring workflows, set up a free Teamshifter account.

Why an automated hiring process makes sense

automated hiring process

If you are a small business owner, especially in the service industry (retail, restaurant, any company that employees hourly workers), the last thing you probably have time to think about is how, or even why, to improve your hiring process.  High-turnover is just how it is in your business, hourly workers tend to be flaky and you do your best to screen candidates out but inevitably very few hires actually work out long-term.

That may be true, but an automated hiring process can dramatically change things for the productivity of your business.

Hiring is time consuming and expensive.  You have to promote a job opening, attract candidates, review applications, conduct interviews, do reference and background checks, make an offer, get your new hire on-boarded, and ensure they are ramped up quickly on the job you’ve hired them to do.  Not an easy process.  Technology can help.

Imagine if a few clicks of your mouse could take away 50% or more of the manual work you are doing each time you go to make a new hire.  Or even better, putting in place a system that tells you what to do, so you don’t have to think about it.  You just set things up and you are on your way.

How much time would you save and be able to re-direct to other areas of your business that require your attention?

Can an automated hiring process reduce turnover?

There is no silver bullet for helping to reduce turnover – that dreaded, costly reality of life in the service industry.  However, an automated hiring process can certainly make an impact in the following ways:

1.  Make better hiring decisions

If you have a system to organize all of your applicants, gather input from other members of your team, and keep track of all of the steps in the hiring process, you are more inclined to make better hiring decisions, when all of the data is right in front of you.

2.  Encourage better candidate flow

With an automated system that gives you the ability to tap employees for referrals, you can ensure that the quality of your candidate/applicant pool increases, as more warm referrals start to flow in.

3.  Make your managers happy

Managers don’t like sifting through paper job applications and taking extra time out of their day to work on hiring.  Anything that can make the process easier for them is going to reduce their stress level and ultimately make them happier, and as a result, an easier manager to work for.

We live in a highly mobile and social world.  Advances in technology have made it that everybody has everyone and everything they need in the palm of their hands, available at a moment’s notice.  While improving your hiring process may not be the most important thing on your list of to-dos, taking advantage of these advances in technology can make a big impact on your bottom line.

After all – what’s more important then hiring (and retaining) the right people to help you drive your business forward?

 

Still using paper job applications?

If you’re a retailer of any size (1 store or 500 stores) you have probably, at some point, used paper job applications for walk-in applicants.  Many of you have made the shift to online applications, and have officially gone “paperless”.  But it’s surprising to find, in this day and age of mobile phones and cloud computing, how many large retail organizations still use a “hard copy” approach to job applications.

Two examples from recent real-life encounters:

Jamba Juice

Upon entering a Jamba Juice location in Bellevue, Washington, I came across this great poster on their front door.  It grabbed my attention, as it should, and prompted me to ask the counter people how to apply.

paper job applicationsThey told me that I should go home, visit the website, find the application, fill it out, print it out, and bring it back in to deliver to the manager.  There are a couple of problems with this workflow:

1.  If I’m looking for an hourly position with retail establishments, there are lots to choose from (in this location alone there was Radio Shack, Panera Bread, Panda Express, Claires, and many others).  I guess I’d have to really want to work specifically at Jamba Juice to take the time to go through the hassle of coming back with an application a second time.  My gut feeling is that most candidates that are likely to apply at JambaJuice are used to instant gratification with their mobile phones, and the idea of printing something out and bringing it back in could push them over the edge.

2.  For the Store Manager who gets the printed application, he/she will have to confirm that the online version was submitted to HR in order to be in compliance before they can hire the applicant.  I’m sure the manager has enough paper work on his/her desk, and the last thing they need is a pile of applications to filter through.

Clearly the candidate experience could be a lot better, and Jamba would make more of an impression for its young, progressive culture by offering mobile job applications to be completed directly from the smartphone of the applicant when they are in the store.

Marshall’s

Today I pulled into the parking lot of the soon to be opened Marshall’s at the Grand Ridge Shopping center in Issaquah, Washington.  They were advertising a hiring event with big posters all over the front windows and doors.  So, being the curious non-job seeker I am, I walked in to find out how they were handling walk-in applicants.

I was surprised to find that Marshall’s, which is owned by TJM, a holding company for a number of popular retail brands, had not yet made the leap to online applications – they were handing out physical paper applications for candidates to fill out.  On the one hand, this is better then Jamba Juice’s approach, because I don’t have to leave, then come back with the application (I can complete it there), but on the other hand, in my mind this is a tracking nightmare for store management and corporate HR.Marshalls-sign-BLOOMBERG-304-300x202

I’m curious to know how much time/money is spent manually inputting the data from this paper application into an HR system – or perhaps in this case, Marshall’s uses the paper application as a first step, and if there is interest, they ask the candidate to complete an online application.  Either way, I’m sure almost every single applicant has a smartphone with a mobile browser, and could easily be promoted to complete a mobile job application on-site directly from their phones, which could be accessed by a text message or QR code.

In summary, I don’t have enough data to offer statistics around how many retail companies have made the transition to paperless job applications, but from what I’m seeing out in the field, the numbers aren’t as high as you’d think in this increasingly automated world.

What has been your experience with paper vs paperless job applications?.