Human Resources

The Benefits of Hiring Contract or Interim Talent… Even in Uncertain Times

March 31, 2020

By Frank Myeroff, Managing Partner and Director of Hospital IT 

As companies across the globe adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on their business operations, the question of hiring has been a topic of considerationCertain sectors and specific organizations are ramping up hiring to meet demands during COVID-19, while others may have put a pause on hiring. Regardless, business leaders need to be planning ahead for the future, and weighing out the routes to take to be successful. In uncertain times like these when companies want to be flexible and keep their options open, a route to consider in regards to hiring is interim, temp-to-perm, and contract roles 

Whether during a global pandemic or not, below are benefits companies find in hiring interim or contract employees.  

Cost Savings 

In terms of both project-based and budgetary savings, contract/interim work can save employers money for a few reasons.  

  • Employers are able to ramp up or down staffing levels as needed and/or use small quantities when needed 
  • Offloading staff will reduce employers FTE count, which will in turn reduce operational costs and office infrastructure space needs and costs 
  • Defined fixed costs are easier to budget 
  • Organizations are able to reduce operating labor spend 

Shorter Hiring Process and Project Completion 

By hiring contract or interim work, employers are able to bring in experienced workers who do not require training or extensive onboarding, saving time and resources. Temporary workers are able to get to work right away and complete the project at hand since they are only there for a short period of time. This helps to ensure that the work the organization needs done will get done quickly and effectively. 

Industry Experience 

No matter the industry, contract or interim workers have skillsets to accomplish what the organization needs. Whether IT, Robotics, Supply Chain or another industry, contract workers are well-versed and likely are backed by years of experience doing the specific industry project many businesses need. This allows for instant impact and helps businesses thrive.  

Should I Still be Interviewing During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

March 25, 2020

By Leo Golubitsky, Director of Consumer & Professional Technologies

We are no doubt facing an unprecedented time in our history. With so many questions and so many unknowns, we are all taking it day-by-day and figuring things out as we go along. One of the questions I have received from both Candidates and Hiring Managers alike is, “should we still be interviewing?”.

Here are my thoughts:

The quick and simple answer is YES!

Interviewing or filling a position is a process that normally takes 4-6 weeks if all things go well, sometimes longer. Even if you are not ready to hire or change jobs now, there are a lot of steps in the process that can be completed during this time so you can be ready when things begin to normalize. Finding candidates, phone interviews, Video Conferencing interviews, taking references, background checks, etc. All of which can be completed during this period of time.

Furthermore, now might be an even better time as many have more time to spend on this process. Between working from home, canceled meetings, canceled trips, canceled tradeshows, etc. we have more time to schedule interviews, update our resumes, and take calls from recruiters!

Hiring Managers- Questions to ask yourself:

  • How is the current climate affecting our HIRING PLANS?
  • Short-term? Long-term?
  • How critical is it for us to fill these roles?
  • Do we need these roles filled now? Or when things do return to normalcy?
  • How is the current climate affecting our HIRING PROCESS?
  • Can we hire without an in-person interview?
  • Can we substitute an in-person interview with a Video Call?

Many companies and candidates are continuing with their hiring plans and job searches, adjusting their process to adapt to the current situation. Even those who are delaying the actual hiring are still working their process so they are prepared to act quickly when the time is right. If you stop now you will miss out on top candidates or great opportunities.

This too shall pass, and when it does, will you be ready?

Please let me know how I can be of help. I am happy to get on a call to discuss this with you!

Leo Golubitsky
Director of Consumer & Professional Technologies
440-991-1063
lgolubitsky@directrecruiters.com

COVID-19: How Healthcare IT Industry Organizations are Managing

As we experience a global pandemic, COVID-19, Direct Recruiters would like to wish all clients, candidates, and their families health, wellness, and safety during this time. In this unprecedented period of time, we are connecting with successful Healthcare IT companies and individuals to provide helpful information and tips regarding how their business is responding to the pandemic, how to keep employees engaged right now, and more. Thank you to all participants for the helpful insight for the HIT industry and Healthcare Industry as a whole.

Jump to interviews: Miriam Paramore - OptimizeRX, James Hoover - Medarcus,  Lee Shapiro - Livongo Health, Dev Singh - AiRo Digital Labs, Nicole Rogas - Experian Health, Pat Murphy - Interlace Health, Todd Helmink - Qliqsoft, Marc Camm - Careport

Miriam Paramore
Miriam Paramore, President and Chief Strategy Officer
OptimizeRX

https://www.linkedin.com/in/miriamparamore/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19? 

OptimizeRx is a digital healthcare platform focusing on digital communication between the life sciences industry, providers and patients.  We’ve worked hard to pivot quickly and turn on our communication capabilities for specific COVID-19 purposes.  For example, we released our direct-to-consumer free text service for COVID-19 alerts. Here’s how it works:  Simply text the word “VIRUS” to 55150 and we will push to you the most recent updates sourced from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is a simple solution, but we hope it can help in some way.  We use our CareSpeak automated patient engagement tool to do this. Typically, CareSpeak is used to support patients who are on complex drug therapies. In response to COVID-19, we have expanded CareSpeak to a general-purpose tool to push CDC alerts to the masses.

In addition, we are rolling out a the COVID-19 version of CareSpeak to our EHR partners who do not have patient engagement tools. A lot of smaller EHR systems don’t have texting capability and don’t have a patient portal so CareSpeak can be a useful plug in for them.

Another example is from our RMDY engineering team in Tel Aviv.  We are collaborating with Dr. Shay Faitelzon who leads the digital health lab at Sapir College, and Eshel, Israel’s not for profit think tank focused on the aging population.  The goal is to provide a tool to remotely monitor, guide and support elder people self-isolated in order to avoid COVID-19 infection.

Another Israeli example is our work with Sabar who provide at-home hospitalization, hospice and rehabilitation services. A current client, we are updating RMDY to support at-home hospitalization for patients with mild COVID-19 symptoms.

Overall, our team is grateful for anything we can do to help, and these are just the tangible things we are doing with our solutions but pivoting them to be COVID-19 specific.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated? 

Everybody is under different stress at this time. Here in Nashville, at the beginning of March we just had a huge tornado that leveled three of our neighborhoods, and some people in the OptimizeRx family were affected by that.  The next week, COVID-19 really began to ramp, and HIMSS was cancelled. It was an emotional gut punch for many of our team who had worked so hard to participate in HIMSS and not get to do so at the last minute.  Of course, both of those things have faded completely given the global pandemic, but the layers of stressors are still there.

With all of this going on, we are pivoting to keep employees motivated.  With regards to HIMSS, we quickly changed all of our HIMSS meetings and showcase into webinars, and we now have added a COVID-19 spin. We were able to have our team feel like their work hadn’t gone to waste, and we were able to service the industry with support and a knowledge base at the same time. Another focus is just spending time with our team on the phone and talking with them daily to simply ask how they're doing and to support them as people.  And we use video conferences now more than ever – cameras on!  It really helps with morale and motivation.  

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

With HIT in particular, I think this is a real tipping point for a couple sectors, especially telehealth. We now will be more accepting and more comfortable with telehealth as an adequate way to deliver and receive care. Now that we are forced to use digital tools, we as the HIT industry can show more value in terms of the telehealth model. Digital health technology tools and platforms like our patient engagement platforms will continue to grow.  It’s a digital world and we have to be connected digitally even in healthcare – and perhaps especially in healthcare as we are seeing now. I’ve spent my career in this space to help us get automated and serve a purpose, so this puts a spotlight on the fact that digital tools need to be normal course; using digital connections for delivery of care, payment of care, patient engagement, treatments, and other parts of the system. I am glad we have the industry groundwork and the technology to do this. 

My message is one of hope and encouragement for the healthcare IT industry.  This is an opportunity to really show value and so many companies are leaning in and doing that. It's hope for adoption, broader use, interoperability and things that are important to those of us who work in HIT. For the healthcare industry my message is it’s ok to take advantage of tech to assist with delivering clinical care, assisting patients, and communicating. Technology is a flexible and innovative tool we need right now to help us fill the gaps. The world will be very different on the other side of this in terms of openness to adoption of tools and changing the rules a little bit. 

 

James Hoover, Co-Founder
Medarcus

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimhoover/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19?  

Because we can’t travel to customer sites, it’s given me a lot of time to think of our suite of solutions and the growing pandemic. We have a tool; a fault-tolerant search technology that’s able to find medical records no matter how bad or corrupt the data is in hospitals. I have been thinking about how to use that to help healthcare professionals avoid infections from exposure to unknown COVID-19 carriers.  

Loosely based on the social science theory of six degrees of separation, it dawned on me that we could use our technology to give caregivers, registration professionals, clinicians, and staff some type of alert or early warning indicator that a patient presenting has some sort of exposure risk through one or two degrees of separation from known COVID-19 patients or pending cases. We can look into a presenting patient’s medical record and infer who they know, who their family is, who they work with, where they work, where they live - essentially any proximity measurement available - in an effort to locate any possible  COVID-19 exposure. We can then use infection rates, degrees of separation and other known COVID-19 factors to build a risk score for each presenting patient so our healthcare workers can act accordingly. I am calling this a “reverse COVID-19 search”, for brevity. 

Please note, most all medical data quality is very low and EHR or other search tools can't handle this sort of record linkage I am describing - the data is too full of errors to make ALL the necessary links. The idea of linking patients to known COVID-19 patients through several degrees of separation only dawned on me because our search tool can find most any record in any medical database or MPI. So far, no one is looking at the problem this way. And to respond to the pandemic, we have retooled our search product, SurePatient Search, to make these links and created new workflows to help protect our healthcare workers. 

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?  

We use several common tools to stay connected. Zoom is our number is our primary for customer presentations and I've noticed their stock is rising in the market because of how ubiquitous Zoom has become. We also use Slack as an internal communication tool for our sales, marking, implementation and technology teams. And of course, we use the old fashion cell phone for calls and texts. Because most of work remotely, there is not much difference for internal communications. The difference is in direct, face-to-face meetings with prospects and customers. It is much harder to build relationships remotely but everyone is trying extra hard on both sides until the meeting restrictions are lifted. We all just have to soldier through it.   

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?  

First off, we have to continue to flatten the COVID-19 infection curve to prevent healthcare workers and hospitals from being overloaded. Italy shows us what happens if we don’t. We really have to follow the advice of public health professionals, not the politicians. There is a lot of hope - scientists working across the globe are racing to find treatments and vaccines and many healthcare companies like ours adapting their products to do whatever we can as well.  

I also see a wonderful sense of community coming back to America that has been missing for a long time; we aren’t there yet but we are getting there. If there is any silver lining at all, it’s sense of community that may be restored in America as we come together to defeat this pandemic.  

Lee Shapiro

Lee Shapiro, Chief Financial Officer
Livongo Health

https://www.linkedin.com/in/leeshapiro/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19?

Livongo’s mission is to empower people with chronic conditions to live better and healthier lives and we remain dedicated to supporting our Member populations who are at greater risk of serious illness due to COVID-19. Our ability to provide timely and relevant clinical and behavioral health information to our Members through a range of channels can accelerate delivery of helpful guidance when the usual option of an office visit is not available. Members with chronic conditions are not more likely to be infected with COVID-19, but they are more at risk when they get it, given their underlying health conditions. As such, we have been proactive in sharing information with this group on how best to handle illness. In addition, we have our Members’ real-time biometric data and are able to give very specific advice.

We are providing Members with information on the virus and equipping our health coaches with the latest information from the CDC and insights from industry experts including the ADA, AHA, and JDRF. To support our Members and their behavioral health needs, Livongo for Behavioral Health powered by myStrength solution is now offering specific coronavirus and social isolation modules to manage the stress and anxiety during these challenging times.

Our existing offerings also align perfectly with current needs of people with chronic conditions. These include:

  • Free supplies delivered to our Members’ doors.
  • 24x7 telehealth access to our certified diabetes educators, health coaches, and behavioral specialists.
  • Personalized Health Nudges and insights, delivered when it matters most – at the time someone is thinking about their health. Remote population health management through Member monitoring, and without a physician visit, can be shared with their doctors to allow them to monitor progress.
  • Community connection, by allowing Members to share their results, especially in cases where they are ‘at risk’ or need assistance, with their virtual care team including family, friends, co-workers, and professional care givers.

One of Livongo’s greatest strengths is our ability to meet the needs of our Members and deliver health and care in a way that is convenient and remote – especially important during the coronavirus pandemic.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

Alongside our Members, Livongo employees are of the utmost priority. We have enacted a work from home policy for the foreseeable future. More than one third of our employees already work from home and are distributed across the country, which made implementing this policy a seamless transition. For our employees who are parents and caregivers, we are supporting flexible work hours. It is more important now than ever before to take care of our Members and our own People. We are well equipped to do both.

To keep our employees informed and motivated, our leadership team has made regular communication a top priority. We are frequently sharing important messages with the company. These include workplace updates, tips and ideas on how to manage these challenging times, business updates, and highlights on we are empowering our Members. We have received fantastic feedback on these regular communications and, despite the fact that our team is distributed across the country, we are maintaining a strong sense of teamwork and pride in our achievements together.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

We believe that the coronavirus pandemic will prove to be an inflection point for remote monitoring platforms like Livongo that are able to meet people’s health needs outside of the traditional healthcare system. By keeping people healthy, safe, and managing their health at-home, we can support our overburdened healthcare system, and reduce the risk of further spreading COVID-19. It is more important than ever that we work together to create the best possible healthcare experience, keeping people healthy, safe, and supported during these challenging times.

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Dev Singh, Founder & CEO
AiRo Digital Labs

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dev-singh-059334/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19? 

First of all, the pandemic obviously is forcing everyone to adapt and rethink their business strategy and their transformation. This crisis has made all industries, not just healthcare, wake up and realize how important Technology modernization is in ensuring the health of current operations and also adapting to changing scales and dynamics. We as a company, because we focus completely on digital solutions for healthcare, pharma and life sciences are able to adapt quickly. We foresee a situation that once the crisis is under control, then the economy is going to snap back, and it will snap back hard with a lot of pent up demand coming back. We realize that the shape of that demand from healthcare industry will be very digital-oriented and we want to be well positioned to solve that demand and absorb that. Therefore, we are doubling down on some of our investments in people and the Digital platforms we have been creating. All digital programs will accelerate, hospitals will look into remote monitoring, and pharma will have to look into their supply and logistics platforms. AI, Machine Learning and RPA will be top of the mind transformational technologies. Digital is no longer going to be discretionary; it’s going to be essential and will drive momentum to businesses like us.  We believe that when that happens in the course of next few months, then each of these sectors will need partners and companies like us need to be well prepared to help the industry at that time.   

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?  

We are in a people business. We believe if we take good care of our people, they will in turn take care of their clients and the company. In times like these, small things matter. The first thing we have done is that the management teams check on every single employee regularly at a personal level to ensure emotional wellbeing. The second is, although we have also shifted completely to remote work from home, the one thing we want is for everyone to be on video since the human connection should be maintained like it used to be in the physical work space. The third thing we did was in regards to our salary increment cycle. We will be moving forward with our salary increments and promotions internally, quite contrary to some of the other companies in our space that have stalled those plans. Additionally, we also announced we would do a stock option cycle for everyone, and by end of June every employee will own stocks. These things have helped inspire a lot of confidence in our people about AiRo and our employees love the fact that we, in the face of crisis, are doubling down and supporting our people in a way contrary to everyone else.   

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?  

 I have been involved in the US healthcare IT industry for more than 15 years now and continue to see that we are decades behind other industries in terms of adopting modern technology, processes and systems. There are of course exceptions, but most healthcare organizations are just keeping the lights on and have traditionally considered such transformation as secondary to their mission. This crisis has exposed us as very underprepared and everyone is realizing that we should have invested in modernizing our health infrastructure many years back. Therefore, the message to healthcare industry is clear - the time to go Digital! Now is the time to Digitalize your technology, and automate your non-core processes thereby making the system far more agile, transparent and scalable, thus ensuring that your consumer and patients receive the quality of care they deserve, whenever and wherever they may be. 

Nicole Rogas, Senior Vice President
Experian Health

https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicole-rotunno-rogas-6a66141/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19? 

From a client perspective we  have  encouraged  our entire client-facing organizations; sales, relationship management, client success, customer support, to reach out proactively to clients. Every small gesture and extension of support will go a long way right now.  We want to  let  our clients  know we are thinking of them  and thank them for the work they are doing on the front lines of this pandemic.  We also want to be sure they have the support they need as far as  obtaining access to our technology remotely.

With the rise of TeleHealth visits, Experian Health is also uniquely able to assist our provider clients with information we have gathered from the payers on what service type codes are needed to obtain TeleHealth medical benefits by payer.  Each payer today is returning this information differently and requires different information from the provider to return the benefit. This is our area of expertise and our way of helping our providers ensure accurate billing and payment for services at such a critical time.

In addition, we have circulated an open letter to clients letting them know that we understand they’re on the front line, we support their mission and want to help them keep their day-to-day operations going. The letter addresses our robust business continuity protocol; 40% of our employees are already remote with most of the client-facing teams as well as help desk being remote, so we are prepared to provide clients with the access and help they need. We are 100% focused on system stability for our clients and are throttling back non-essential code updates such as new features and new enhancements.

Our priorities for the fiscal end of year have shifted, and we are completely focused on providing clients with whatever it is they need to operate.

 How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated? 

When it comes to employees, I have spent most of my career leading remote teams. The key is keeping the team engaged and connected through frequent and transparent communication and messaging. Host a town hall, share personal stories of what your own personal new normal is, and ensure the teams know you are there. 

 For those not used to working remotely the secret is routine.  Get up every morning like you are going to work in an office, designate a workspace – and make it feel like a workspace; put a picture frame or vase of flowers on your desk or table. Make sure to get up from your space at the end of the day. Block your calendar for a couple 15-30-minute breaks throughout the day. 

 Our President, Jennifer Schulz sends updates almost every other day. Additionally, we are gathering stories from our employee base and sharing, encouraging virtual happy hours, and making sure that employees know where they can go to find mental health care if needed during this time. On top of keeping our clients operating, our biggest focus is to keep our employees well and in place throughout all of this.  

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole? 

The time is now; we are all in this together. As a senior leader, there’s no special weapon, we just need to be putting people at the center of every decision. If we can do anything to help the providers, hospitals and physicians continue to operate, then we should do that, whatever that means.  We all yearn to make an impact – and this is one of those unique times when we can. 

 

Patrick Murphy

Pat Murphy, Sr. Vice President of Sales and Strategy
Interlace Health

https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-murphy-b8a2694/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19?

Yes, we have moved into a full support capacity for our 1,000+ hospital customers to ensure that they have essential services to cover the management of our patient care applications if any of their key staff are sick or unable to work given the crisis. We are offering those services free of charge. Additionally, we have seen a number of our customers use our platform to provide digital Covid-19 screening forms and therefore we are offering free services to convert customer’s screening forms – again free of charge. We are also deploying a hosted pre-registration solution to enable customers to quickly stand up screening forms that can be completed remotely in advance of their visit to their facilities or as a part of a tele-health encounter. That solution will be offered at no cost until new Covid-19 cases flatten out and our customer’s operations return to more normal levels.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated? 

Our entire company is now 100% dedicated to customer outreach and customer support operations to ensure our customers are aware of the no-cost services currently being offered.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole? 

We are encouraged and inspired to see how quickly our customers have shifted their operations to meet the Covid-19 crisis. Many customers have already converted their hospital or clinic administration and support staff to a fully remote-based working environment in a very short amount of time. They have shifted to cancel thousands of elective surgeries and to source critical safety supplies and equipment to provide care at levels never before anticipated. As an organization, we are working to follow their lead and support them in any way that we can as we all work to overcome this challenge.

Todd Helmink

Todd Helmink, Chief Revenue Officer at Qliqsoft
Qliqsoft

https://www.linkedin.com/in/todd-helmink-6b07503/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19?

At Qliqsoft, we are taking both proactive and reactive steps in a couple specific areas during this time. As a patient communication software company, we have clients in the acute and post acute spaces. We are proactively communicating with the patient population seeking info on COVID-19 and/or thinking they might need to get tested or present at a hospital. Our product is a conversational, AI-driven chatbot and we just completed a deal with 700 hospital locations with one vendor going to roll out to every one of them. This is a way to alleviate inbound phone calls by putting a chat bot on the hospital website that answers questions about COVID-19, walks them through screening, and eventually escalates them to a nurse or doctor call if needed.

Many of our clients and prospects do not have a simple video chat capability. Our services at Qliqsoft do not require IT involvement, so as large hospitals don’t have the time right now to do anything require an IT project, we are able to get them up and running quickly to help.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

We are very virtual to begin with. Being so spread out across the country; Dallas, Chicago, Florida, we are used to teleconference, Webex, video etc., so communication is easy and normal right now. Our motivation is that we see an opportunity to help be a solution for the pandemic and whats going on in our country. Intrinsically we have a morning call at 8 AM everyday and everyone is excited to talk about what use cases we are seeing, what happened the day before, and how we can tweak product to meet demands. We are asking employees to work extra hours, and many are working through the weekend. As a small company, we just roll up our sleeves and get it done. We feel very fortunate to be able to provide customers with what they need during this time.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

First off, I want to give a thank you to all the medical professionals and caregivers on the front line battling COVID-19.

Second, Qliqsoft is here to help in a time of need. As hospitals are being overrun right now, it is great to see how technology can help streamline communication. The investment into technology will prove to be worthwhile in this situation and in the future. We are giving away software for free, so if you need easily deployed video chat and patient engagement tools, you know where to find us.

Marc Camm, SVP & COO at Careport Health
Careport Health

 https://www.linkedin.com/in/mcamm/ 

 Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19? 

https://careporthealth.com/resources/blog/supporting-our-clients-during-covid-19/ 

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated? – We provided them some work at home best practices. 

We are a technology company so working remotely should be easy for us! However, here are some best practices to make sure that we can all be productive during this time: 

  • Be highly present! Stay up to date on emails and respond quickly to people. 
  • Be constantly accessible via Slack/Skype/iMessage etc. It’s important that we can all reach each other quickly and easily. 
  • Utilize Webex. Be active and present during meetings. That means focus during the meeting and participate! I know this is challenging as we all like to multi task. Change the default for Webex to turn on your Video camera when you connect to the meeting. This will help keep you focused and more connected with the team and discussion. 
  • Stay in close contact with your team members via txt chat, email and video chat. 
  • Do you best to try and be as productive as possible during the work day. Try and not let other distractions take you off course. 

 What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole? 

Our communities are depending on us to keep our systems up and running so they can do their jobs at this trying time! 

Speed in Hiring

By Rachel Makoski, Director of Food & Beverage and Foodservice E&S

As the 2019 job market continues to stay strong, candidates have the upper hand. Top talent has the ability to pick and choose the companies they want to interview with, so the hiring and interview process is extremely important. With that, there’s a need for speed in your hiring practices and in order to keep pace, your company must be fast moving, flexible and nimble.

The main reason for speed in hiring? In-demand talent doesn’t wait. Companies need to realize that top performers lose interest if their hiring process is too slow and drawn out. According the SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) Benchmarking Service, the average time to fill a job vacancy is 36 days. Not only does a long process drive away top performing candidates, it can also be costly to your organization.

With this in mind, here are 5 tips to speed up your hiring process:

  • Use your internal network. Start by posting the open position in-house and give your employees who may want to make a move or change jobs a chance to apply. You will reduce time by identifying candidates already within your organization who are top performers and already fit the company culture.
  • Write a clear job description. While this might seem like common sense, many organizations do not clearly specify required competencies i.e. skills, motivations, behaviors, etc. for the job at hand. Every hiring manager needs to take time to put some real thought into creating the job description. An accurate description will help to identify qualified candidates from the start will yield a faster hiring process.
  • Streamline steps in your hiring process. Eliminate unnecessary screening and multiple rounds of interviewing. In fact, schedule a block of interviewing time and have the required personnel and hiring managers schedule their time within the block. This will avoid having to bring the candidate back for additional interviews.
  • Utilize technology advances. To accelerate your search process, allow job seekers to use video interviewing to provide a more comprehensive profile of themselves beyond the traditional resume. For hiring managers, this is both efficient and collaborative as well as enables them to gain a truer sense of the individual before inviting them to interview in person.
  • Use a recruiting firm to help fill those urgent and critical positions. Reputable recruiters find that “needle in the haystack” by having networks and resources in place to find the passive candidate market. In addition, they go far beyond the customary process of finding candidates and typically present 3 to 5 pre-qualified candidates saving you the time of filtering through job boards and piles of resumes.

Implementing a speed in hiring strategy will decrease the cycle time for making a hiring decision and improve your chances of landing your candidate of choice. In addition, you will edge out your competition. You will have already hired your candidate before your competition even has had time to entice them.

Food & Beverage and Foodservice E&S video:

Contact:

Rachel Makoski
Director of Food & Beverage and Foodservice E&S
rmakoski@directrecruiters.com
440-996-0871

7 Questions You Should be Asking Your Candidate’s References

By David Peterson, Managing Partner of Plastics and Flexible Packaging

You spent time and energy to post the ad, sort through resumes, interview, and run a background check. Before making your final hiring decision, contact your candidate’s references to ask a series of qualifying questions.

 A job applicant will cast themself in the best possible light to a potential employer. As a result, resumes and interviews can lack the details employers need to make their final decision. Most candidates are simply wanting to look good rather than concealing information. But reference checks help recruiters ensure they have the most accurate and complete picture of the candidate.

 Speaking with a reference helps you confirm the accuracy of your investigation and fill any gaps in the information you’ve collected during the interview process. Here are a few questions you should consider asking your candidate’s references to help you know whether he or she will be a good fit for your organization.

 1. What is your relation to the candidate?

This may seem like an obvious first question. But it’s important to know because a reference’s relationship to the candidate will impact the way they respond.

 2. Why did he or she leave your company?

This fact-checking question will help you uncover the true nature of your candidate’s departure. Applicants have a tendency to embellish or remove details surrounding the reason they left their previous employer.

 3. Can you provide an example of a time the candidate went above the call of duty?

Specific examples are often more informative than a reference’s personal opinion. The answer to this question will reveal what circumstances motivate your potential new employee.

 4. How does the candidate work in a team?

Almost every position will involve at least some amount of teamwork. Whether it’s working on a group project or general social situations, it’s good to know how the candidate relates to others.

 5. How would you feel working for the candidate?

This question will cause the reference to consider their relationship to the candidate and forces them to provide an unbiased answer. Be sure to phrase the question so that it requires an open-ended response.

 6. Would you rehire this candidate?

If the reference is willing to answer this question honestly, it can be very revealing as explained by Entrepreneur. If the response is no, ask why. It may not necessarily be for negative reasons.

 7. What areas did the candidate need to improve? And how did they respond to criticism?

You want to know both their strengths and weaknesses. Most applicants won’t voluntarily provide areas they still need improvement during the interview process. This two-part question not only makes you aware of the candidate’s weaknesses but also lets you know how they’ll handle future criticism.

 Finish the conversation by asking if there’s anything else you should know before hiring this candidate. This final open-ended question gives the reference a chance to explain anything they may have not thought of before.

 When talking with the reference, avoid rushing through the conversation. Give them ample time to respond so they have a chance to recall details and provide accurate information. And be aware of any nonverbal gestures. A reference may avoid giving a negative review of the candidate, but you can gain valuable feedback by paying attention to their gestures and voice inflections.

 Asking these questions when speaking to your candidate’s job references will provide insights you may not have discovered otherwise.

Measuring for Culture Fit When Interviewing Candidates

By Rachel Makoski, Director of Food & Beverage Processing and Foodservice E&S

Finding a great culture fit for the organization has become a critical factor in the hiring process. Studies have shown employees who fit the company culture increase employee engagement and add value as individual contributors as well as team players. As we all know, engaged employees also are more likely to stay at the company. Gallup’s State of the American Workplace Report stated that highly engaged business units achieve 59% less turnover.

Many companies, including some in the food and beverage industries, look for culture fits over someone with skills for the job, because skills can be taught, and culture fit cannot.

Organizations have gotten creative over the years to measure culture fit. While standard methods used still apply including performance-based interviews, fit testing, and social media networks, there are unconventional methods to assess a job candidate’s cultural suitability that should be considered.

Some companies have tried an interesting technique; after initial phone interviews, candidates are invited to spend about a half of a day working alongside the team. This experience can show both the hiring manager and the candidate how he or she will fit into the culture. While this may not be possible for every company to attempt, it is important to make the process human and collaborative, introducing the candidate to his or her potential team or taking candidates to coffee or lunch. According to the Wall Street Journal, some employers are even asking potential employees to take jogs or lift weights with them during job interviews.

Zappos, an online shoe and clothing shop based in Las Vegas has been known to use unconventional interview techniques to measure for culture fit. For example, they do what they call ‘social testing,’ which is the process of candidates meeting with multiple Zappos employees, typically at a department or company event. In addition, Zappos hiring managers make it a point to ask the candidate’s shuttle driver from the airport, receptionist, or personal assistant how he or she was treated to determine whether or not he or she should be hired. Lastly, Zappos is known to offer $3,000 to new employees to leave the company. Why? Because candidates who are willing to take that offer are quickly identified as a bad hire for Zappos anyway.

Another common method is to ask interview questions that are out of the ‘norm.’ For example, “If you were an animal, what kind would you be, and why?” or a brain teaser, such as ‘What would you do if you found a penguin in the freezer?” and “If I walk by your desk at 5:30 PM, what will I see?” These questions are meant to test candidates’ ability to think on their feet and take a glimpse into whether a candidate will fit into the organization or not.

What these companies are showing us is how important hiring for culture fit really is. While skills to get the job done are important, finding candidates who are a culture fit for your organization is vital. Companies who focus on building a team that is strongly engaged will positively affect the organization and success will follow.

Rachel Makoski
Director of Food and Beverage Processing and Foodservice E&S
440-996-0871
rmakoski@directrecruiters.com

Common Traits of Successful People

Success doesn't rely on luck. Success begins when developing a successful mindset. This mindset, in turn, builds character and ultimately creates success.

There are 7 things that successful people have in common.  Not to worry if you don’t have all seven. They can be learned from mentors or positive role models who can share tips on their habits and behaviors that brought them success.

  1. They are dreamers. Successful people dream big and don’t put boundaries on how far they can reach. They will do one thing each day that puts them closer to reaching their goals. However, they dream with a plan because without a plan, a dream is just a wish.
  2. They are willing to fail. Success doesn’t come easy and professionals are bound to fail along the way. Rather than staying down, Successful people pick themselves back up and learn from their failures and use them as stepping stones to success.
  3. They invest in themselves. Successful people invest their time and money towards bettering themselves. They strive to learn a new skill or improve their current ones. They realize that without knowledge, they don’t have power and without power, they cannot reach the next level.
  4. They network and connect with others. Successful people network with like-minded individuals. They seek out people with similar goals and who bring out the very best in them. They will join associations and attend events to stay connected.
  5. They take action. Successful people take immediate action and have excellent decision-making skills. They don’t wait for things to happen but make things happen and do it without looking back or having regrets.
  6. They embrace change. Successful people don’t fear or resist change, they embrace it. With the world moving at warp speed and technology rapidly changing, they adapt and realize that change is inevitable.
  7. They see the bigger picture. Successful people never stop moving forward. They knock down any brick walls in their way. They also know that the problems they are facing today probably won’t matter next week or in the long run. They are unstoppable.

#GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is known globally as the day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. It is celebrated each Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the US, and focuses on kicking off the charitable season. As companies are looking to wrap up their end of year and get a jump on their first quarter of hiring, they are also looking for ways to differentiate themselves from their competition. And with today being #GivingTuesday, now is a great time for organizations to take a look at their social responsibility and the ways in which they are giving back to the community.

There are countless ways to give back, build social responsibility, and in turn, boost your company culture in your organization. Whether it is monetary donations, volunteering, or participating in charitable events, companies can make a huge impact in their communities. Here at Direct Recruiters, we do our best to give back in the community and believe it positively impacts our company culture. For example, each year we participate in Race for the Place, a benefit held by the Gathering Place, a Northeast Ohio organization that provides programs and services free of charge for individuals touched by cancer. In addition, we work to fill boxes full of toys to donate to the Leprechaun Foundation, a charity that gives toys to children in Cleveland area hospitals.

When job candidates are looking for a new job, they take into consideration numerous factors. They want to make sure that they are making a move to a reputable company that is respected in the community. Organizations that are socially responsible are more attractive to potential future employees. If a company is building good relationships in the community, that jobseeker is going to hear good things about the company. If employees feel good about their company and enjoy working for a good organization, those feelings are going to show to others in the industry as well.

Another benefit of doing charitable events is bringing your organization together. What makes a company great to work for is employee morale. As a company, you want your employees to feel great about where they work. You build strong connections with your employees when you go beyond your normal work day. Increasing morale increases overall productivity. You want to differentiate yourself in the market and this is one way to achieve that. Being unique keeps employees and customers loyal to your company.

Social responsible companies have a competitive edge over those that are not.
Getting out in the community also helps for networking. You might be standing next to someone at a soup kitchen that could add value to your organization and vice versa. Meeting people in your local area will help get the name of your company known and you can help others that you meet along the way.

So, on #GivingTuesday, take a second to think about what your company can do to get out and lend an extra hand. There is always something to be done and people are always looking for help.

7 Recruiting Trends That Will Continue Into 2019

Last year several new recruiting tactics were introduced. This year, we’ve seen them adopted and implemented. And many of these modern methods will shape the hiring process in 2019.

We’ve analyzed many of these new tactics and technologies. Some are fleeting trends soon to be forgotten. But some of these new methods would be worth implementing. The following 7 recruiting trends are the methods we believe will continue into 2019.

Go mobile

Earlier this year, Google announced they were moving to mobile-first indexing. Search engine optimization may not have been a top priority of recruiters in the past, but this update is worth acknowledging.

Google makes changes for two reasons:

  1. To benefit the searcher’s experience.
  2. To adjust to searcher’s habits

Today more candidates are conducting their job search on a mobile device. But that doesn’t mean the industry is following suit. Although mobile platforms have been around for quite awhile, many recruiters haven’t adopted this change.

In a recent study, 45% of job seekers said they use mobile to hunt for jobs at least once a day. And 89% of job seekers use mobile platforms for job search. Today, 16% of applications are submitted via mobile. To be effective, your recruiting strategy should allow candidates to easily interact on a mobile device.

Say goodbye to paper resumes

Speaking of applications, the future is signaling the end of the paper resume. Organizations are beginning to place more importance on soft skills. Beyond a paper document, social media profiles and video submissions can more accurately demonstrate a first impression.

For the company hiring this means keeping up with trends and being able to accommodate these technologies.

For job seekers, this means this means developing an integrated personal brand through social media profiles, digital portfolios, and even a personal website (if appropriate for the position).

Develop an attractive online profile

If companies want to attract top talent they need to portray an appealing environment. Social media is used to demonstrate corporate culture. Research shows that 79% of candidates review social profiles during their job search.

The reality of working for your company should be accurately portrayed across your social media. Strengthening employer brand was listed as a priority by 60% of organizations. Your website, social media, and online reviews should provide an accurate depiction of the company culture.

Realize the impact of artificial intelligence

It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but artificial Intelligence is impacting the job market. The UK has already experienced the impact. In 2017, 66% of UK office employees requested the assistance of AI to accomplish their daily work.

This technology will impact the roles HR departments need to fill. Working with the assistance of AI will change the skills required of employees. Within the next fifteen years predictions indicate that 50% of employees will rely on the assistance of AI.

Consider flexible working conditions

The Gig Economy has impacted the job market in multiple ways. Not only are more workers moving to freelance positions, this trend is changing their expectations.

Research found that 65% of employees would pursue contract work if given the opportunity. This can be attributed to the many perceived benefits of such roles such as working from home. A 2016 survey reported that the ability to work remotely impacted 68% of candidates decision.

We don’t anticipate the entire workforce to quit their traditional jobs for contract work. But the popularization of these non-traditional roles has changed employee expectations.

Take note of virtual reality

There’s no shortage of video interview software. As we previously mentioned, video is able to demonstrate a more accurate first impression.

Video interview doesn’t seem like it will be going away. Additionally, virtual reality and augmented reality platforms are being used for interactive hiring needs. Rather than answering the usual questions, virtual reality shows how candidates respond in practical settings.

Develop Talent Relationship Management

With an already competitive job market, Talent Relationship Management (TRM) has become an increasingly important recruiting tool. Unfortunately, many HR departments have overlooked the importance of cultivating the existing relationships within the organization in order to attract new talent.

History has shown that 40% of companies’ best hires come from within. One study showed that utilizing TRM resulted in a 4% higher offer acceptance rate. Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) shouldn’t be overlooked. Rather, it should be implemented alongside TRM in order to recruit the best candidate.

Summary

In order to recruit the right candidate, you have to employ modern hiring methods. Simply posting a job and waiting for the resumes to pour in may not work anymore. Today’s job market requires a more proactive approach from both the recruiter and the candidate.

Finding top talent requires staying up-to-date on these trends. Depending upon the size and capabilities of your organization, you may not be able to adopt all these trends. But you should be aware of the expectations. As an organization, identify the weaknesses within your current recruiting methods and be willing to implement needed changes.

How to Implement a Successful Work From Home Program

Nearly 75% of millennials expect flexible working conditions. And 68% of recent graduates say that being able to work remotely will impact their decision to accept a position.

 Applicants come with a new set of priorities. They expect more than a paycheck and solid benefits. The shift in philosophy has forced companies to implement flexible working conditions.

 However, adopting these changes can be difficult for companies. The pressure has caused concern for many leaders. But to implement a successful work from home program, an organization needs be aware of the benefits and the obstacles they may encounter.

 Know the obstacles

 Before your organization begins to provide flexible working conditions, there are potential obstacles you should be aware of.

 First, don’t assume every employee wants to work remotely. It may sound appealing to roll out of bed and shuffle to your computer in your slippers each morning. But you may discover this is not the general consensus among your staff. Many employees still enjoy the social interaction provided by a traditional office setting.

 And don’t assume every employee is cut out for it. Some people thrive within traditional settings. Removing the stability of an office environment could be detrimental for some. Managers are often your best resource to know whether remote accommodations will work. Typically, they know their team better than upper management.

 Technology will play an important role in establishing a successful work from home program. The last thing any company wants is for an employee to become an island. Implementing the appropriate technology to maintain communication will be important.

 Aspects of company culture that came naturally before may become difficult to maintain. Consider how you will maintain comradery while your team is still under one roof.

 Consider the benefits

 It’s understandable to have reservations about a work from home program. But the cost savings alone can make it a no-brainer. Studies have shown than an employer can save $10,000 per employee each year by allowing employees to work remotely.          

 In addition to the cost savings, it gives you access to a larger talent pool. Facilitating employees working from home will allow you to attract employees who would be unwilling to relocate.

 5 steps to implementing a work from home program

 When your organization is ready to implement the program, there are five steps to consider.

 1. Test it

There are plenty of companies to analyze to know whether your organization can accommodate remote working conditions. Analyzing similar companies who have tried it before may provide your answer. But no matter how well you plan, you’ll encounter unforeseen obstacles.

 Before you dive in completely, identify a couple employees who would be willing to test it out. There initial feedback will allow you to prepare a full roll out.

 2. Have a timeline

From the initial trial period to complete implementation, there will be details you’ll need to work through. But you should develop a timeline. This will keep the plan on track and also answer the questions that will arise: “When can I work from home?”

 3. Work out the details

Allowing your employees to work from home will require new protocols. You might discover it’s not as simple as providing a laptop and access to your company server.

 Teams working in different parts of the country will have to rely on different applications to provide seamless communication. Maintaining clear communication between employees will be important.

 As you work through the details, be sure to protect your company culture. It can suffer if regular events aren’t scheduled. There won’t be any more water cooler talk amongst a remote workforce. Foster communication through regular company outings or retreats. And if geography isn’t a limitation, consider Friday happy hour or midweek yoga sessions.

4. Determine times of availability

A simple method to maintaining communication is establishing availability. There should be an expectation among employees as to when they will be available.

 As an organization, you can choose whether those hours are the same for everyone and if the hours need to be static throughout the week. Depending upon the organization’s flexibility, you may decide to allow employees to choose their appropriate hours. But whether those are traditional hours or flexible, the rest of the organization should be aware.

 5. Identify which jobs can work remotely

Unfortunately for some, not all jobs can be done remotely. Some positions are just more suitable for an office setting. Define what roles will be available for remote work to set the expectation.

 Summary

 There are different factors to consider when implementing a work from home program. If your company decides to provide remote working conditions consider these five steps to ensure it works for both the company and the employees.