3 Do’s and 1 BIG Don’t for crafting effective DE&I strategies

Have you ever wondered what makes some DE&I strategies more effective than others?

 

 

By now we’ve all heard the advantages of diverse and inclusive work environments. We know businesses who aren’t embracing inclusion in a meaningful way are being left behind, both as employers and marketplace performers. So how do we begin to craft diversity and inclusion strategies for our organisations that actually work?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for a successful diversity and inclusion strategy, but here are some top tips to ensure your efforts genuinely attract, support and allow underrepresented groups to thrive in your workforce:

 

DO start by collecting ALL the data you can

If you’re considering crafting a diversity strategy for your business, knowing where to start can seem like an overwhelming task.

But like any journey, you need to understand where you are before you can start plotting a way forward. 

We have access to more data than ever before to measure what’s happening in our companies. And more channels of communication to ask deeper questions. Go beyond an audit of the race, gender, sexual orientation, age, nationality and disability already within your organisation. Investigate the family status, the languages spoken, the education levels, personality types and other defining life experiences. 

From there, encourage your teams and employees to express their needs, to point out their barriers and what DE&I would look like to them. They can do this through regular feedback events or town hall-style meetings, or through one-on-one sessions where they have a safe space to share their feedback.

By opening up dialogues your employees are going to do most of the hard work for you. 

 

DO implement strategies that cover the entire employment lifecycle

An inclusion strategy should be (by definition) inclusive. Inclusive in regard to the respect and opportunities given to every employee, and inclusive across every aspect employment lifecycle. Yet too often, DE&I strategies are mistakenly deployed and targeted exclusively within the recruitment stage of an employee’s experience.

Yes of course it is important to have a strong recruiting selection and screening strategy free from biases for/against any individual or group of society and promotes a broader range of skills and experiences in your teams. But your inclusion strategies shouldn’t end as soon as they’ve signed the employee contract.

Inclusion is ongoing — not a once-off training video.

Similarly, for real change to happen, every employee whether they’re a temporary intern, a senior manager or the CEO, needs to buy into the value of inclusion — both intellectually and emotionally.

Visionary speeches and glossy corporate brochures have little impact alone. The CEO and other senior leaders should be visible at workshops, training programmes and during Q&A sessions on diversity. If diversity goals are set top-down, it is more likely they can be implemented company-wide. 

 

DO examine your language

To be effective recruiters and diversity practitioners, we need to stay abreast of new words, concepts, and trends impacting our work and the people we work with. Language has the ability to build relationships and forge connections, but it’s equally capable of creating barriers and impacting someone’s sense of belonging.

Read more: The role of cognitive bias in society & the impact it has on recruitment.

Ensuring all your initiatives, campaigns, and marketing collateral are written to reflect the world around us takes a precise use of language and means acknowledging the intersectionality of people’s identities.

What is intersectionality? It describes the multiple layers of people’s identity. Take for instance the term “colourblindness” — a practice in which racial identity is avoided — this term denies the intersectionality of people identity by ignoring how perceptions, thoughts and experiences are shaped by identity. Like many other factors – gender, religion, socio-economic status – race is a basic ingredient to the make-up of our being, whether or not you consciously acknowledge its role in your life.

The idea is if you start with this idea of intersectionality, you embrace the complexity of your employees, and your strategies no longer focus on quotas and tokenism, but by the question ‘who might this phrasing be excluding?’

 

DON’T aim for Equality – Equity should be the goal 

Another nuance of precise language lies in the definition of the ‘E’ in your DE&I strategy. 

While the terms ‘equity’ and ‘equality’ may sound similar, the implementation of one versus the other can lead to dramatically different outcomes for underrepresented people.

What’s the difference? Equality means every individual or group of people is given the exact same resources or opportunities. Whereas Equity recognises the different circumstances of each person, and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed for everyone to reach an equal outcome.  

Think of it like feeding a tyrannosaurus rex, a tortoise and a gecko lizard. Equality would give each reptile the exact same meal of the exact same size. Whereas Equity understands the dietary needs of each individual species and gives them each what they need to survive and thrive. 

 

There are no quick fixes to creating effective DE&I strategies

Diversity and inclusion aren’t just marketing trends like adopting Tik Tok or Snapchat into your recruitment strategy. These strategies are vital to shifting systemic disparities. This requires a willingness to continually examine and address the data you collect, the people involved and the language you use.

 

If you need some guidance shaping an inclusive screening process, get in touch with us at Alcami Interactive to request a personalised demo.

 

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3 key elements of a great HR tech stack

The best HR tech stack needs these 3 elements

 

 

As an HR professional, you deal with the most vital components in any business – people and technology. You and your team are likely responsible for everything from recruitment and succession planning, to employment law, benefits and training. 

Fortunately, there are tools out there to help make your job easier. A lot of tools. While the world of software-as-a-service (SaaS) has an abundance of exciting and useful new tools, it can be overwhelming to wade through the breadth of options.

 

What is an HR tech stack?

An HR tech stack is your HR team’s combination of integrated digital tools support your HR business function, including solving key pain points, automating processes and enabling you to perform your responsibilities more effectively. 

Organisations typically use all-in-one systems from a single provider (such as an HRIS), or build an HR tech stack with different integrations to suit their needs. The latter is fast becoming the superior solution for talent acquisition and HR teams. For example, with an HR tech stack, you may use a core system to recruit and manage candidates, and integrate it with other testing, onboarding, payroll, performance management and video interviewing software to hire faster, smarter and more effectively. 

Beamery doesn’t pull any punches about this shift, recently stating: the ATS as we know it is dead. No matter how good the tech, it’s only really as powerful as its integrations. 

Examples of systems in an HR tech stack could include recruitment and talent management software by PageUp, JobAdder or Beamery, reference checking technology by Referoo or Xref, pre-employment assessments by Testgrid or Revelian, or video interview technology by Alcami Interactive

With the right tech stack, you free up your precious human efforts for more strategic endeavours. A wonky, or ill-suited stack will cause you and your organisation strife quicker than you can say “Jenga.” 

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all HR tech stack; every business has different technology requirements to suit its needs and processes. So, when you identify a gap in your capabilities and think can be filled by new cutting-edge HR technology, don’t get distracted by the shiny bells and whistles. Investigate, and take the time to ask a few pointed questions about its capabilities. 

Here’s a checklist of all the key elements of a winning HR tech stack. 

 

1. Integrations and scalability

Are you satisfied with your existing system and want to add new integrations? Or, are you looking to switch things up by investing in a new system with better functionality and integration potential, in line with your organisational goals? 

In either situation, it’s important for your system to integrate smoothly with your other critical tools, allowing you to access all your data in one place without the need to manually export and import across tools. Your systems should “talk” to each other and minimise data entry points to maintain data integrity, and save time and effort. 

Your tech stack also needs to be able to grow as your organisation does. Even if the tool suits your needs now, investigate its flexibility and scalability to support your organisation in its growth. 

 

2. Easy training and reliable support

Are you really optimising your workflow if you have to spend hours upon hours learning a new system, or training your team in its processes? 

As remote work has become a growing trend in the wake of coronavirus, understanding how your HR team will learn any new systems or processes while removed from a central office space is a key consideration.

When optimising your winning HR tech stack, ensure your core system and key integrations have accessible, easy-to-understand training resources and a short learning curve. (Change management can be challenging, but it shouldn’t be overwhelming or impossible!)

As part of your research into any new HR tech, assess the availability of technical support and customer service from the provider. Place a premium on those that offer 24/7 support functions and ongoing training.

For example, Alcami Interactive’s video interviewing technology offers an intuitive, easy-to-use design, a Customer Success team to provide comprehensive onboarding and training for teams, and 24/7 online and phone support. Video interviewing technology is a must-have feature in any winning HR tech stack. 

 

3. Outstanding user experience 

If an HR tech tool doesn’t provide an outstanding user experience, your HR team are unlikely to buy into it. Even the people who are most skilled in dealing with change management may resist change! 

Are key functionalities neatly presented and easily accessible? Accessibility goes beyond intuitive navigation. The hours researching and tailoring your tech stack to your business goals will be all for naught if they exclude or alienate people in your team. Ensure every element of your HR tech stack provides a great user experience. 

These elements are only the beginning of creating your winning HR tech stack. After you’ve shortlisted the ideal tools to suit your needs, budget and values (with the above three elements in mind), you may like to involve your team and get their feedback in your decision-making process. When it’s time for demos and trials, include your primary team members and users. This will help you gain their buy-in from the get go and ensure they understand how the tools assist them in their roles. Their questions may even elicit new, important considerations. 

 

Discover if Alcami Interactive’s video interviewing technology aligns with your HR tech stack. Find out more and request a demo. 

 

 

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Australia’s Top Graduate Employers 2021: How to make the list and grow in rank

Want to make it on Australia’s Top Graduate Employers list?

 

 

What does it take to become a top employer for graduates? The Australian Association of Graduate Employers (AAGE), the peak industry body for the graduate recruitment and development market, has just released Australia’s Top Graduate Employers List for 2021. 

 

The rankings recognise employers providing the most positive experience for new graduates, based on survey feedback from more than 3200 graduates who have spent 12 months working in these organisations. This year, the following organisations made the top ten: 

  1. Sydney Water
  2. Canva
  3. KordaMentha
  4. ITW Construction Asia Pacific
  5. McGrathNicol
  6. QBE
  7. KPMG
  8. Reece Group
  9. Linfox
  10. Quantium

 

In the anonymous survey*, graduates are asked to rank their employer in 25 different categories covering a broad range of criteria. Every organisation, including yours, has the opportunity to rank highly in these categories. 

 

If attracting top graduate talent is a key strategic priority for your organisation and you’d like to give your organisation the best chance to make the list next year, here are key insights about how to achieve a position and grow in rank. 

 

1. Create a culture of learning 

Organisational learning has rapidly evolved from single, one-off courses and inductions to continuous training and development, and cultures of learning. 

 

A culture of learning is one that values and encourages learning – a key strategy for attracting, engaging and retaining top graduate talent. Why? Each year, the criteria for organisations to make Top Graduate Employers list have an overarching focus on learning, from orientation and induction, training and development, to career progression. 

 

Interactive learning has been consistently demonstrated to lead to higher levels of engagement compared to a traditional classroom setting. Create a learning culture by embedding learning into your core values, leading by example, encouraging knowledge sharing, offering the right rewards and incentives, and creating meaningful, contextualised training programs.

 

Read more: 3 tips to attract top graduate talent in 2021  

 

2. Wow graduates from recruitment to employment  

While the Top Graduate Employers 2021 list asks graduates to rank employers based on their working experience, recruitment lays the foundation. A positive employee experience starts with a positive candidate experience. Use recruitment as an opportunity to make your employer brand shine through innovative technology and processes, such as video interviewing

 

Great video interviewing platforms like Alcami Interactive allow you to promote your employer brand through your logos, colours and imagery, share personalised videos (including your careers video), and enables candidates to complete their interview at their convenience. 

 

Not to mention, great technology in your recruitment process can also underpin your Employee Value Propositions (EVPs). For example, if high-tech and innovation form part of your EVPs, a great video interviewing platform demonstrates your organisation practices what you preach, and sets the scene for what’s to come. 

 

Actively promote your key differentiators, such as compensation, culture and benefits. Use video interviewing to engage graduates with your brand, organisation and role. This establishes your culture from the get-go (and is sure to win you some points in the “company culture” category of the Top Graduate Employers list).  

 

Read more: Recruitment videos in 2021 – What to say and how to use them

 

3. Demonstrate great leadership

It’s almost a cliché to say employees don’t leave companies, they leave bad bosses. However, this happens all the time. Top talent leaves, only for the organisation to discover a bad manager was the root cause. 

 

Great leadership underpins many categories for employers to make the Top Graduate Employers list, from supervision and management, to training and development, work-life balance and company culture.  

 

Effective leadership is more than simply managing a team. It’s how people learn from you, seek your advice, and are inspired by you. There are many components of successful, respected leadership. Overall, the great leaders in your organisation are those who are knowledgeable and proficient in their role and responsibilities, see the bigger picture, are positive and proactive, and listen to and learn from others. 

 

The survey takes place between November to December each year. So start investing in your graduate attraction, engagement and retention strategy now! Foster learning opportunities across all levels, use great recruitment technology to wow graduates from the get-go, and demonstrate great leadership by going above and beyond pure “management.”  

 

*For each employer, a minimum number of responses is required to ensure the list is fair, objective and doesn’t discriminate against small, medium or large organisations. The rankings do not include all employers in the Australian market – some employers did not participate, others did participate, but did not have a sufficiently high enough response rate to be included in the rankings. 

 

Discover how Alcami Interactive’s video interviewing technology helps you strengthen your employer brand and engages graduates in your recruitment process. Find out more and request a demo. 

 

 

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How to transform your candidate experience to net top talent

A roadmap to transforming your candidate experience 

 

Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.

– Drake

 

Who would have thought the same person who brought us “Hot Line Bling” could also provide an insightful lesson about candidate experience? He makes an excellent point though. The level of care and attention we pay to our candidate experience is the first demonstration of the workplace culture candidates can expect as employees. Employers with the ability to create exceptional journeys for candidates have their pick of top talent. 

87% of candidates say a great recruitment experience can change their mind about a company they once doubted. While 83% say a negative interview will arouse doubt and cause them to potentially change their mind about a company liked.

It’s worth investing in your candidate experience to determine how to demonstrate the quality of the destination. Here’s how. 

 

Awareness

 

“What is this place?”

This is the very first introduction a candidate has to your organisation. It could be through your job ad, online presence, or an employee referral. At the time they may not even consider themselves a candidate. They could be a customer, client, supplier or partner to your organisation. 

What’s it got to do with me?

Beyond pure brand awareness, candidates need to know what you need for them and their skills. Does your organisation value transferrable soft skills? Does it value inclusion and diversity?

Takeaway tips to invest in the awareness stage of your candidate experience:

  • Participate in or sponsor events and webinars for brand awareness in topics of interest to your target talent pool. 
  • Get involved in online conversations or publish topical content on industry platforms. 
  • Get public and vocal about your diversity and inclusion values and share stories about the varied professional backgrounds of your employees.  
  • Foster and maintain positive relationships with all external partners or suppliers as well as with your customers and clients. 

 

Curiosity

 

“Would I like to work there?”

They’ve gained awareness about your organisation. Now, they’ve begun playing with the idea in their mind, and they’re going to start looking for fodder to feed their fantasies. They’ll wander your website, stalk your socials, read your reviews to see what you have to offer. 

“Is it worth the trouble?”

Candidates will begin weighing the potential costs and gains of uprooting their current situation to work for you. After family and health, career events have the biggest impact on people’s stress and happiness. 

Takeaway tips to improve the curiosity phase of your candidate experience:

  • Ensure your business is putting its best branded foot forward with a cohesive online presence across social media and your website.
  • Advertise salary in your job ads – most jobs ads perform better when they list a salary
  • Show and tell your values. A value statement on one page of your website is great; but highlighting employee profile stories and content to demonstrate how you act on your values is integral. 
  • Lead with what makes your organisation unique. What makes you stand out from your competitors?

 

Application

 

“Is it worth the trouble?”

Yes, this is a question your candidates will continue to ask themselves throughout the many stages of the experience. 60% of candidates will abandon an application if it takes too long or is too complex. 

“What do they want?”

Gendered language, lengthy job requirements, complicated English, unnecessary jargon and contradictory stipulations for experience and seniority levels in your job ads will make your candidates’ heads spin and won’t net you quality applications.  

Takeaway tips to improve the application segment of your candidate experience:

  • Only collect the information you need prior to screening candidates by phone or video interview.
  • Spend more time writing clear and informative job ads, remembering to remind candidates about the unique culture your organisation offers. 

 

Interviews

 

“When do I have time?”

Top talent candidates aren’t going to sit around waiting for you to call them. They’re likely to be busy with their current jobs and may not yet feel comfortable disclosing when they’re interviewing for other roles. 

“What do I do now?”

 Did they like me? When will I know if I’m shortlisted? Should I call or email them? What if I said something wrong? So many questions, and so little communication. 81% of job seekers said continuous communication would greatly improve overall experience.

Takeaway tips to improve interviewing in your candidate experience:

  • Let candidates know as their application moves through each stage, offer timelines for when they can expect results. 
  • Share content to help them prepare for each new stage of the process. 
  • Eliminate the back-and-forth scheduling hassles by utilising the latest technology, such as Alcami Interactive’s video interview platform.  

 

After the offer

 

“Why didn’t they choose me?”

Even if candidates are unsuccessful, those who are satisfied with their candidate experience are more than twice as likely to recommend your organisation to their networks, compared to those who had a poor experience (62% vs. 28%). Candidates are also 4x more likely to consider your company in the future if you offer constructive feedback.

“Have I made the right choice?” 

Within 3 months of being hired 65% of people will look at new jobs. This is where all the promises of culture and positive work environments need to prove their word. 

Takeaway tips for your candidate experience, as candidates transition to new hires:

  • Ensure all applicants have been notified of the outcome (and offer feedback to those who reached the later stages, if possible). 
  • Between your successful candidate signing their contract and their first day, ensure they feel informed and prepared about what will be expected of them. 
  • Consider requesting feedback from successful and unsuccessful candidates at various stages in your recruitment process to understand areas for improvement and ensure your candidates feel their opinions are valued.

 

Even in an employer-drive market, the evidence about providing a great candidate experience to net top talent is indisputable. Consider every aspect of your candidate experience, from awareness to after you’ve made a successful hire (including notifying and providing feedback to unsuccessful candidates). Developing your organisation’s employer brand with an exceptional candidate experience is one of the most effective ways to attract top talent. 

 

 

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2021: The year we make hiring for soft skills a priority

Future-proof your organisation by hiring for soft skills 

 

In the midst of a national skills shortage, which is predicted to grow to 29 million skills in deficit by 2030, organisations are feeling the squeeze. While technical skills, knowledge and qualifications are essential drivers for your organisation’s success, soft skills are the currency of the future. 

Why? According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends report, 92% of talent acquisition professionals state soft skills are equally or more important to hire for than hard skills. 89% stated when a new hire doesn’t work out, it’s due to a lack of critical soft skills. Two thirds of jobs created in the next ten years are expected to be strongly reliant on skills like communication and empathy.

But how do you determine the soft skills your organisation needs, and what’s the best way to hire for these skills when they’re notoriously difficult to assess? 

Here’s what you need to know about hiring for soft skills to ensure your organisation’s long-term success.  

 

Why soft skills are coming to the forefront in recruitment 

Hard skills have traditionally taken centre stage as organisations keep up with rapid technological change. In our increasingly digital and globalised working world, many organisations are outsourcing or automating these responsibilities. Because soft skills aren’t easy to automate, they’re now perceived as being of higher value.

Also, the half-life of hard skills is shrinking, but soft skills stay relevant. For example, a programming language may fall out of fashion; but creativity, adaptability and collaboration skills will always be valuable. 

While smart organisations have always prioritised hiring for soft skills, these skills have typically been undervalued because they’re difficult to accurately assess and measure. With better recruitment processes and assessment tools, however, it’s possible to solve these challenges.  

 

What are the best soft skills to assess for? 

There’s a range of valuable soft skills to recruit for, but some may be more critical to your organisation, industry and role types than others.

Generally speaking, however, recruiters view communication as the top-rated soft skill. It acts as an “umbrella”, covering a range of other important skills, such as speaking, active listening, presentation, customer relationship skills and more. It’s also the foundation for good working relationships and culture. 

 

Other top-rated soft skills include: 

  • emotional intelligence 
  • prioritisation
  • adaptability 
  • work ethic
  • teamwork
  • leadership qualities
  • time management
  • decision making
  • conflict resolution
  • critical thinking
  • networking
  • empathy
  • problem-solving

 

Interestingly, many organisations choose to hire candidates with desirable soft skills into flexible structures, instead of specific teams. (In an age of automation, where 25-46% of current work activities in Australia could be automated in the next decade, the role you hire into might not exist in a year.) Therefore, flexible, agile workers are highly desirable, as they’ll be able to upskill and move cross-functionally into new and emerging roles as your organisation responds to industry disruptions.

Read more: Internal mobility – Why upskilling works for attraction and retention. 

It’s valuable to have a range of skills in your organisation, so you may like to prioritise certain skills for different roles. For example, decision making skills are important for leaders, and great communication is important for client-facing roles. 

The simplest way to determine the soft skills your organisation requires is by performing a skills audit – just as you’d do for hard skills.  

 

Build soft skills assessments into your hiring process 

After you’ve determined the soft skills your organisation needs, implement a formal strategy and integrate it throughout your screening process. 

Use resumes, cover letters and answers to screening questions to gain insights into candidates’ communication, presentation and creative skills. Use behavioural testing, video interviews and other online tools to assess leadership, decision making, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. You may even like to use group interview settings to assess adaptability and collaboration skills. Reference checks can act as another final layer to confirm your shortlisted candidates’ soft skills. 

Be mindful your organisation and culture are unique, so give new starters time to apply and demonstrate soft skills within your organisational context. 

Hiring for soft skills is critical to future-proof your organisation for 2021 and beyond. While it requires a targeted approach, it doesn’t need to consume an unreasonable amount of time and resources. Determine the skills you require, ensure everyone involved in your hiring process understands your screening strategy and build these assessments into recruitment practices from the ground up. 

       

 

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How to use recruitment videos to engage top talent

Recruitment videos in 2021:What to say and how to use them

 

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but just one minute of video is worth 1.8 million!

Think about it – at 30 frames per second, you get the value of 30,000 words for every second of video, totalling “1.8 million words” by the time you reach the 60-second mark.

This is only anecdotal math, so if you want some more objective numbers, try 88, 54 and 95.

88% of Australian internet users watch online video content. 54% of video consumers want to see more videos from the brands, businesses and organisations they support, proving it’s not just cat videos and bingeable TV episodes they’re after. And finally, viewers have been shown to retain 95% of a message delivered by video, compared to only 10% of the same message being read in text.

The question in 2021 is no longer: is it worth investing in recruitment videos? It’s become: what should we say, and how should we share them?

The best recruitment videos attract candidates by creating strong connections between the viewer and your organisation’s employer brand. Some do this through high-production lighting and video equipment, while others can achieve the same connection through more candid videos, using hand-held devices and selfie sticks.

Whichever production style you go with, you’ll need to say something meaningful. Here are four different types of video content you can create.

 

A day in the life video

The number one obstacle candidates experience when searching for a job is not knowing what it’s like to work at the organisation. A day-in-the-life video can spotlight either a single employee and how they go about their day at work, or it can spotlight a specific role, talking to all the employees with a particular job title. This style of video provides a sneak-peek of the goals, challenges, and perks of the role, along with a glimpse of the employees the candidate could be working with.

 

A workplace walk-through video

Rather than spotlight the people in your organisation, why not capture the physical workspace of your employees? Your office is a physical embodiment of what your company stands for, a visible and viable asset which can be used to attract candidates. These types of videos foster the same emotional connections and desire potential buyers get when they walk into open homes. They also create a sense of familiarity with the environment they could one day work in, not only nurturing confidence and belonging, but also avoiding those embarrassing first day questions like, “where’s the restroom?”.

 

Video interviews

Recruitment videos don’t have to be 6-minute documentaries about the history, mission, strategies and purpose of your organisation. Video can also be used to enhance your recruitment process in more pragmatic ways too. Video interview platforms allow recruiters to invite candidates to participate in interview online. This eliminates the back-and-forth contact to schedule an interview and allows recruiter and candidate to act at their own pace and schedule. The ease of this process allows you to screen a larger pool of candidates, while still maintaining the human connection between the candidate and recruiter.

 

A blooper reel video

Perfection is for robots. Human beings come with flaws. A blooper reel is an organisational video celebrating these flaws in their employees. It doesn’t have to be long, maybe just a few seconds of outtakes from the footage of one of the above videos, or maybe security footage of the CEO picking his nose in the elevator. Whatever the footage, when brands openly laugh at themselves, they break the barrier between “consumer” and “business” and instead share what makes them human, what makes them relatable. These are endearing qualities as employers.

 

Where to use recruitment videos

Stand out in the saturated job market by showcasing your videos in any (or all) of these contexts:

  • your website’s careers page
  • job advertisements
  • your social media pages
  • online newsletters
  • candidate nurture emails
  • career fairs or industry events

 

Alcami Interactive’s video interviewing platform also allows you to include any of the above videos as a welcome, in addition to your video questions. See how it works.

So, how much could you communicate in 1.8 million words? Sure, the average one-minute video usually only conveys 120 spoken words. But using videos throughout your recruitment process communicates so much more in thought, feeling and emotions than text ever could.

       

 

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Top HR tech trends solving the problems of remote working

Can HR tech trends address the problems of remote working?

 

Whether it’s been creating remote working policies, working out how to run performance reviews via Zoom, implementing online communication policies, or checking in on their employees’ well-being, HR managers have definitely earned the coming holiday break.

The sudden and unprecedented shift to working remotely this year had many benefits for organisations and employees alike. But despite all the positive press about working remote, it might not be all it’s cracked up to be. Below are just some of the struggles people are facing and the latest HR tech trends tackling them.

 

Lack of cohesion and culture

Engagement remains a vital factor in employee satisfaction and retention. Making it important for HR professionals to ensure everyone feels like a valued and included member of the community in their organisation. It can be hard for remote employees to feel like part of the team when they’re in an isolated environment, away from colleagues, and only a computer screen to keep them company.

The solution is to invest in collaboration technology capable of integrating more processes in one place. Employee engagement and experience platforms where employees can go to connect with their company and feel welcomed and supported.

Virtual reality is also rapidly transforming the HR landscape. Virtual reality can aid everything from job previews, onboarding, and even ongoing communication or education.

 

A crisis in mental health

Social isolation, employment uncertainty, and the virus itself has all affected the mental health of many around the world. A study revealed 44.4% of those working from home believe their mental health has declined. Of those who reported a decline, the top two impacting factors were ‘more stress’ and ‘more anxiety’.

Some organisations have previously only paid lip service to wellbeing, not knowing how to implement effective strategies. Now HR tech trends like gamification and wearables are becoming more prevalent to track and support employees’ physical health. And mental wellness tools are also becoming increasingly incorporated into HR software to help employees with things like burnout, mindfulness and financial wellness.

 

Restrictions to recruitment

With governments enforcing social isolation, the usual face-to-face interviews and workplace walk-throughs went out the window. Without access to a physical office space to send visual messages to candidates about your organisational values, new technologies offering the same cultural access are a must.

Automated video interviews allow the inclusion of short company promo videos offering this exact organisational culture insight. Their on-demand nature also gives candidates the convenience to take the interview online where or when they are most comfortable. Further alleviating some of the stress and anxiety mentioned above.

The sheer number of job seekers on the market has also been overwhelming. Not only thanks to the higher-than-normal unemployment rate, but remote working has meant candidates are no longer confined to roles in their location. AI software created to expedite the screening process will become an integral part of most new-age HR technologies.

 

Staying up to date is crucial

It’s clear the coronavirus pandemic has changed how HR departments think about remote working. As the workplace becomes increasingly distributed, and working from home continues to become the norm, keeping up to date with these technologies will definitely help ease many of the burdens remote working has created.

       

 

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How to mitigate data security risks in video interviewing

MUST-know tips about video interviewing and Australian data protection

 

If you’re like the majority of recruiters in 2021, video interviews form an integral part of your candidate screening process. Here’s what you need to know about Australian data privacy and protection requirements, and how to mitigate data security risks in video interviewing.

All organisations, of every size and across industries, collects, processes and transmits data – the majority of which is sensitive and requires protection. This is particularly relevant when it comes to the data you collect during in video interviewing.

Collecting sensitive candidate data in video interviewing exposes your organisation to various risk, from hosting legalities to incorrect access control. For recruiters, breaches exposing candidate data have serious financial, legal and reputational consequences. Here’s how to keep your video interviewing recruitment data private and protected by building data security into your recruitment process and systems.

 

1. Use the right systems and providers

Despite so much of candidates’ work history being available in the public domain (for example, through LinkedIn), the video interviewing process still uses personally identifiable information (PII), such as email addresses, which must be protected.

Using the right systems and providers is not only the key to your organisation’s ability to grow and scale, but to protecting the data you collect as well. The good news is your video interviewing provider should be equipped with appropriate measures to prevent data breaches and ensure candidate video interviewing data remains secure and available.

Check your video interview provider’s privacy compliance and security measures in their privacy policy. They should have robust measures in place to provide safety against cyberattacks.

For example, the Alcami Interactive application is designed with strict privacy compliance and security measures to protect both candidates and companies. A candidate’s video interview can only be reviewed by the selected hiring team in the organisation the job relates to.

 

2. Investigate data hosting

As part of many organisations’ ongoing digital transformation, the majority are increasingly moving towards cloud-based systems for numerous benefits, including flexibility, mobility and cost savings.

Cloud-based systems are ideal, as they give you more freedom to grow, and have enhanced security. Cloud-based video interviewing platforms such as Alcami Interactive allow your team to access video interviews securely, anytime, anywhere.

If you adopt cloud-based video interviewing systems over on-premise IT infrastructures, it’s important to ensure your data is hosted under the right legislation, as data is subject to the laws and governance structures of the nation in which it is collected.

By 2025 it will be mandatory for Australian businesses to host its data in Australia. Discuss the location of data centres with your video interviewing platform provider. Ideally, if your organisation is based in ANZ, data is hosted in Australia; for EMEA, data is hosted in Ireland, etc.

A note on GDPR. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to organisations processing data of EU residents. GDPR places the burden of data compliance solely on your organisation, especially recruiting functions, which collect candidates’ personal data. Consult with your legal team if you collect data from EU residents in your recruitment process.

 

3. Establish permissions and access control

Work with your video interviewing platform provider to establish permissions and access control. This allows you to authenticate and authorise individuals to access the information they’re allowed to see and use. For example, you and your HR team may like to retain administrative access and delegate levels of access control to hiring managers, for the roles relevant to them.

Your video interviewing platform provider should allow you to delegate access to information, including provisioning and de-provisioning access.

While there’s always an element of risk when it comes to managing data, these measures will significantly reduce your organisation’s data security risk in video interviewing. Use the right systems and providers, investigate data hosting and establish access control to protect your organisation’s data.

 

Interested in learning more about mitigating data security risk in video interviewing? Book a live demo with Alcami Interactive.

       

 

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Recruitment algorithms can amplify unconscious gender bias

AI recruitment tools can amplify gender bias: How to make it fairer

 

Many recruiters will be familiar with, or are currently relying on, recruitment algorithms as part of their candidate screening process. These algorithms are a set of instructions telling a computer program what to look for in a candidate’s job application. These tools are intended to identify qualified and unqualified applications and make recruitment faster and more effective.

Theoretically, this should remove bias from the early stages in the recruitment process, saving hiring managers time, effort and resources. But more and more research is revealing this isn’t the case. Depending on input, recruitment algorithms have the potential to amplify recruiters’ existing unconscious bias.

Data journalist Catherine Hanrahan recently shared new research from the University of Melbourne revealing how recruitment algorithms can amplify unconscious bias favouring men over women in the job market.

 

Key findings from new research

In reviewing CVs, a panel of recruiters told the researchers they were looking for relevant experience, education and keywords, for example “bachelor’s” and “human resources.” These criteria were used to generate an algorithm to identify top candidates.

We assume AI algorithms will do the same job as human recruiters, only faster. However, comparing the algorithm’s CV rankings to the panellists’ revealed the outcome can be quite different. For one role in particular, a finance role, the panel preferred men for this position regardless of education, relevant experience or keyword match – even despite half of the panellists viewing CVs with the genders reversed.

Even though the algorithm detected men had more relevant experience than women, while women had a better keyword match, the study demonstrates how recruiters aren’t capturing what gives men the advantage in these roles. This represents a challenge since the recruitment algorithms won’t always be programmed by impartial scientists, but the very recruiters with this proven partiality to male CVs. This creates the potential to amplify unconscious bias.

 

Is the solution to use more targeted coding?

Small differences could be having a big impact on recruitment outcomes.

Study author Leah Ruppanner states: “We know that women have less experience because they take time [off work] for caregiving, and the algorithm is going to bump men up and women down based on experience.”

Ruppanner explains how certain things must be “coded in” to an algorithm to ensure it won’t discriminate against women for things such as parental leave.

Algorithms simply find associations. Therefore, AI-tools have the potential to detect or embed bias, essentially creating both risks and benefits.

The bottom line? Without further development, study and refining, these tools are currently not effective enough to be used in the later stages of candidate screening.

 

The way forward (for now)

So, does that mean we should abandon AI and recruitment algorithms? No.

While we have a long way to go with AI, it definitely still has a place in recruitment.

Alcami Interactive Founder, Jane Bianchini states, “AI sits at the top of the funnel in recruiting. This means finding and sourcing candidates, as it’s useful for processing large volumes of data and making good decisions at this stage in the process.”

Based on scientific research and analysis from data scientists, Bianchini shares that for AI-based recruitment tools to produce meaningful results, huge volumes of data are required.

“Based on scientific experiments involving thousands of test subjects, we could not find any meaningful correlation to replace human judgement. While some vendors express 1,500 written words is enough to provide an indication [of a candidates’ suitability for a role], data scientists state you’re more likely to require 10,000 words.”

To put this in perspective, this equates to an hour’s speech! Not to mention, data must be taken from the same platform to compare “apples with apples”; for example, work emails, as opposed to work emails and social media posts.

The recruitment funnel still needs human judgement. As a recruiter, give your hiring team and line managers the best conditions to minimise bias (whether it be gender, appearance or ethnicity). Reduce group-think by limiting feedback between evaluators or try other tactics such as removing names from applications.

Psychometric testing and automated video interviews are still the most robust tools to identify top-ranking candidates. These tools give you a far better understanding of candidates and their capability for the role, instead of relying on a machine at the bottom end of the funnel to decide.

“We’re passionate about seeing new technology evolve in the mid-to-bottom level of the funnel,” said Bianchini.

It’s a welcome area for further experimentation and innovation.

       

 

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Reinventing recruitment for the sports industry in 2021

Sport plays a huge part in the fabric of Australian society. People flock from all over the country (and the world) to enjoy our incredible calendar of sporting events, from the unusual, like the annual Camel Cup in the NT, to the more renowned and highly-prized, like the Australian Open usually scheduled for January in Melbourne. However, the global COVID-19 pandemic brought it all to a screaming halt this year.

After nine months of empty stadiums, the estimated number of active cases in our country is only sitting in the double digits, and our nation of 26 million people is close to finally eliminating community transmission of the virus. So, the question on many people’s minds is: when can we get back to sport as normal?

Players and athletes are certainly keen to get back to work and compete in live events, not to mention all the other workers in the sports sector; those who run the teams, sporting bodies and federations, those in sports medicine, those who sell and service sporting equipment, the data scientists and technology specialists who track and share our favourite teams’ statistics, those in media and broadcast, and those who run the on-ground logistics at the events. And of course, not to be forgotten, are the recruitment and talent acquisition professionals charged with hiring this entire ecosystem of sport professionals.

As we ride out the easing social distancing restrictions, future-focused recruitment and HR leaders in the sector are beginning to make plans for how to survive and thrive in the new world of work. So, what are the post-COVID 19 challenges we need to overcome for a quick and considered recovery in the sporting industry?

 

Curbing career anxiety

Global Sports ran a study to identify the impact of 2020 on the people in the sports industry surveying over 1000 respondents from 93 countries, covering all experience levels, sectors and across diverse ethnicities and gender identities. The results revealed 19% of those currently employed weren’t confident they would keep their jobs over the coming year, and less than half (42%) of those currently unemployed had any optimism about finding a job in the next 12 months.

The importance of employee engagement and candidate care in a post-COVID-19 environment cannot be understated.

Recruitment and HR professionals have an opportunity to create the environment for employees to feel connected, recognised and supported by doubling down on their mission and making employees feel closer than ever to their organisation’s ‘why’. And by fostering warm and welcoming relationships between your organisation and your candidates, even the unsuccessful ones, you will not only stand-out from your competitors, but you will enhance your reputation and employer brand.

 

High risks and high volumes

It’s uncharted territory for all, particularly those in hard-hit industries like sport who’ve had to make difficult decisions in the face of uncertainty. The Global Sports study found 65% of those currently unemployed in the industry believe it’s due to COVID-19.

This means in the coming year, you’ll either be needing to hire a lot of talent in a short space of time, or you’ll have a large number of applicants for your open roles – possibly even both. Automated assessment software like psychometric testing or video interviews, will help save a lot of time you could instead spend on building and nurturing relationships with top candidates.

But the kicker of life in post-COVID 2021 will be the constant looming ambiguity of whether we’ll have to endure a new wave of outbreaks. So, in the foreseeable future, we may need to put more thought into adopting temporary and/or contract hiring strategies to allow for staffing ebbs and flows, quickly and cost-effectively.

 

Lost skills and new roles

In our rush to get back to ‘normal’, you may experience a great temptation to fill new roles immediately. But if you’re not identifying the key skills needed to support your new business goals, you’ll be putting yourself at risk of enormous setbacks – landing you right back at square one.

More than half (54%) of sports industry professionals listed ‘opportunities to learn and develop’ as important when considering future employers; this was closely followed by defined employee development structure for professional growth’. This increased focus on professional development for your current team will need to be considered in tandem with the decision for new hires as you look to fill your skill gaps.

Further, the ‘fan-experience’ for sports has undergone massive change since the beginning of the pandemic, with teams, owners, and sponsors increasing their focus on virtual one-to-one relationships and substitute sports content for media. Consider the skills and talent this requires for the future. Will fans want to continue engaging with these forms of alternative content after normal sport broadcasting resumes?

 

Where will the work happen?

Overall, 68% of the Australian sports industry professionals surveyed were concerned about being at work post-COVID. It should be no surprise then, that the standout requirement for sports employees in the ‘new normal’ is more flexible working structures – remote working and flexible hours.

Remote work tantalises with its promises of diverse talent pools, increased productivity and retention, savings on facilities and smaller carbon footprints, but not all roles in the sporting industry will be able to make the move to WFH. Sports medicine can’t be administered by Zoom, and tennis balls can’t be fetched and returned to players if employees aren’t in the arena. Revisit your HR policies, contracts and documents to assess the mutual agreements and expectations of working remotely, and the safety measures for when employees must attend the office (or stadium/arena if that’s the case).

 

Diversity and inclusion

COVID-19 wasn’t the only game changer in the sports industry this year. The Black Lives Matter movement had athletes around the world ‘taking a knee’ in support, and US sports teams in the NBA, MLB, MLS and WNBA boycotted scheduled games altogether to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.

While 85% of sports professional respondents of the Global Sports survey believe BLM is important, less than half of these thought their organisation had taken the movement seriously. Almost half of all the respondents believed those of white ethnicity have an advantage over ethnic groups when it comes to job opportunities in sport.

This movement transcends a mere trend and is a reality all Australian organisations must aim to address to build a better future for our industry.

 

In summary

2020 has been a hell of a year. Its effects continue to ripple through the world’s health, educational, financial, and commercial institutions, and the sports industry is no different. COVID-19 and the movement for racial justice has accelerated changes in the recruitment industry that may have taken years, and created other changes no one saw coming – who knew ‘creating simulated crowd noise’ would ever be a desired skill?

With professional sports being such a critical aspect of community and social connection for so many people in Australia and around the world, resuming play is something we’re all looking forward to. For this to happen, recruiters and HR professionals will need to respond and adapt to these new challenges in 2021 and beyond.