How to Better Engage Hiring Managers in Your Recruiting Process

One of the most common challenges I hear from the HR professionals I talk with is how to better engage their hiring managers in the recruiting process. The hiring manager is one of the most important stakeholders in the recruiting process, but they are often the hardest to effectively engage in the process. It really isn’t that surprising, since most hiring managers are primarily focused on the operations of their unit and often don’t have a great deal of time to devote to recruiting.Here are some tips on how to better engage your hiring managers in the recruiting process.Collaborate with Managers up-front to determine good initial screening questions and criteriaEspecially in today’s economy the chances are good that you will receive a flood of applicants to any job you post online. In many processes the recruiter screens the initial applicants and only passes the top candidates on to the manager for feedback. In order to find the best candidates and make sure top candidates don’t slip through the cracks, you should set up some good screening questions and criteria for the recruiter to use.Some questions can be pulled directly from the job posting you created, which you carefully composed such that it attracted the right type of candidate. For example:
Do you have a Bachelors degree?
How many years experience do you have in direct sales?
Are you willing to travel up to 50%?
Other questions may require deeper analysis and a discussion with the manager about what makes an ideal candidate or who has succeeded in this role in the past. For example:

What do you like most about being a salesperson?
Please describe your home office equipment and environment (i.e. for a telecommute position)
Describe a recent time when you had to respond to a customer issue and what steps you took to solve the problem.
These questions can be asked during an initial phone screen or interview. But many Applicant Tracking Systems are able to streamline the process by asking applicants to answer these questions during their online application. For example, with a well designed system the recruiter is able to create any number of screening questions to pre-screen job applicants, and even score the responses automatically and “knock-out” applicants who are unqualified.Make it easy for Managers to review candidates A few years ago I was the manager at a company that used an Applicant Tracking System to streamline their recruiting process. Everything worked great – recruiters posted jobs online, applicants applied and were pre-screened and scored, and everything was stored in a central database which both the recruiter and manager could access.The problem was when it came time for me to go in and review applicants to my job, it was so cumbersome that the process would grind to a halt. Each person I had to review took 5-10 clicks to get to their information, the system was sluggish and unresponsive, and it was difficult to submit and view feedback on the candidate. I remember wishing for the “good old days” when I would just get a paper resume on my desk!Managers are busy just like the rest of us and if you don’t make the review process simple and quick they won’t use it, or it will delay your time to hire. Here are some questions to ask to make sure your review process is easy for managers to use:

How many people will the manager need to review? Will they be receiving every single applicant to your job or only the top candidates that the recruiter sends them?
If managers will only be reviewing top candidates, how easy is it for the manager to find and view their information? How many clicks does it take before they are viewing the candidate’s resume. How many clicks to move to the next resume to review?
How easy is it for the candidate to submit feedback on a candidate, and view the feedback of others?
Does the process require the manager to login to your recruiting system to view candidates, or are you able to send them resumes through email to collect reviews? Many managers don’t want to memorize another login to another system and would greatly prefer to receive candidates via email.
Collect better feedback through forms and questionnaires Many applicant review processes consist of the recruiter emailing a resume to a manager with the single question “What do you think?” While there’s nothing wrong with this simple approach, there are advantages to collecting more structured feedback from managers through a questionnaire or form.When you ask somebody what they think of a particular movie, you’ll likely get back a black-or-white answer like “it was great!” or “it was awful”. But if you ask them to rate a movie on a scale of 1-5 on some key criteria (story, acting, music, costumes, etc) you’ll get a much richer review and separation between other movies they may have reviewed.The same applies to reviewing candidates. When you ask a manager to answer structured questions and provide numeric rating on a candidate, you’ll force them to think broadly about the candidate and not just provide their first-impression. Ideally if you are going to use manager review forms and questionnaires in your process, you will want to streamline the collection of the data with online questionnaires, ideally in an Applicant Tracking System. And once again, it needs to be easy for the manager to complete the questionnaire or they won’t use it.In an applicant tracking system, you can create Manager Feedback Questionnaires and have them asked directly on the page where the manager views the candidate’s resume and other information.Support different levels of involvement from your managers Finally, every manager will have his or her own style and will likely want a different level of involvement in the recruiting process. Some managers are very “hands-off” and just want the recruiter to find a good candidate for their department with the least amount of work on their part. Others are very “hands-on” and want to see every single candidate that comes in and decide themselves which ones meet the initial qualifications.As such, you should keep in mind that whatever process you put in place should be flexible enough to accommodate the requests of different hiring managers. For a manager who wants to delegate to the recruiting group, you should be able to send them only top-candidates, already pre-screened, for them to interview. For a manager who wants to be more involved, you should be able to set it up so that person can see all applicants and see everything that’s happening in the system.If you are implementing an Applicant Tracking System, make sure it has flexible workflow support to allow you to implement these types of different processes efficiently.

Should I Use a VGA Splitter or DVI Splitter for Video Signal Input and Output?

Technology enhancements in video signal transmission has ensured analogue and digital signals are transmitted using different devices, for instance there are several types of video splitters on the market to select from for video duplication.

The decision must be canvassed thoroughly before buying a VGA or DVI video splitter. Therefore let’s outline what VGA and DVI are, as well as the timeline they were both released.

Video Graphics Adaptor (VGA) technology has been available since 1987 thanks to IBM for development of this analogue video display technology that went onto become a standard used when referring to analogue video display standards.

VGA hardware and the software enable the data processed to become graphical data that can be displayed on a display monitor. The actual resolution for VGA is set at 640 x 480 pixels in display resolution for width and height respectively. However VGA display resolution has been enhanced with higher video resolutions such as SVGA, XGA and UXGA et al. In addition, the majority of manufacturers and resellers still refer to a VGA splitter as ‘VGA Splitter’, even though VGA has higher analogue video resolutions available, such as mentioned early like SVGA, XGA and UXGA.

VGA can carry only analogue video signals thus if you require audio as well, a separate audio connection is required. There are numerous VGA splitters that have audio capabilities built-in to the VGA splitter, for instance several Smart View devices have models available with an audio stereo 3.5mm socket for each video connection.

Digital Visual Interface (DVI) is a newer technology that was released in 1999 by Digital Design Working Group. DVI superseded VGA, and as the name implies, DVI is uncompressed digital video data that is displayed on monitors and projector screens via DVI connectors. There are three main DVI connector types available on the market each with a specific pin arrangement interface, for example DVI-I, DVI-D and DVI-A. Moreover the three DVI connectors support certain video formats, for example:

• DVI-I is integrated video both analogue and digital signal support

• DVI-A is analogue video signal support

• DVI-D is digital video signal support

The key feature about DVI is its compatible with VGA. The two video interfaces work well with one another when an adaptor is utilised.

DVI has two methods available to stream the video signal between devices, which is known as Single link and Dual link. DVI single link maximum resolution is up to 1920 x 1200 (WUXGA) @ 60 Hz, while DVI dual link can produce much higher resolution, but depends on several factors, such as cable copper bandwidth limitations, DVI source limitations, and DVI sync limitations. Additionally DVI supports hot plugging meaning it can be connected and disconnected without powering down the system. However VGA isn’t suitable for hot plugging hence requires the system be shut down first before connection of VGA cables.

In the early days of DVI it was envisaged that DVI would become the recognised standard for digital format. However, DVI was mainly used with computer display monitors and not so much with household TV scenarios.

DVI can stream digital video very well however it can’t transfer audio signals. To enable audio on a DVI splitter you’ll require digital audio capability built-in to the devices with separate audio connections. Furthermore, the release of High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) technology that can transmit uncompressed digital video and digital audio signals together has ensured HDMI quickly became the popular choice for digital video output to display panels.

The new computer desktops don’t have VGA connections available on most systems. Usually there are DVI or DisplayPort connections instead. The DisplayPort digital interface superseded DVI in 2006 however you still see DVI utilised. Occasionally Information Communication Technology (ICT) hardware staff may be required to mix-and-match connections with adapters, for instance, if a machine has a VGA socket but the display monitor has a DVI connector, an adapter can be utilised since DVI is backward compatible. Note: the signal will still be VGA quality that is transmitted unless a dedicated electrical VGA to DVI converter is used.

When selecting a DVI or VGA splitter ensure you check the specifications for the product, for example resolution supported, frequency rate, the display video type supported, connection types for interface input/output, power adaptor required, switching off/on functions, built-in amplifier booster and whether incorporated with audio socket or not.

The most common video splitter is the type ‘one input video source to two outputs video’ destination. However there are numerous configurations to select from for video input and output setups. Another type of splitter is called a ‘video matrix’ that can have two or more video inputs and two or more video outputs. This can be handy for multiple sources that can be switched on/off to achieve the desired video output display. Each video splitter will suit a particular scenario for video presentation so choose wisely. In addition, several brand video splitters can be cascaded, such as Smart View.

To maintain the integrity of the video signal high quality VGA cables with ferrite filters should be interconnected with the devices. If the installer decides to skimp on the cost of VGA cables for the installation signal degradation can lead to problems such as ghosting and pixelation.

There are DVI splitters and DVI boosters with High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) incorporated into the devices. Authorised digital video content is only allowed to be transmitted and received between HDCP devices while VGA analogue signals aren’t restricted with this security protocol. Some users have reported interconnection issues when using HDCP enabled devices, such as handshaking connection problems and continuity in live video streaming.

If you have the newest high-definition display monitors you should consider HDMI splitters as well. VGA can be problematic when outputting video signals to large panel screens like Plasma TV, LED widescreen TV and OLED TVs. Especially video quality degradation issues and pixelation problems may occur when VGA is the source to high-definition products.

VGA splitters have generally been more popular with computer display monitors over the years than DVI. The cost for a VGA splitter is usually less than its equivalent DVI product. Furthermore with the popularity of the superior HDMI technology integrated into high-definition TVs and notebooks has ensured DVI splitters are less common. With most people selecting a HDMI splitter for their digital video and audio solutions over the less-features of DVI.

Finally, you should consider several pivotal factors for your decision, such as the quality of the video resolution broadcasted you require, and whether it’s digital, or analogue equipment utilised in your setup. Furthermore check the product specifications before purchase, and consider if you require audio as well for the video broadcast? Moreover if you implement a VGA splitter or DVI splitter choose one with a booster built-in to the device. The costs should be secondary to ensure you’re satisfied with your ultimate decision.

How to Start on the New You – Three Easy Fitness Tips

Before you get started on your journey to the new you, here’s a list of 3 things you should do first.

1. Make sure you have the right athletic shoes.

Are you flat footed? Not sure? What kind of surface are you running on?….. Asphalt road? Rubber track? Dirt trail? How much do you weigh? What gender are you? Do you wear orthotics? Might you need orthotics? How should you lace your shoes? Did you know there are multiple ways to lace your shoes in order to make them more comfortable? These are important factors to think about when choosing a shoe.

2. Determine your THR (training heart rate) Zone.

Many people know that it is important to record and track sets, reps, and weight to ensure progress during a weight training program. Yet many of those same people don’t bother to pay attention to their heart rate during an endurance training program. Think of the THR Zone as sets & reps for your heart while it’s engaged in an endurance training program.

Before you start plugging in numbers, let’s go over a few basics. First, we want to customize the THR Zone to your fitness level. To do so, you’ll first want to determine your resting heart rate. The more fit you are the lower your resting heart rate will be and vice versa. This is why it’s important to factor your resting HR into your THR Zone calculation. The calculator will still calculate a THR Zone without this number but it’s best WITH resting HR factored in. To determine your resting heart rate you ideally want to count your pulse for 30 seconds upon waking in the mornings. Take that number and multiply it by 2 and that’s your resting heart rate. Check it a couple days in a row upon waking to make sure it’s consistent. Remember that exercise, caffeine, stress, sleep, and medication can affect your resting pulse, this is why you want to check it upon waking after a good night’s rest.

Then we want to calculate 3 Training Zones. Warm-up/Cool Down Zone, Aerobic Zone, & Interval Zone.

For the Warm-Up/Cool Down Zone enter 45% in the Heart Rate A box in the left column of the Training Zone Calculator and 65% in the Heart Rate B box. Click calculate in the right column and it will give you a THR Zone for warming up and cooling down. In terms of the warm-up, this should make up the first 5 to 10 minutes of your workout and you should break your first bead of sweat during this time. In terms of the cool down, you should repeat this process for 5 to 10 minutes at the end of the workout. However, instead of breaking a sweat, your goal during the cool-down is to commence the recovery process. The cool-down will allow you to get your hear rate to come down gradually instead of just letting it “crash” by abruptly stopping your workout.

Aerobic Zone: Enter 65% in Heart Rate A box and 85% in Heart Rate B box. Click calculate in the right column and it will give you a THR Zone for working on endurance and burning calories. The bulk of your workout may fall in this zone (20 to 40 min). As your fitness level improves you may try to spend more of your time at the top end of this zone.

Interval Zone: Enter 85% in Heart Rate A box and 100% in Heart Rate B box. Click calculate in the right column and it will give you a HR Zone for working on high intensity activities/intervals of short duration (10 to 120 sec).

Many of you know that I advocate interval training. Once you’ve calculated your zones, you can do some cool things with these numbers to truly customize your workout. Here’s one example:

Let’s say you are lifting weights and you’re doing supersets (this is just one type of interval training). You can use your heart rate to determine how much rest you should take between sets. Instead of coming up with an arbitrary unit of time and then staring at the clock between supersets, you can use your THR Zone to allow your fitness level to dictate your rest period.

First, do your superset. If it’s intense enough, it will raise your HR up into your interval zone (if not, you can increase the intensity by increasing weight and/or reps and by adjusting your tempo). Once your superset is done you will rest until your HR falls down into your warm-up/cool down zone. Then start your next superset.

As your fitness improves, a couple of things will happen. First, you will need to increase the intensity of your supersets just to get your HR up into the interval zone again. Second, as your fitness increases, your HR will drop back down into the warm-up/cool down zone faster thus naturally shortening your rest period. This is a very effective way of tailoring your workouts to your fitness level and it can make a huge difference in your results.

Click here for the THR Calculator

3. Give yourself a fighting chance

When you feel pressed for time, convenient and efficient workouts are of utmost importance. Wouldn’t it be great if you could squeeze in an effective workout in the comfort of your own home? You can build yourself a home gym without a single hammer or nail and do it on a shoe-string budget. You can get a very effective workout with light kettlebells, dumbells, medicine balls, stability balls, resistance bands, etc….

I wish you and yours all the best.

Till next time… Train Like You Play, Play Like You Train.