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TecHRseries Interview with LT Ladino Bryson, CEO and CMO at vCandidates.com

Given the number of layoffs that the industry witnessed during the Covid-19 pandemic, moving forward, operating  a business with a lean staff who are able to provide more coverage of specific tasks will be the most fiscally responsible way to operate a business successfully opines LT Ladino of vCandidates.com as she shares her thoughts in this interview. Catch the complete story.

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Tell us a little about yourself LT Ladino! What are some of the biggest challenges/highlights running vCandidates, especially at a time when the world is going through a pandemic?

It is uncanny to realize that what we have been developing has been for crucial times such as these. vCandidates.com as a whole was developed to help job seekers become viable candidates and have more control of the application submission process. We are preparing for a significant onboarding of job seekers who will be looking to our services to assist them in making the best presentation of themselves.  Our current challenge will be to scale according to the needs of those effected by the pandemic.  Now more than ever, job seekers will have to be more competitive and stand out from a more talented pool of candidates. Providing recruiters and employers with tools such as reference and background checks, personality assessments, resume reviews and mock interviews, vCandidates.com assists with career development like no other career site.

Read More: The Work-At-Home Transition During COVID-19: Employee Attitudes And Lessons For Employers

Could you share a few thoughts on some industry leading D&I practices and also a few tips/methods that global tech companies should follow to ensure a more diverse and inclusive culture at work?

In all honestly, D&I practices should be implement from the interviewing stage and best practices should be in place to deter unconscious biases from hiring manage. This will strengthen the company’s culture and workforce. My favorite HR Tech product is TalVista, which combines debiasing capabilities in the job description, resume screen, and interview process empowers recruiters to submit candidates to their clients with greater gender, racial, and ethnicity diversity. in order to attract a more diverse candidate pool you have to start at the top of the recruiting funnel with a job description that is inviting to all types of people; female, male, black, white, Latin, Asian, straight or gay. By removing dates, names, and other hints the lead to biased conclusions about the candidate, hiring managers can focus on the skillsets of the candidates.

Given the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and with it the challenging environment for businesses and HR teams or tech teams in general – how do you see this impact the way small businesses or small teams will function seamlessly?

I believe small businesses will follow leading tech companies like Twitter and have their employees remain at home. This is not only for their safety, but it is a more cost effective way to do business. Of course, incorporating team software like Slack and Microsoft Teams will help with instant communication. In addition to our scheduled weekly meetings, our team added a daily  “Nothing Meeting”, will help build comradery among the senior staff members.

How do you feel HR Technology will change the way global teams are managed and how they perform their work, what are your thoughts on this?

To be honest I feel that HR Technology is a vital component of filtering and discovery of talent. But, the technology available must be coupled with more  “human touch” as screenings processes that utilize too much technology can make the company culture seem cold and impersonal. This is one of the top complaints from candidates; many surveyed said they would never work for a company that uses to much technology (such as the overuse of text messaging or chat bot interview services).

Read More: The Future Of Work Includes A Hybrid Combination Of Human And Digital Employees

At a time, such as the present, with the ongoing pandemic and its effects on businesses and the need to work from home, what are some top tips you would like to share when it comes to tracking remote teams and a distributed workforce?

It will be imperative for employers to set up ways to help monitor the productivity of their employees through extensive reports systems. CRM systems that have outbound or incoming call systems from computers is a great way to assess daily workflow when quotas are needed for sales our customer service centers will be vital management tool. Task management tools can be very helpful as well as they keep employees and teams accountable. I have incorporated Slack messages that encourage healthy behaviors so that my team does not feel trapped at their desk. For instance, I send launch time messages or share photos of a tasty meal I ate at my desk to remind the team to not skip a meal. I like setting task alarms encouraging them to get up and stretch or take a walk outside from 20 minutes. I also am not shy about calling or messaging to check in to see how each staff members day is going and if there is anything needed on my end. Their sharing helps me note their level or productivity and opens dialogue if they have any issues.

Several industries have witnessed their share of layoffs during this Covid-19 pandemic, any tips/thoughts on how companies and teams can reduce these figures by optimizing how they hire and shape teams?

Layoffs due to COVD-19 were mainly due to the realization that their daily business could not be completed, and revenues suffered as a result. In hindsight, the best advice as a company begins to reshape their team would be to look for where there is overlap. The ability to stretch key responsibilities and to minimize overhead will be paramount.  My advice is simple. Look for candidates that have the ability to bring an additional component to a role than what you are looking for. This means, try to find candidates whose experience can be extended in other areas of your company due to a more diverse background of experience or skills. The goal should always be to find talent that can grow out of a position and into another as your companies needs grow; allowing you to promote from within.

Hiring at a time such as now is a challenge in itself, yet, several companies do still need dedicated staff for certain roles – what are your thoughts on maintaining a lean team versus having multiple people dedicated for specific tasks?

Moving forward, operating  a business with a lean staff who are able to provide more coverage of specific tasks will be the most fiscally responsible way to operate a business successfully. Efficiency is the new black and if this pandemic has taught many of us anything was how to cut the fat. I believe top heavy companies will require management to get their hands dirty to increase the level of productivity and profitability.

What collaboration tools would you advise teams to use, to boost productivity especially during these uncertain times due to the global pandemic and as work from home starts becoming the new normal for several people and industries.

I always look for tools that can help teams be more productive (Slack, Jira, and Trello). I adore the task management tool, Standuply’s, whose text-voice-video tools are very useful; providing recorded information without having to stop and make a call.

If you could change 5 (mundane) things about recruitment, what would they be?

  • Reference checking. Waiting until several rounds of multiple interviews to check references is senseless. On too many occasions a hiring manager falls in-love with a candidate but discovers something adverse when checking references. Very happy this task has been automated.
  • Writing up candidate presentations. After sending time screening a candidate, writing up the presentation can be very time consuming. Too many distractions (phones, emails, and meetings) can hinder the thought process. vCandidates.com has removed this process allowing recruiters to present candidates directly from our platform. This includes a full package with extensive interview and culture fit questionnaires, references, background check, personality assessments, video message and availability times that have been provided by prescreened candidates.
  • No inclusion of full salary and benefits package provided in job descriptions.
  • Updating candidate databases. Having an extensive database is wonderful but if it is filled with outdated contact information it can be useless. The daunting task of cleaning it up can be painful as recruiters tend to be hoarders of information.
  • Waiting for talent to respond via social media. Time is money and having to rely on if the candidate regularly checks their Spam folders or Message Request sections online has made me personally lose a lot of opportunities to place talented people.

Read More: What Should You Keep In Mind When Hiring Your Next Chief Sales Officer?

Tag (mention/write about) the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read!

I would love to hear Aaron Matos of Paradox thoughts.

A few tips for businesses worldwide dealing with the current world pandemic

The tip I am most passionate about that I would like to share with business owners and employers would be to consider providing a compassionate approach to offboarding. I truly believe that completing the employee life cycle with compassion and kindness will pay off and protect the company brand in the long run. Must offboarding processes are stagnant and are not as thoughtful as a company’s onboarding procedures. Consider incorporating the vCandidates.com Employer Offboarding Subscription as a best practice that will help your transitioning workforce move forward. Providing a 90-Day subscription during a time of heighten anxiety may be the one thing that protects your brand from negative online chatter.

vCandidates.com is changing the way career transitions happen by creating a positive connection between technology and the human touch.

LT is an experienced C-Level Executive and Entrepreneur. She has been recruiting since 2012, has counseled thousands of job seekers, and has placed more than 600 candidates. As the owner of Clique Hiring Solutions, LT worked permanent, contract, and labor searches for C-Level to general labor positions for clients such as MSC Direct, Red Ventures, Tesla, Sharp Business Systems and others in the IT, healthcare, engineering, accounting, creative services, and hospitality industries. It was her experience as a recruiter that crafted the sensibilities of vCandidates.com with the candidate and recruiter in mind. She is also affectionately known as “The Employment Therapist™” and received this moniker based on her friendly straightforward expert career advice. LT is a “people person” who looks at every situation from a 360-degree viewpoint and her informal and comforting advice is a beckon of light for even the most experienced job seeker. She has been published in publications and blogs, such as Family Circle, Forbes.com, Fortune.com, Arizona Republic, HR Technology, US News & World Report, and Recruiter.com. And, LT continues to be recognized as a Career or Recruiting Expert for national media networks such as ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC news stations. Prior to recruiting, LT spent 20 years in the entertainment industry serving in marketing, promotions, and artist development roles for record companies such as Jive, Arista, Columbia, and Sony Music. She has helped with the success of artist projects such as Will Smith, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Usher, Notorious B.I.G, OutKast and Wu Tang Clan, to name a few. She now uses the development savvy she learned in the industry to assist candidates in making the best presentation of themselves.