With growing measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), a large number companies across the globe have had to suddenly tell their employees to work from home.

For many employees, this is something they’re happy to embrace – once they’re setup with the right tools, they will stay productive and continue with business as usual from a home office environment.

However, for some, the directive to work from home can spell disaster if management doesn’t fully recognize what’s required to help those individuals continue to thrive in a changing, more isolated environment.

Easing the Transition:

So, with no choice in the matter, how do we make this prompt transition to a home office as smooth as possible for everyone, regardless of their workplace preferences or personality?

First, ensure you’ve addressed any technical roadblocks by outlining a clear list of what is needed for each individual to get setup at home. Help fill in any hardware gaps, such as:

  • Loan of a laptop or desktop screens
  • A comfortable office chair
  • Desk phone and headset
  • Some extra printer cartridges

As well, make sure everyone is comfortable with remote file sharing on such platforms as:

  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox
  • MS OneDrive
  • OneHub

Next, help employees understand working hours and scheduling requirements whilst away from the daily office structure. Assist them with creating a sharable task schedule or tracking system, using such tools as:

  • Trello
  • Monday
  • SmartSheet
  • Jira
  • Toggl

Also, suggest that they build their own ‘Family Schedule’ with the other family members who are stuck in the house. This will minimize distractions and anxiety as everyone in the household has established guidelines and boundaries during work hours.

Stay Connected:

Once everyone is set up remotely, keep in mind that there is only so much you can communicate through text and group emails. Overtime, not working with people face to face can sometimes make it difficult to guide them or fully gauge their emotions, intentions and well-being – especially at this time when we are all dealing with a lot of change and unknowns in our daily lives.

When in a standard office environment, studies show that many employees rely on the morning team meeting to gain positive energy and feedback from the others in order to get their day started. And, during breaktime, workers often look forward to the social aspect of pouring a cup of coffee and engaging in spontaneous chatter about news, sports, or movies.

So, if you haven’t already, start by implementing an efficient messaging app (such as Slack) to make back and forth online discussion much faster and easier. But don’t stop there. Get your remote team in the habit of replacing some of those messages and emails with phone calls instead, even doing some of your calls via FaceTime. And for your team discussions, maintain a cohesive group feel by doing video meetings using Skype or Zoom on a regular basis – seeing faces and sharing screens can go a long way towards morale and productivity.

Extra Tools to Help You Manage:

With the long-term outcome of this pandemic still very much unknown, people may have to continue working remotely for quite some time. As this plays out, business owners and managers need to feel confident that they can maintain a motivated, engaged workforce from afar.

Consider tools such as the PXT Select suite of behavioural, engagement or leadership assessments to help you continue the alignment and understanding of your team’s strengths, weaknesses, and abilities – giving you more power to coach and develop your people to their full potential during this unprecedented time in the workplace.


No matter what, make sure your team knows that you’ve got their back. ‘Social distancing’ does not mean anyone will be sent home and forgotten about – everyone should feel trusted, valued and looked after for as long as they’re working remotely and beyond.

Want to discuss more about this topic?

Get in touch to share your thoughts and discuss more options to help keep your staff engaged:

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If the candidate’s not engaged, the employee never will be.

The axiom seems self-evident, doesn’t it?

After all, we don’t value that which comes too easily. It’s a quirk of human nature. If we don’t have to work even a little bit for something, we take it for granted. This applies in all aspects of life, including when we are looking for work.

A certain amount of desire is critical to good matchmaking. It fuels the chase and builds commitment – not just to the consummation of the deal, but to making the relationship work in the long term.

In case you think I’ve forgotten about the looming talent shortage, rest assured I understand market dynamics, the laws of supply and demand. When the economy’s booming, it’s a seller’s market. Employers feel a sense of scarcity and respond by dropping their pants. That’s nothing new. And this is about keeping your clothes on, even in a tight market.

Engagement starts early, even when the practice is the suitor.

The principle of engagement is the same, regardless of the market – you’ll need fewer people if you hire those who’ve taken the time to do a little due diligence of their own, who are willing to invest a little time and effort in declaring their candidacy. If they have joined you for the right reasons, they are going to be less likely to leave for frivolous reasons.

If the axiom is so self-evident, then why have we made such a mess of things?

In the rush to build systems that supposedly make it easier both for employers to search through vast résumé databases, and for candidates to find the next, better opportunity… we have succeeded in commoditising both talent and work.

Recruiters and the systems they use are designed to check each candidate’s pedigree against a set checklist of criteria in the posting specs, each time asking themselves, “based on their education, credentials and experience, can this person likely do the job?” We’ve created enormous databases and elaborate search engines, the logic being ‘the more résumés I see, the more likely I am to find a candidate who can do the job’. Not the right candidate, necessarily, but one who will satisfy the specs on paper. We are admitting people into the talent pipeline and filtering them out on the basis of information that has no bearing whatsoever on retention, performance, or how engaged they are likely to be as an employee.

Candidates, for their part, have their own tactics for ‘marketing’ themselves in order to make it through the usual screens and filters. It’s also a numbers game for them; we have taught our employees through the school of hard knocks that survival requires the adoption of a ‘free agent’ mindset. Most have learned the hard way not to entrust their best interests to anyone else and, as we saw in the last boom, many very average performers had adopted a ‘mercenary mindset’, repeatedly selling and reselling their skills to the next higher bidder.

In both cases, the rules of the ‘game’ , if you will, are clearly established. The candidate’s objective is to always have their résumé ‘out there’ and to ‘win’ by receiving a range of offers from which to cherry pick; the recruiter’s is to screen and disqualify contenders, but ultimately to close the search and get the open requisition off their desk. All too often, neither side gives due reflection to whether or not it’s the right candidate or the right job.

In this transactional approach, much has suffered over time. For too many, work is nothing more than a means to an end, something one puts up with to meet another need. Both sides of the supply/demand equation lament the absence of loyalty. Relationships are shallow. Work is less rewarding. Stress and conflict are at an all-time high. Productivity, morale, esprit de corps, even organizational depth are at an all-time low.

Both sides are feeling ripped off, and as a result we face an epidemic of disengagement whose cost to lives – not to mention the economy – is staggering.

If you want an engaged employee, you need to engage the candidate.

Just stop it. Stop relying on traditional means to find people. Think about it – a job hunter can visit Monster or Workopolis and spam their résumés out to 25 employers over lunch, and still have time for a sandwich. Systems like CareerBuilder and others will actually send their CV to employers they have never even heard of! You’re getting a raft of names of people who may only marginally meet your specs, but who are totally uncommitted to you as a prospective employer.

Stop going out of your way to make it easy for candidates to get into your hopper. One-click resume attachment allows them to play the numbers game and get on with their day. It doesn’t help you.

Stop using education, work history and (God help me) keyword searches as the primary means of filtering people in. That methodology is busted.

Perhaps most important, stop lying to candidates. Stop telling them what a great place this is to work, amplifying the features and benefits without presenting a balanced picture. Candidates are adept at finding out the truth; in fact they probably know more about what your people are saying about you than you do.

What should you start doing? Start filtering candidates in on the basis of the four critical aspects of fit first, then on the basis of skills and experience. That will require you to do away with the résumé, or at least move it to the side and look at other factors first. Factors that are predictors of retention, performance and engagement. A Case for a New Approach: www.hiringsmart.com/articles/479/.

Start asking different questions. Ask candidates questions that will reveal their underlying attitudes and preferences in areas critical to their success, and use those as the admission tickets that determine whether the candidate should advance or not.

Our clients have learned that when they adopt a Fit First Philosophy, everything changes.

Allow the candidate to be the first to opt in. Or out.

We need to trust that, presented with the opportunity, candidates are a pretty good judge of what’s right for them, and what’s not. Very few will consciously invest time in pursuing job or a situation that presents a poor fit.

This is where current thinking around employment branding is so critical. The standard thinking has taken a dramatic turn in the last few years. Gone are the days when polished marketing materials and glowing claims had any appeal; in fact, the opposite is now true: those traditional approaches raise suspicion and doubt, and can actually be talent-repellent.

Truth, transparency, respect, openness and authenticity are the new hallmarks of successful employment branding.

The most successful organizations are those that lead with frank information about what it’s like to work there and to be successful. Many have a series of ‘man in the cubicle’ interviews of real employees, unscripted and unrehearsed, saying in their own words why they joined the company, what works well and not so well from their perspective and, more importantly, why they keep coming back every Monday. Others offer blogs, live chat with existing employees, and other features that allow candidates to obtain meaningful, live information about the employment experience. This approach ultimately conveys respect and gives candidates the opportunity to be the first to opt in or out on the basis of fit.

In this way, candidates become engaged early… setting the stage for a well informed, engaged and productive employee.


is Chief Visionary Officer with Fit First Technologies Inc, the creators of Eyeployment, TalentSorter and Jobtimize.


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If there’s one situation that’s guaranteed to make practice owners and managers break out in a sweat, it’s an open position that goes unfilled for too long.

The pressure to fill open jobs quickly is real, and with good reason; the costs of empty positions are very real too:

  • Uncertainty for patients and customers
  • Increased workload for other employees
  • Reduced revenue
  • Lost productivity
  • Poor employee morale

The best way to mitigate the damage is to get your team back up to full speed by recruiting new staff as quickly as possible, right? Wrong!

Hiring in a hurry may seem like a good idea, but in fact will likely bruise your bottom line even more.

The High Cost of Bad Hires

Unfilled positions are costly, but bad hires are even more expensive in the long run.

With increasing pressure to fill vacancies, it’s tempting to fall into the trap of believing that somebody – anybody – is better than nobody. In most cases, however, a “panic hire” only serves to make a bad situation worse.

In the rush to hire a warm body, shortcuts such as interviewing too quickly, not screening applicants carefully, and failure to assess the candidate’s “fit” with the job and your office culture are common, and costly mistakes.

A U.S. Department of Labour study found the cost of the wrong hire can be as much as 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings. Can your practice afford that financial hit?

Bad hires inevitably result in high employee turnover. Turnover is costly.

A study from Inc. Magazine pegs the average turnover cost for a minimum wage job at $3,200; for managers and higher-level staff the costs increase significantly:

  • Entry level: 35-50% of annual salary
  • Mid-level: 150% of annual salary
  • High-level: 400% of annual salary

Take Time to Hire Right the First Time

As tempting as it may be to fill a vacancy as quickly as possible, a bad hire is more costly than having no hire.

Take the time and use all the resources available to ensure you fill the position with a candidate who not only is qualified, but is the right fit for the job.

It’s easier than you think! Web-based platforms like Eyeployment.com can help reduce the workload and take the guesswork out of the hiring process for businesses both large and small.

By screening candidates both on your criteria, and on their potential fit with the job, these tools help you identify which applicants have the skills, values, work ethic and personality traits most likely to lead to success in your position.

Eyeployment.com even creates customized interview guides for each candidate, ensuring you focus on the right questions that will help you make the best decisions.

Bottom line – don’t panic! Hiring in a hurry is no way to find the best fit for your job vacancy.

Focus on what really matters – employee fit – and you’ll be glad you took the time to hire well.


Jan is the co-founder and president of Fit First Technologies, a company that applies its predictive analytics to the task of matching people to roles. Those algorithms drive platforms such as TalentSorter, FitFirstJobs and Eyeployment.com, which are relied upon by organizations to screen high volumes of candidates for “fit” in their open positions.


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2018 is proving to be a challenging year for hiring managers. Relatively low unemployment rates, a shortage of skilled workers, and a highly competitive marketplace are adding increasing pressure to practices already struggling to attract and retain top talent.

According to a recent survey, some 45% of companies are unable to fill vacant positions. If your business is one of them, we’ve got good news.

A number of new HR tech tools have harnessed the power of artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics to help take the guesswork out of hiring.

These technologies may well be the key to successful recruiting for your practice, no matter how big or small it is.

What is predictive analytics?

Predictive analytics takes large amounts of data gathered through data mining, modelling, AI, machine learning and statistics.

The information is analyzed to make accurate predictions about future behaviour or events.

In HR, past trends, patterns and relationships can be identified and used to assess which factors and characteristics are most likely to contribute to a candidate’s success or failure in a specific role.

How can predictive analytics help you hire better?

There’s a reason major enterprises such as Google and Hewlett-Packard employ predictive analytics tools throughout the entire spectrum of the talent management process.

How you hire is just as important as who you hire. From acquisition, retention, and development of new staff, all the way through to exit surveys and the process of hiring replacements, using predictive analytics can improve hiring processes in a number of ways:

1. Streamline success

Predictive analytics HR tools help cut through the clutter, identifying the factors critical to success and predicting which job seekers are most likely to succeed – both in your specific position and your unique office culture.

Reducing the time spent sorting resumes, ranking applicants and interviewing unsuitable candidates streamlines the hiring process, saving time, money and resources.

When the hiring process is not only faster, but more efficient and effective, everyone benefits.

2. Knowledge is power

Better decision making is based on having better knowledge.

Predictive analytics can help you gather crucial data regarding employee performance and productivity, turnover rates, engagement and job satisfaction.

Patterns and trends help identify which factors had a negative impact on your employee lifecycle in the past, and can predict which changes in your hiring processes will have a positive effect in the future.

3. Quality, not quantity

Many employers rely on certain job sites and recruiting tools because they consistently deliver a high number of candidates. But quantity is not an effective measure of the quality of candidates referred.

Why waste your time and resources sorting through a huge stack of resumes from job seekers who aren’t likely to succeed in the role?

Use the power of predictive analytics to determine which sources are the most effective at delivering the candidates you need.

Certain platforms, such as Eyeployment.com go a step further by pre-screening applicants, ranking them based on likely fit with your position and office culture, and even predicting which interview questions will offer hiring managers the most insight.



Jan is the co-founder and president of Fit First Technologies, a company that applies its predictive analytics to the task of matching people to roles. Those algorithms drive platforms such as TalentSorter, FitFirstJobs and Eyeployment.com, which are relied upon by organizations to screen high volumes of candidates for “fit” in their open positions.


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