PIP Programme– Performance Improvement Plan and How to Use One (With Template)

Performance improvement plan text on blue clipboard on top of a keyboard with pen and potted plant on wooden desk.

When employers have an employee with performance issues, they often implement a PIP programme (Performance Improvement Plan). A PIP is a formal document that outlines an employee’s performance issues, as well as clear guidance on how they can improve. Ideally, performance improvement plans will support an employee so they can remain gainfully employed with the organization, resulting in a win-win situation for both the employer and the employee.

Where Do You Begin With a Performance Improvement Plan?

First, you need to define why a performance improvement plan might be necessary. A PIP can be a powerful tool for employers to use for a number of performance issues, including when:

  • Behavioral concerns have been persistent.
  • The employee is struggling with meeting sales or quantity targets.
  • The employee is consistently missing assigned milestones and goals.

A PIP tends to be most effective when clear goals can be set for the employee, specifically when it comes to performance issues. Some behavioral concerns, such as harassment or poor professional conduct towards others, can be challenging to address with a PIP. However, running late for work, meetings, and so on can be addressed with a PIP.

Once a clear reason for a performance improvement plan is defined, an effective PIP can be developed to foster a productive conversation between the manager and the employee.

How Do You Develop a PIP?

Ideally, your organization will develop a PIP programme that guides managers with policies and procedures to help develop a PIP plan for employees when needed. A PIP programme can support consistency in how and when a PIP is implemented, which helps to mitigate discrimination concerns and inconsistencies regarding the treatment of employees.

To develop a performance improvement plan, there are some key elements to include:

  • The purpose of the PIP: Provide a statement that describes performance expectations and how not meeting them impacts the department or business.
  • Why the employee is being placed on a PIP: Clearly outline the reasons for implementing the PIP, including the specific issues with evidence to back up the comments.
  • Develop measurable goals and objectives for improvement: Share the goals and objectives the employee is expected to meet, including how to meet them, such as specific training, working with a coworker, and so on.
  • Provide a timeline: Include a timeline and the projected end-date of the PIP, or the date by which you expect the employee to meet the goals.
  • Define the outcomes: Include what will happen if the PIP goals and objectives are met and what will happen if they are not.

How Do You Determine if a PIP is appropriate?

If you’re considering a performance improvement plan for an employee, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the employee have persistent performance issues? If the employee makes a single mistake, then a conversation for course correction should be had. However, if the issue is persistent, then a PIP is a wise consideration.
  • Can the performance issues be corrected with a PIP? If the issues at hand cannot be corrected by utilizing a PIP to support the employee, then it shouldn’t be used, as it would prolong the inevitable and wouldn’t be fair to the employee (or the company, for that matter).
  • Will the employee be surprised by the PIP? Ideally, when a PIP is implemented, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to the employee. They should be aware of concerns through regular performance review discussions that have led to them receiving a PIP.
  • Has the employee been provided with the appropriate support to succeed? You want to ensure the employee has been provided with the proper training to succeed in their current position. If they haven’t, the best first step is to ensure they receive the accommodations needed to succeed. If there continues to be an issue, then a PIP might be in order.

Performance Improvement Plan Template

The following performance improvement plan example can be used as a guide for you to develop one for your organization.

Purpose of Performance Improvement Plan

The reason for this performance improvement plan (PIP) is to outline concerns with your work performance, clarify expectations for the position, and give you the opportunity to address the outlined concerns to remain in good standing with [Employer Name].

Performance Improvement Plan

As discussed with [HR or manager], this PIP document serves to offer you a plan to correct your performance in the following areas:

  • Concern #1: You are expected to [employer expectations]
  • Concern #2: You are expected to [employer expectations]
  • Concern #3: You are expected to [employer expectations]

Actions to Take to Address Performance Concerns for Course Correction

To correct your performance, you must complete the following goals and objectives within [number of days].

  • Improvement Goal #1: [Employee Goal]
  • Improvement Goal #2: [Employee Goal]
  • Improvement Goal #3: [Employee Goal]
  • Improvement Goal #4: [Employee Goal]

By following the action plan outlined in this PIP, we are confident you will be able to meet the expectations of your position, [Position Name], in the [Department Name] department at [Employer Name].

If you are not able to meet the expectations outlined above by [date], you will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

[Supervisor Signature]

[Supervisor Title]

[Employee Signature]

[Employee Title]

How to Implement a PIP

Once you’re clear a PIP is the right course of action:

  • Develop the PIP using the guidance above.
  • Have a conversation with the employee outlining the PIP purpose and goals.
  • Provide the employee with a copy of the PIP to review and sign.
  • Track the employee’s progress. Have a conversation at the mid-way point of the PIP timeline to assess how the employee is doing. From there, if they meet the expectations of the plan by the deadline, you can move forward with employment as usual. If they do not, however, it’s time to take the next disciplinary action according to your company’s policies.

Sometimes, employees need clarity to improve their performance based on what’s provided with a PIP meaning work improvement assistance is required for the employee to fully appreciate expectations and where they are falling short. Receiving a PIP can be daunting for an employee, though if explained in the best possible light, they’ll understand that the goal is for them to succeed.

On a final note, a PIP is a legal document that could be used in court proceedings and claims against the company. It’s best to share your PIP template with your legal team to ensure it is legally compliant.

Exempt Employee – Meaning and Guide

Exempt employee concept written on a paper.

If you are in charge of determining compensation for full-time employees, it will be important for you to understand the difference between an exempt employee and a non-exempt employee. This classification plays a critical role in how you are legally required to pay your employees in the U.S., particularly in relation to overtime pay.

In this guide, we’ll answer the question, “what is an exempt employee,” and we’ll talk about what exempt status means, as well as help you determine when an employee becomes exempt.

What is an Exempt Employee?

In the U.S., employee compensation is regulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This act establishes parameters around minimum wage, overtime pay, and the standards for employing youth. According to the FLSA, employees in the U.S. must be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked. However, once an employee reaches 40 hours of work in a single workweek, the FLSA dictates that they must be paid overtime pay equal to not less than time and one-half the regular pay rate.

In some cases, state laws actually provide greater employee protections, such as offering a higher state minimum wage. In these cases, an employer must follow state regulations along with federal regulations.

However, all of the above guidelines apply to what is considered a non-exempt employee. An exempt employee’s pay is regulated differently. The question “What is exempt employee status?”, is best answered by the exempt employee definition as outlined by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL):

“Section 13(a)(1) of the FLSA provides an exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay for employees employed as bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees.”

Essentially, once an employee is considered exempt, their employer is no longer required to abide by the same minimum wage and overtime pay as they must for a non-exempt employee. Exempt employees are often referred to as salaried employees. These employees might work more or less than 40 hours a week, but their compensation remains the same.

Types of Exempt Employees

When determining whether or not an employee is exempt or non-exempt, it is important to first understand the types of exempt employees under federal law. Each type of exempt employee must meet a set of criteria in order to qualify for exempt status. For all exemptions, note that the salary compensation must not be at a rate of less than $684 per week.

Executive Exemption

To qualify for an executive employee exemption, an employee must meet the following requirements:

  • They must be compensated on a salary basis
  • Their primary work must be managing a department of an enterprise or the entire enterprise
  • They must be in charge of directing the work of at least two or more full-time employees
  • They must have the authority to hire or fire and/or the ability to provide recommendations regarding hiring, firing, promotions, and employment status changes of other employees

Administrative Exemptions

To qualify for an administrative employee exemption, an employee must meet the following criteria:

  • They must be compensated on a salary basis
  • Their primary work must include office or non-manual work that is directly tied to business operations or management
  • Their work must allow for independent judgment relating to matters in the business of significance

Professional Exemption

To qualify for a professional employee exemption, an employee must meet the following guidelines:

  • They must be compensated on a salary basis
  • Their work must require advanced knowledge, primarily considered intellectual in nature
  • Their advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning
  • Their advanced knowledge must be information that would generally be learned through specialized coursework

Creative Professional Exemption

To qualify for a creative professional exemption, an employee must meet the following criteria:

  • They must be compensated on a salary basis
  • Their primary work must require imagination, invention, or originality of talent in a field that is considered artistic or creative

Computer Employee Exemption

To meet the computer employee exemption, an employee must meet the following standards:

  • They must be compensated on a salary basis
  • The employee must be working as a computer programmer, software engineer, computer systems analyst, or another skilled job in the field of computers

Outside Sales Exemption

To qualify for the outside sales employee exemption, an employee must meet the following criteria:

  • Their work must be defined as making sales
  • They must be regularly working away from their employer’s place of business

It is worth noting that the above exemptions do not apply to blue-collar workers, police, firefighters, paramedics, and other first responders.

How to Determine if an Employee is Exempt or Non-Exempt

As you classify your employees and determine their compensation, it is important to make sure that if you do consider an employee exempt, they meet the criteria outlined by the DOL. Generally, an employee can only be considered exempt if:

  • They receive a salary equivalent to more than $684 per week
  • They are paid this salary regardless of the total hours worked in a week
  • They have duties that align with one of the above exemption statuses, such as professional, administrative, creative, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have questions about exempt employees, here’s some additional information.

What does “exempt employee” mean?

An exempt employee is an employee that, due to their status, is exempt from normal overtime wage laws as outlined by the FLSA.

Does an exempt employee have to work a set number of hours?

An exempt employee is not required to work a set number of hours. These employees are paid a salary at a regular interval, regardless of the hours worked. However, many companies have policies requiring that an exempt employee works 40 hours a week. While employees cannot withhold pay if an exempt employee does not work 40 hours a week, they can take disciplinary action.

Retention Rate Definition (and Formula)

Drawing of a figure in suit flying toward an open door marked "Exit" and a huge magnet draws him back into the room.

Analyzing a company’s employee retention rate is essential so leadership can determine if there are departments or areas that need improvement. If so, they can work on developing strategies. Assessing the employee retention rate can also give insight into the overall health of a company. Consequently, you can create employee retention strategies to combat high employee turnover rates.

What Is Employee Retention Rate?

An employee retention rate measures how many employees are retained at the company during a specific period. You can do this by comparing how many employees are at the company on a starting date with how many of the same employees are still there on the ending date. The starting and ending date is for a measurable period that the company chooses, such as one quarter or a year.

Importance of Understanding Retention Rate

Employee retention is an essential part of operating a successful business. If you have a high turnover rate, you’re spending a lot of money on replacing employees. You have money invested in the employees’ training, which is lost if they leave. You also must spend additional funds to recruit, interview, and hire new employees when they leave. A company with a high retention rate will be healthier and better positioned for the future. Implementing strategies for retention is a key element of success.

Knowing the retention rate will alert companies to any issues they may need to address. It also provides them with better insight as to how their current employee retention efforts are doing. If the rate is low, they know modifications are necessary. If it’s high, they can keep on the same path they’re on.

Most companies perform employee retention rate calculations regularly, such as quarterly or annually, so they can keep on top of this issue.

What Is the Retention Rate Formula?

Let’s look at how to calculate retention rate. You can use the following formula to get a retention rate:

Determine the total number of employees who were at the company at the start of the period (we’ll call this amount “A”).

Next, count the employees again at the end of the period and see how many of the original employees there are (this amount is “B”). To find out how many employees are left, you can subtract “B” from “A” (this is “C”).

A – B = C

Now, you will perform the second part of the calculation. Take the number of employees that left (“B”) at the end of the period and divide it by the total number of employees (“A”). For example, B ÷ A. The answer will be a decimal, which needs to be converted to a percentage, so you’ll have the rate. Multiply the decimal by 100 and simply add the percentage sign. Now you have the retention rate. The full formula looks like this:

Step 1: A – B = C

Step 2: B ÷ A = decimal x 100 = retention rate

Examples of Retention Rate Formulas

It’s easier to understand the retention rate calculation by looking at some examples. These examples take the formula and put it into practice.

Example 1

A marketing firm has 50 employees at the beginning of the first quarter. On the last day of quarter 1, 42 of the original employees still work there. Let’s plug in our data to determine the retention rate.

Starting number of employees is: 50

Number of employees who left during the period: 8

Remaining number of employees is: 42

Calculation: 50 – 8 = 42 employees remained during the quarter.

The next step is dividing the remaining employees by the total number of employees at the beginning: 42 ÷ 50 = 0.84

Now, multiply 0.84 by 100 to convert it to a percentage. The retention rate is 84%.

Example 2

A local auto dealership has 245 employees at the beginning of the fiscal year. Of the 245 original employees, 185 were still employed at the company on the last day of the year.

Starting number of employees is: 245

Number of employees who left during the period: 60

Remaining number of employees is: 185

Calculation: 245 – 60 = 185 employees remained over the course of the year.

The next step is dividing the remaining employees by the total number of employees at the beginning: 185 ÷ 250 = 0.74

Now, multiply 0.74 by 100 to convert it to a percentage. The retention rate is 74%.

Example 3

A production company has 1,565 employees at the beginning of the calendar year, and 1,425 of them remain at the end of the calendar year.

Starting number of employees is: 1,565

Number of employees who left during the period: 140

Remaining number of employees is: 1,425

Calculation: 1,565 – 140 = 1,425 employees remained during the quarter.

The next step is dividing the remaining employees by the total number of employees at the beginning: 1,425 ÷ 1,565 = 0.91

Now, multiply 0.91 by 100 to convert it to a percentage. The retention rate is 91 %.

Tips to Increase Your Retention Rate

If your retention rate is lower than you expected or wanted, you can implement these tips to help improve it:

  • Hire right. Start with employees who match the business culture and are a great fit for the job.
  • Have an open-door policy for employees who are having problems or difficulties in the workplace.
  • Be sure to reward your employees according to their performance. You can use merit increases, job promotions, and other incentives to keep them engaged.
  • Offer training and educational opportunities, so employees continue to grow and thrive.
  • Provide a salary and benefits package that makes employees feel the compensation is fair.

Understanding the CASDI (California State Disability Insurance) Program

Employment law book on an office table.

In the state of California, for those who are unable to work due to a non-work-related injury or illness, there is a program that will help replace lost wages called the California State Disability Insurance (CASDI) program. Under the CASDI program, eligible workers can continue to earn a portion of their wages when they are incapable of returning to work.

For employers, it is important to understand the CASDI program, what it is, what employees are eligible for this program, and how it is funded. This can help employers assist their employees in navigating the system. Learn more about CASDI below.

What Is CASDI?

If you employ workers in the state of California, CASDI is a program that can benefit your employees during a period of time in which they cannot perform their normal work duties. CASDI stands for California State Disability Insurance and is a state-specific, short-term disability insurance and paid family leave wage replacement program.

Through CASDI, when a worker needs time off — not due to a work-related injury or illness — they may be eligible to receive state-sponsored disability insurance that will help to replace lost wages.

It is important to note that CASDI only provides monetary benefits to workers. It does not protect their job. However, in the state of California, an employee’s job might still be protected based on the Family and Medical Leave Act or the California Family Rights Act.

Who Is Covered by CASDI?

According to the state of California, there are currently more than 18 million workers who are covered by the CASDI program. This partial wage-replacement plan is available to those who cannot work due to non-work-related illness or injury, pregnancy, or childbirth.

Common reasons for an employee being covered by CASDI include the following:

  • They are missing work due to caring for a seriously ill family member.
  • They are bonding with a new child.
  • They are participating in a qualifying event that is due to a family member’s military deployment to a foreign country.

It is important to note that the state of California outlines detailed requirements to ensure eligibility, which are as follows:

  • An employee must be unable to do their regular work for at least eight days. CASDI does not kick in until the eighth day.
  • An employee must be losing wages due to their disability.
  • They must be actively employed or looking for work at the time their disability began.
  • An employee must have earned at least $300 from which CASDI deductions were withheld.
  • They must be under the care and treatment of a qualifying practitioner.
  • They must complete and submit a claim no earlier than nine days after their first day of disability but no later than 49 days after.
  • Their qualifying practitioner must complete a portion of their application.

When an employee applies for CASDI benefits, their citizenship or immigration status will not affect their eligibility. Additionally, while their employer will be notified that they have submitted a CASDI claim, all medical information will remain confidential.

How is CASDI funded?

CASDI is a state-run disability insurance program that is funded through deductions. These deductions are taken out of an employee’s paycheck automatically. Currently, every time an employee is paid, 1.1% of their wages will contribute toward the CASDI program.

However, CASDI deductions are only paid on income of up to $145,600 a year. This means that any money earned above this amount is not subject to the 1.1% tax. This creates a limit on the total amount an employee will pay annually toward the CASDI program.

How Much Will an Employee Receive from CASDI?

When an employee applies for CASDI, if they are eligible for benefits, their total weekly pay will be calculated based on the wages they were previously earning. A weekly CASDI benefit is equivalent to around 60% to 70% of wages earned in the 5 to 18 months leading up to the claim start date.

However, for wages to qualify, an employee must have been paying CASDI taxes on those wages. This deduction is usually noted as CASDI on a pay stub.

How Can an Employee Apply for CASDI?

If an employee wants to apply for CASDI, they can use the SDI Online Portal provided by the State of California. To complete their application, they will need to verify their identity and have their qualified practitioner submit documentation regarding their inability to work.

What is the Purpose of CASDI?

The CASDI program is designed to offer wage replacement for California workers who are incapable of performing their normal work resulting in the loss of wages. CASDI, similar to other disability insurance programs, aims to ensure that when someone is incapable of working, they can still meet their basic needs.

For example, if an employee becomes too ill to perform their normal work, in California, CASDI will help make sure that during their illness, they can still pay their bills and afford standard necessities. This is a critical stopgap for those who are facing long periods of time during which they are not capable of earning their regular wages.

How Should I Notify Employees about the CASDI Program?

If you are an employer in the state of California, you can help your employees understand the potential benefits they could receive from CASDI in two key ways:

  1. Post notices: The state of California offers posters that will provide detailed information about the CASDI program. If you have a physical office or retail location, be sure to place these posters in an area where employees can easily access them.
  2. Add information to your employee handbook: When designing your employee handbook, include links to the California disability insurance portal. This will allow employees to explore critical information regarding all disability insurance programs.

The CASDI program can help your employees navigate a period of time in which they are incapable of performing their normal job duties. Be sure to check back with the California Employment Development Department for updates to state-specific programs.

What Is FTE (Full-Time Equivalent) – And How Do You Calculate It?

FTE image showing elements relating to Full-Time Equivalent

What is FTE? FTE stands for full-time equivalent. It is a measure used for the total of full-time employees—or part-time employees that add up to full-time employees—your organization employs.

An FTE calculation helps a company and its various departments determine hiring needs for the future. In addition, they help you forecast and track employee salaries and hours worked. FTE metrics are also used to ensure compliance with legal employment requirements, like those of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as meeting the requirements for certain company tax credits.

What Is an FTE?

What does FTE mean? FTE indicates the number of hours a full-time employee works in a standard week for your business. The purpose of using FTE is to get to the number of total hours worked vs. the number of employees you have.

Utilizing the total hours worked vs. the number of employees allows you to forecast, budget, and calculate required staff and wages to pay them more easily. For example, if your company’s standard work week is 30 hours, then two employees that work 15 hours per week each or three employees that work 10 hours per week each would count as one FTE.

FTE standardized calculations like this are helpful for a number of reasons. For one, they allow for the evaluation of labor costs and workload requirements. For example, once a project manager estimates the number of full-time workers required to accomplish a project, they can calculate salary needs.

Or a business analyst can determine requirements to meet day-to-day business tasks for a new department, which allows them to determine the number of full-time employees to forecast and budget for that department. Managers and HR departments also apply FTE calculations to allocate department headcounts based on each department’s workload.

Budget analysts can use the FTE meaning job metrics for headcount analysis. They can quickly compare profits to headcounts or output numbers with FTE metrics. Employers also use FTE calculations for benchmarking profits or revenues per employee.

HR departments utilize FTE to standardize salaries and working hours for part-time employees. A quarter-time employee would be a 0.25 FTE since they work 25% of the hours of a full-time employee. As such, they would be paid 25% of a full-time employee’s salary.

When annual forecasts are necessary, the term work-year equivalent (WYE) is sometimes used in lieu of full-time equivalent, or FTE.

How Do You Calculate FTE?

You can technically break the FTA meaning down into two categories:

  1. The total number of part-time employees your company employs or requires that equate to a full-time employee
  2. The total number of full-time employees your company employees or needs to hire.

When you add up items 1 and 2, you get the total number of FTEs currently with or needed for your organization.

So, again, FTE calculations align with hours worked rather than the number of employees. You could have four employees and only have one FTE. One FTE would equal four 0.25 employees.

To calculate FTE for your company, follow these steps:

Step 1:

List all your employees and their weekly hours worked. Exclude independent contractors, as they are not considered employees.

Example: An employer has a headcount of five. Three employees work 40 hours per week. One employee works 20 hours per week. One employee works 30 hours per week.

Step 2:

Identify the number of work hours defined as a full-time position. Most employers define a full-time employee as one that works 40 hours per week, on average. Some organizations might use 30 or 35 hours to define full-time employees. Any employee that works an average number of weekly hours below the full-time employment definition would be considered part-time. The number of hours per week that defines full-time employment is the number that is used to determine one FTE.

Example: The company defines 40 hours per week as full-time.

Step 3:

Determine the total hours worked per year. Multiply the number of hours per week by 52, for 52 weeks in a year.

Example:

40 weekly hours per full-time employee: 40 X 52 = 2,080 hours = 1.0 FTE

20 weekly hours employee: 52 X 20 = 1,040

30 weekly hours employee: 52 X 30 = 1,560 hours

Step 4:

Add together all part-time hours worked by employees defined as part-time.

Example: 1,040 + 1,560 = 2,600 hours

Step 5:

Calculate your part-time FTE by dividing the total hours worked by part-time employees calculated in Step 5 by the total annual worked by full-time employees calculated in Step 3.

Example: 2,600/2,080 = 1.25 FTE

Step 6:

Determine your total FTE by adding your full-time FTE to your part-time FTE from Step 6.

Example:

Three full-time employees = 3.0 FTE

The part-time FTE = 1.25

3.0 + 1.25 = 4.25 FTE

In the example calculation, the headcount is five, and the FTE is 4.25

How Do You Calculate a Single Part-Time Employee FTE?

To determine an employee’s FTE, simply divide the employee’s scheduled weekly hours by the number of hours the employer defines as a workweek. For example, if you define full-time employees as working 30 hours per week, a part-time employee who works 18 hours per week would be 0.6 FTE.

What Is the ACA FTE Definition?

The ACA requires employers that have 50 or more FTEs to provide ACA-compliant healthcare benefits. The Affordable Care Act defines full-time employees as anyone working 30 hours per week or more on average. Even if your organization defines full-time employment as more, you must abide by the ACA definition to be in compliance with ACA requirements.

FTE calculations are necessary for employers to fully appreciate their workforce and budgetary needs. They are also useful in determining how well an organization is doing in regard to output per employee and the bottom line. You now have the basic calculation to determine the FTEs you currently have or to forecast future needs, among other reasons you might find the metric and FTE meaning useful.

ATS Applicant Tracking and Employee Turnover

Keyboard showing a Tracking System button for Job Application Tracking.

ATS Applicant Tracking Systems matter because time and money are the bottom line.

In the recruiter space, employee turnover and hiring applicants are the two big dollar drains.

Sourcing, processing, interviewing and hiring — when done right — is the answer to both.

Enter Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

Still, that first step to automated assistance isn’t easy. In a world of continuously evolving technical possibilities, the acronym ATS means different things to different people.

Even today, most would likely describe an ATS as something to aggregate and manage resumes, with basic applicant tracking stemming from that benefit. 

Depending on how much you’re willing to spend (more later) — the best ATS’s can help organize and automate:

  • Management of job requisition
  • Posts on job search sites
  • Application forms
  • Candidate search
  • Templates for candidate emails
  • Interview alerts
  • Recruiting metrics reports
  • Background checks
  • Candidate information verification
  • Creation and delegation of tasks
  • Collaboration
  • Duplicate candidate alerts/prevention
  • Personalized outreach
  • Advertising
  • Social media posting

And more.

Connecting your existing ATS to Ladders would ensure timely and highly accurate job delivery, track candidates and posts all the way to hire, and sync candidate data with your system for flawless management. 

Investing in Success

While most ATS’s are cloud based, there are vendors who provide on-prem hosting.

On-prem will require an upfront payment (perpetual licensing), while cloud-based hosting comes with a monthly or yearly subscription. 

A company looking into this kind of investment can usually expect three pricing models:

Pay per User — based on the number of users granted administrative access.

Pay per Position — based on number of open job requisitions each month.

Pay per Module – based on unified HR solutions rather than best-of-breed.

The Keyword Is Candidate

Of course, there’s nothing like the ability to write a job description that works.

And key words do play a big part in that. The right key words — informed by a clear description of who is wanted to do what — get your job description found by people hunting for those jobs.

And that in turn is informed by some useful XML job post management.

On the ATS side, keywords are used to reject resumes that don’t contain them, and approve those that do.

How effective that is in separating enthusiastic amateurs from qualified experts is up for debate, particularly in a downturn, where ambition and enthusiasm can meet desperation.

And all in a world where technology has made applying for a job very easy to do.

So to the bottom line: The better you target your candidates in the first place, the more time and money you’re likely to save.

Targeting Talent – Tech & the Human Touch

Let’s say, for example, that you have a $100K-$500K+ job opening. You decide to create an XML job feed with Ladders.

Now your high-end job is being targeted directly at $100K-$500K+ professionals, with keyword targeting directing it to the experts required within that field and range.

When you close the job on your end, it automatically closes on Ladders, too.

Leaving your ATS with far less of the heavy-lifting to do in the initial stages, and you with far less of the heavy-lifting to do during the following stages.

Sometimes your easiest investments can get you the best results. It really boils down to knowing who and what you want, then taking the smartest route to it.

And the human touch remains a key differentiator, especially when technology works with it.

An example of this comes with the challenge of moving forward with a shortlist of candidates, with a view to successful interviews and long term retention.

Ladders ThirdPage™, for example, combines technology with member interaction to collect key interview questions.

20 million questions answered so far.

This enables recruiters to gain key knowledge about an individual before sending an email or picking up a phone.

Knowledge is power. And answering the bottom line will always be less about technology than it is about intelligent choices.