Why the best meetings are 15 minutes long

Meetings, meetings, meetings. They drag on for hours, accomplish little, and take away from your work day. Department meetings, review meetings, weekly meetings, planning meetings, team meetings, project meetings… you are falling asleep already. There’s certainly a case to be made for reducing the number of meetings, but there’s one meeting to consider adding in.

The Daily Stand-Up Meeting

This type of meeting brings a lot of benefits in a very short amount of time. A stand-up meeting is common practice in software development – but there’s no need to limit it to one industry. These types of meetings keep everyone on a team up to date, aware of potential problems or issues they can assist with before they get out of control. These meetings can be held daily, and should last no longer than 15 minutes.

They are called ‘stand-up’ meetings, because everyone should be standing – this helps to keep the meeting short, as well as get people out of their chairs. See, there are even health benefits!

The format of a stand-up meeting is simple: everyone takes their turn to answer three questions.

  1. What did I work on yesterday (or since the last stand-up)?
  2. What am I working on today?
  3. What problems am I facing?

In short, a status update. In this way, managers are kept up to date, fellow team members are aware of what their coworkers are doing, and people are held accountable for the tasks they are doing. If people can’t complete their work due to an issue, others may be able to step in and help solve the problem (after the meeting). Being aware of issues when they come up means they are likely to be resolved sooner, rather than stagnating.

To keep these meetings focused, eliminate any side conversations, and hold off any discussion that doesn’t pertain to everyone until after the meeting is over.

For small companies, everyone can be involved in these types of meetings, but as an organization grows in size, it may be wise to keep it to department, or even project team level only – any more than 15 people and even the fastest meetings will be time consuming.

HireGround has been using stand-up meetings for many years, and we find it a perfect amount of time to connect the ‘business’ and ‘development’ side of the office, keep tasks moving forward, and help identify and solve problems.

With these 15 minute meetings, there is less time spent during the day trying to track down an answer to a question, and a greater understanding of how current projects are progressing without the need for more formal meetings.

I encourage you to give them a try!

Don’t forget these 5 questions when buying an ATS

1. How is the software provider staying on top of technology trends and software updates?

What you are looking to avoid here are the companies who have made a lot of cosmetic enhancements (clean & modern interface, works on mobile), but have neglected to update the base code which is responsible for all the functions the system performs. Old code leads to security vulnerabilities, system malfunctions and is slow to make changes or customize.

2. What is the minimum amount of information needed to apply?

Can people apply without an email address? Or without a resume?
Consider your target candidate demographic and how they tend to apply. Does your application process make it easy for them? Consider lack of access to the internet, not having a reliable phone, or simply not being tech savvy. All types of people need jobs, and an online process shouldn’t be prohibitive to your applicants.

3. If you leave their system, does the provider give you your data?

You should own the data that is entered into your system, and have access to it when your contract ends. Your provider should be able to extract the data into a usable file (ex. csv).

4. What about hidden fees?

Consider implementation, training, custom configuration or providing you data at the end of a contract.
Some of those fees may be perfectly reasonable, but it’s always best to know about them in advance! Take into account all fees when comparing systems, not just the base cost. Some providers include unlimited licenses under one price, while others may charge for every license, or for add-on features.

5. Is there a dedicated account manager to provide support for your company’s users?

An account manager can get to know you and how your organization uses the system. They will provide one-on-one support, or suggest ways to better use the system for your process. Building a small relationship with your software provider means you get the best support, and your requirements and suggestions are given more importance as software improvements.

   View a demo of the StartDate ATS

6 Reasons your Resume is Hitting the Trash

You’ve sent in hundreds of applications, but keep getting rejection emails or no response at all. You just need to get to the interview stage, but your resume is holding you back. Time to take a look at 6 common reasons resumes are quickly rejected:

1. Spelling or grammar mistakes

This is red flag #1, any spelling errors or poor grammar (for jobs which require good communication skills, or attention to detail) will get you a quick rejection. Hiring managers looking for a quick way to reduce the number of applications they need to consider will use a spelling mistake as a reason to reject someone.

The fix:
You need to show attention to detail for pretty much every job out there, so there’s no excuse for mistakes on something as important as your resume. Look over it carefully yourself, read it backwards, and give it to a friend to proofread. Continue reading 6 Reasons your Resume is Hitting the Trash

4 Skills Needed for Any Job +How to Improve Them

Often what sets one candidate above another for a job are their ‘soft skills’. These skills aren’t specific to any job or industry, and will make you more successful on whatever your chosen career path is.

Some people are naturally great with these work skills, but anyone can learn and improve their soft skills.

Verbal Communication

In work and in life, I’ve found that most mistakes and arguments are caused by simple misunderstanding and miscommunication. Being able to convey a concept clearly to another person determines how they respond, eliminates confusion, and keeps a project running smoothly.

How to improve? Listen. Always give 100% of your attention to the person you are talking or listening to. Ask questions to clarify anything that seems unclear, no matter how silly it seems. A lot of verbal communication is about empathy: understand that the person you are explaining something to can’t read your mind, consider things from their point of view, not just your own.

Continue reading 4 Skills Needed for Any Job +How to Improve Them

4 ways to Buck the Conventional Job Description

Is it starting to seem like all your job descriptions are the same? A description of your organization, the typical duties of the position, a list of qualifications followed by some mandatory requirements. If that sounds familiar, it’s probably because most job descriptions follow the same old script. Yes, traditional job descriptions are boring… so how do you make your company stand out?

Be completely honest, good & bad

A new hire will learn soon enough about all the gritty details of a job at your company, so why not be up front from the start? A detail that seems to detract from a glowing dream job description might turn some people off, but this is a good thing. The people that can’t or don’t want to handle the negative side of a job aren’t going to last long in the position anyway, and those that decide to apply for the job despite a negative point in the description will be more likely to stay for the long term. Continue reading 4 ways to Buck the Conventional Job Description

iOS vs Android on Mobile Recruiting

The numbers are very clear: candidates are far more likely to complete a job application on their desktop, instead of their mobile device. Applying to jobs is simply not as good an experience on mobile as it is with a full screen and keyboard.

While that information may come as no surprise, new research shows that there is a huge difference in the click-to-apply rates for the different types of mobile devices. A study from Appcast has found that candidates using Android devices are 2.25 times more likely to complete a job application as their peers using an iOS device.

Why are Android users more likely to complete their job applications?

Continue reading iOS vs Android on Mobile Recruiting