Articles by: Dana Ciarlariello

5 Ways to Avoid Hiring the Wrong Person

The Health and Human Services industry has continued to struggle with recruitment and retention.  According to the DATIS 2017 State of Workforce Management survey, hundreds of Health and Human Services executives identified Recruiting & Retention as the top trend impacting their organizations. As these executives struggle to hire more employees and retain their top performers, it’s crucial that they are putting the maximum effort into hiring the best candidates to help their organization reach its full potential. Here are some tips to avoid hiring the wrong person:

Before the interview, be sure to put together a list of in-depth questions that will help determine if the candidate has the key skills and experiences to take on the role within your organization. Relying on typical interview questions will not give you right the information to make a decision on whether or not a candidate fits the position. Asking questions that pertain to on-the-job problems that could potentially occur when they start and how they would handle the situation may be a better determinant.

It is also important to plan ahead if you choose to have more than one person interviewing the candidate so questions are not repeated.  Assigning different areas of questioning to different people based on their expertise can help you gain an alternate perspectives and to remain neutral.

Know Which Factors to Evaluate
It is unlikely that all candidates will able to meet every requirement posted on the job description. With that said, will need to determine which key factors are most important to the role you are trying to fill.

Using the in-depth interview questions you have prepared can help determine how well each candidate meets those key requirements and gives them the ability to justify their claims with personal examples. By doing so, you will have a better understanding of what the candidate is capable of and if their skills can help this role reach its full potential.

Don’t Rely on the Interview
There are numerous ways to judge if a candidate is the right fit. Employers should take into account all of the experience, accomplishments, references, and skills the candidate possesses, as well as traits such as creativity and potential for growth. It is very difficult to analyze and assess all this information through a normal interview.

Another way to judge a candidate would be to have them take a personality test, which can judge how well they will work in teams, lead others, comply with rules, solve problems, cope with stress and fit in with your organization’s culture.

Incentives to Join Your Organization
An ideal candidate will have researched your organization and have a good understanding of why they want to join your team. However, interviews go both ways, making it is just as important to have the candidate understand the organizational culture and why they would be a good fit. Make sure to think through key attractions of both the position and the  organization that would make the candidate more inclined to accept a job offer.

Follow Up
If you think the candidate has the right experience and qualities to fill the role, be sure to ask if they are still interested and excited about the position. Research has shown that if employees are enthusiastic and emotionally committed to their work, they are more likely to stay with their organization. Outline the selection process moving forward and let them know when they will be hearing feedback so they are able to manage their expectations after the interview. When following-up with rejected candidates, make sure to provide them with constructive feedback to help them better prepare for future interviews.

Finding the best possible candidate can be a long and complicated process but will be worth the hard work when you end up hiring the right people, allowing your organization to retain and develop your top talent, while improving your business.

This DATIS Blog was written by Dana Ciarlariello, DATIS, on August 24th, 2017 and may not be re-posted without permission.

5 Ways to Prepare Your Organization for a Natural Disaster

In the wake of the recent Hurricanes, Irma and Harvey, it’s important for organizations to have a standard Disaster Contingency Plan in place before any type of natural disaster occurs. Being prepared for this is vital to ensure organization continuity. Read below to find out how to prepare your organization for a natural disaster before it's too late.

  1. Give Employees Time to Prepare

Send employees website links or information about how to prepare their homes for disasters. Make sure weather updates are available to employees at work. Consider giving them time off to prepare their homes and make possible evacuation plans. By taking these steps, you can help reassure employees that their families are safe, helping them to stay focused at work. This also shows employees that you care about their safety.

  1. Plan For Alternative Work Schedules

It’s best to plan out several different scenarios regarding work schedules depending on the severity of the natural disaster. Planning levels of severity and instructions of what to expect at each level would be helpful for employees to understand what is expected from them. At DATIS, we recently had to put together a DATIS Disaster Response Contingency Plan with the different levels of operations that could occur due to Hurricane Irma. This informed our clients on what to expect from us in all situations.

  1. Determine a Communication Strategy with Clients

Plan a tactical and efficient way to communicate with clients while your organization’s operations are affected. Also, make sure everyone understands their communication responsibilities. For example, create standardized templates to be sent out to clients briefly stating what the operation status of your organization is, what they can expect, and when they will be receiving updates. Determine which employees will be responsible for relaying these messages to clients and which employees will be responsible for providing customer support when needed.

  1. Determine a Communication Strategy with Employees

It’s important to set up a communication strategy with your employees to make sure they are safe and capable of fulfilling the responsibilities assigned to them to keep the organization running.  If the employee is unable to fulfill those responsibilities they will need to be delegated to someone else. In the aftermath, it would be helpful to schedule daily calls with leaders so that communication is never lost. This will give them the ability to report on the status of their team members and to effectively plan for the organizations continuity.

  1. Back-up all Important Information to Cloud Storage

Since most business transactions are managed electronically, it is necessary that files and data are backed up and saved. An organization may not be able to rebuild itself without important client and financial information. Cloud-based software has the ability to be accessed from anywhere. This is essential for organizations that employ field workers or employees that can’t physically be in the office throughout the day but this feature will be vital to keep an organization running during a natural disaster when it is not possible for employees to be in the office.

Natural disasters are inevitable regardless of where you live.  Make time to put together a Disaster Contingency Plan for your organization so you, your employees, and your clients are prepared with what to expect. Enduring a natural disaster is challenging, but with planning in advance and having considerate responses, you can successfully get through these events to get your organization and employees back to normal.

This DATIS Blog was written by Dana Ciarlariello, DATIS, on September 14th, 2017 and may not be re-posted without permission.

Why Recruitment Software is the Future

Web-based recruitment software has become the standard for all organizations in the Health and Human Services industry. It allows organizations of all sizes to simplify the identification, screening, hiring, and onboarding of applicants. With less time spent on manual recruiting processes, employees can place more focus on hiring the right candidates in a timely manner.According to our 2017 Executive Priorities Report, 59% of Health and Human Services executives believe their organizations are understaffed. As technology continues to grow, recruitment software is beginning to play an important role in attracting top talent. Below are reasons that prove the importance of recruitment software in modern business strategies.


With seamless integration to job boards, recruiting software make it possible to have new job posts automatically rout to an organization’s internal careers site and external job boards such as CareerBuilder, Monster, and more. This empowers users to get the word out to more candidates in less time. Our 2017 Executive Priorities report found that the top three recruiting channels for Health and Human Services organizations are job boards, social media, and word of mouth.

Another integration to be aware of are analytics that can provide an organization robust reporting on the number of vacancies, recruiting days, manager progress and daily lost revenue per open position. This enables constant monitoring of the recruiting process and the opportunity for continual improvement.

Optimizing the Candidate Experience

Job hunters today know their value and are aware of the competitiveness for their employment. Opportunities are everywhere, and if one employer takes too long to respond or makes it too difficult to apply, some will quickly pass it up for another job opening.

Recruitment software can assist in keeping the candidate experience as seamless as possible by allowing candidates to have an effortless application experience and allowing recruitment managers to search for the perfect candidate based on specific skills, education, previous job experience and more. The application process is an important aspect of your organization’s image, and gives an early impression of how the organization operates along with the type of personnel it wants to attract.

Cloud Technology

Utilizing cloud technology gives users the flexibility that has previously been unavailable. With the Cloud, agencies are able to use any device at any time to manage HR and recruitment information.

Cloud technology enables employees to look through resumes, applicants, and comments from other reviewers. With access to all relevant hiring data, it’s easier for talent coordinators to see the bigger picture and address specific needs. Efficient applicant tracking allows recruiters and hiring managers to easily and affordably find, evaluate, and organize top job candidates, providing a 360-degree holistic view of top applicants.

As technology continues to grow, recruitment software is going to play an increasingly important role in attracting top talent. Health and Human Services executives will begin to invest more resources towards recruiting software as their industry demand continues to increase. Job boards will continue to play a vital role in recruiting strategy, attracting candidates to the positions that need to be filled. Now that recruitment software is as accessible as ever, it is time to take action.

This DATIS Blog was written by Dana Ciarlariello, DATIS, on October 12th, 2017 and may not be re-posted without permission.


Managing Paid Time Off During The Holidays

The holiday season is approaching and for many organizations that can mean conflicts with scheduling and an increase of PTO requests. With kids off school, family in town, and employees planning trips back home, you can expect most your workforce to submit leave requests and take advantage of your PTO policy. With that said, meeting your staffs’ requests can be difficult since your organization’s operations will likely continue as normal. Here are some ways you can handle the holiday PTO stress while keeping your employees happy.

Plan in Advance
If your organization will be closed during certain days of the holiday season, or have different holiday hours, let employees know well in advance. One of the most important things to do to avoid scheduling and PTO conflicts is asking employees to request their time off as early as possible. This gives your organization ample time to determine what responsibilities must be covered while certain employees are out of the office and who is able cover those responsibilities in the mean time. By doing this you will be able to better prepare your organization for staffing gaps.

Be Flexible
Children’s school events, guests arriving early, and unexpected sick days are bound to happen during this time of year. Being able to accommodate your employees for these things by letting them work remotely, make up the hours, or allowing them to take the time off with no questions asked will make them feel valued. In return, employees will have a sense of appreciation for your organization and will feel a sense of responsibility in achieving their goals when they get back from their leave.

Manage Time sheets
Having an automated time and attendance tracker makes a huge difference during the holiday season. Addressing missing punches before payroll deadlines and sending automated reminders for timesheet submissions will give you more time to focus on what really needs to get done around your organization. Along with managing timesheets, absence management is easier than ever with tools like electronic leave requests, workflow approvals and full visibility into leave balances.  Having the ability to view a calendar graph representation of which employees on your team have approved or have pending leave requests for the current, past, and future months will help you manage those requests all year.

Employee PTO is a critical benefit for employees, but handling leave requests can be stressful and chances are you won’t be able to please everyone. Helping eliminate these problems by using a time and attendance system to better manage absences and time sheets within your organization will give you ample time to prepare for the necessary accommodations during this increase of requesting time off.

This DATIS Blog was written by Dana Ciarlariello, DATIS, on November 13th, 2017 and may not be re-posted without permission.

3 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement and Performance

According to the DATIS 2018 State of Workforce Management Survey Report, over 67% of executives identified “Increasing Employee Engagement and Satisfaction” as a top priority for the year ahead. With that said, 37% of executives that took part in the survey said they do not have any plan in place to increase employee engagement within their organization. If employee engagement was a priority, why aren’t more executives taking steps to create formalized, strategic plans to implement throughout their workforce?

Employee engagement is crucial to employee performance. Increases in engagement have been directly correlated to increases in both productivity, quality of work, and retention. Harvard Business Review recently released a study on the relationship between employee engagement and performance, which concluded, “(Senior executives) recognize that a highly-engaged workforce can increase innovation, productivity, and bottom-line performance while reducing costs related to hiring and retention in highly competitive talent markets.” As more executives are realizing the value of an engaged workforce, it’s important that they understand proven ways to increase engagement within their organization.

Here are some ways to implement, improve and increase employee engagement and performance.

Feedback is essential for personal and professional growth. Whether you are giving employees feedback or vice-versa, meeting with employees on a regular basis can open a dialogue for employees and managers to freely discuss performance and ways to improve current internal processes. Regular feedback can also create an open and honest work environment, resulting in better transparency throughout the organization.

Regular feedback empowers managers to reward, recognize, and encourage great work. When employees are doing well and contributing to organizational success, it’s important for managers to not let this work go unnoticed. This article by Talent Map discusses feedback’s impact on employee engagement, stating “Performance feedback is trending more and more as an important driver of engagement, and mounting research is turning traditional HR notions of employee evaluation on its head.” As executives begin creating their own engagement plans, it’s important that regular feedback be a key component.

Feedback and recognition go hand-in-hand. As stated before, recognizing employees for their hard work and letting them know their value to the organization goes a long way. Recognition, when done correctly, costs nothing and encourages employees to go the extra mile for their organization. However, this doesn’t mean that all good deeds should be rewarded. Executives will need to find a balance that motivates employees to go above and beyond to be recognized by the higher-ups at their organization.

Fortunately, today’s executives now have easily accessible performance management tools that allow managers and employees to recognize each other’s accomplishments in private or for the entire organization to see. Tools like this also make it easy for manager to gauge employee satisfaction levels on a weekly basis without having to meet in person or interrupt their day. Constant communication is a key driver for employee engagement, and can improve workforce morale when executed right.

Taking Breaks
One of the simplest ways executives can increase employee engagement is to take time out of their day to get to know their coworkers. Often, an organization’s C-Suite can seem detached or distant when locked in an office all day. But today’s top CEOs are starting to abandon their office completely in a way to show solidarity with the rest of their organization. For example, Mark Zuckerberg, one of the world’s most recognizable and successful CEOs, works at the same desk as everyone else in his company, rubbing shoulders with managers, interns, and executives in his open planned office.

If managers and employees took time out of their daily routine to have a conversation with each other, work related or not, they may learn more about their personal and professional aspirations and in return gain insight to help achieve those aspirations. If an employee sees first-hand that their organization is making an investment in them, they are more likely to be engaged at work and even invest more time and effort into their organization.

Employee engagement strategies should be a top priority for organizations to increase employee performance. Organizations within the Health and Human Services industry are typically strained from tight budgets and are unable to afford the additional expenses stemming from a lack of employee motivation. Fortunately, implementing strategies like the ones mentioned above can help avoid these costs.

Need any more tips? Check out the DATIS Employee Engagement Webinar recording for a detailed discussion on the importance of improving employee engagement within your workforce.

3 Reasons You Need a Unified HR and Payroll System

Unified HR and Payroll systems are changing the way organizations operate. Processes that would take countless hours of manual data entry are now completely automated, and can be accomplished just a few simple clicks of a button thanks to a single platform that handles an organization’s HR and Payroll needs. Trouble is, not too many organizations that currently use separate systems spread out among different departments realize the amount of time, money, and resources they could be saving by switching over to a more unified, holistic approach.

Unified HR and Payroll solutions allow executives to have more informative and insightful data, allowing them to make informed, intelligent business decisions. Such solutions also empower leaders to set their organization’s goals and productivity standards higher, achieving better workforce visibility. A unified HR and Payroll system is designed to help executives organize, manage, staff, report, and pay their workforce, all while streamlining communication throughout their organization.

Read below to discover the three reasons why executives need a unified HR and Payroll system.

Seamless Integration
Moving away from multiple internal systems to a single, unified system that can be used across all departments within an organization will develop and improve interdepartmental communication. When employees can communicate internally, they are more likely to form cross-functional teams, and collaborate to tackle common goals and objectives.

A unified system acts as a single system of truth, allowing for information and analytics to be shared between departments without any integration issues or interruption. This will help keep important information stored in a central database that can be easily viewed by those with a certain security access.

Streamline Communication
An article by the Huffington Post outlines that 38% of workers feel there is not enough collaboration in the office. This is likely due to insufficient tools in place to aid internal discussions and relations between employees. Using a unified system can streamline communication for departments and employees, making it effortless to share important information across the organization.

With better communication, employees are empowered to share documents, data points, and other important information electronically without a fear of it being lost in translation or slipping between the tracks. Employees are able to read and acknowledge these documents such as employee handbooks, company policies, job descriptions, and more. Organizations can also require certain documents to be downloaded and saved. HR and Payroll systems that improve the way employees communicate with one another make organizations more efficient, productive, and impactful.

With a unified HR and Payroll system, executives can access concise and relevant reporting of HR Analytics to view workforce trends and identify key issues within each department. Executives also have access to crucial financial information pertaining to their organization, down to daily-lost-revenue of vacant revenue generating positions. Being able to use robust real-time reports provide innovative and actionable insights that can save executives valuable time.

According to the DATIS 2018 State of Workforce Management survey report, 44% of organizations have three or more systems used to handle their workforce management processes. When modules within an organization are separate, and when organizations have multiple systems implemented internally, it becomes extremely difficult for one department to pull data or reports from another. Having the ability to see these key workforce issues makes it so executives can pull the data they need when they need it without having to hassle department heads or login to a system each time they require a report.

Now is the time to make the switch to a unified HR and Payroll system and get better insight into your workforce.  Being able to increase inter-departmental communication, store all employee information, and execute real-time robust reports can make your organization operate as efficiently as possible.

This DATIS Blog was written by Dana, DATIS, on March 1st, 2018 and may not be re-posted without permission.