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Companies and organisations has never been so busy with searching and recruiting new employees as they are today. Unavailability of talents are the biggest threats for the businesses and it determines the growth of the economy.

Having an efficient recruitment process that is predictable in both lead times and quality of candidates is essential.

That’s why I want to look at your recruitment process and give you some tips on how to improve it. 

This is what we are going to cover in this article:

  1. What is the recruitment process
  2. What is the problem with your recruitment process
  3. Why should you improve your recruitment process
  4. 5 tips to improve your recruiting

What Is The Recruitment Process

One of the first HR (Human Resource) process is recruitment. HR is the owner of this process with several participants (HR advisor, candidate, recruiting manager, HR admin).

The objective is the find and select new candidates to fill up a vacant position. Or to guarantee new hires that can be later promoted within the company. 

During the process candidates are invited to react on a job description, sending their motivational letter with C.V. (curriculum vitae) describing their educational background and work experience. If there is sufficient match the candidate is invited for a selection process consisting of interviews, tests and background checks. The best candidate is rewarded with the job.

What Is The Problem With Your Recruitment Process?

Every process needs to ad maximum value but you are not used to judge your processes in that way. In many cases “we have always worked this way” comment shows that your processes needs to be re-evaluated, measured the right way to monitor performance and to align with other processes and stakeholders of the company to create an overall contribution to your company’s goals.

The problem is that recruitment process follows a very traditional way.: try to find as many candidates as possible in the hope that someone will stick.

Here are some related problems you can encounter:

  • The process requires much time for all the participants
  • The added value of each step is not clear
  • The recruitment process is not being tracked
  • The total lead time is often too long
  • Data collected in the process is not used efficiently
  • The recruitment process is not designed to increase the quality of the output: the quality of the candidates.
  • Focus of recruitment is more on the volume instead of quality

Why Should You Improve Your Recruitment Process?

According to Harvard Business Review, hiring talent remains the number one concern of CEOs in the most recent Conference Board Annual Survey; it’s also the top concern of the entire executive suite. PwC’s 2017 CEO survey reports that chief executives view the unavailability of talent and skills as the biggest threat to their business.

Recruiting is crucial and it costs a lot of money and time, yet the results are not satisfactory. 

HR professionals claim it is very difficult to find the right candidate. Since 95% of the hiring is done to fill in a vacant position, the turnover is great costing businesses lots of resources.

While candidates are hard to find, HR departments are under staffed to reduces overhead. This is causing high workload on the remaining HR professionals and recruiting managers (who’s departement is looking to fill a vacant position) needs to do more HR related work as well besides their regular duties. 

You need to re-evaluate and re-design your current recruitment process to increase efficiency in hiring the most suitable candidate with the biggest chance of staying with your company.

You need to design a process the requires the least amount of time from your HR staff AND from the line managers as well.

Here are 3 tips to improve your recruitment process

Here are five tips to improve your current recruitment process. You can follow the sequence of the tips when executing but no need to. Even if you pick up one or two of them, will help you make a big step forward.

Tip #1: Let Your Job Description Do The Heavy Lifting

Regard your job description as a direct marketing advertisement: it needs to speak to your best candidates only. It should do the first selection of candidates instead of your HR people.

This requires a new skill normally HR or line manager do not have. In case you have a direct marketing personnel, you should involve him. Otherwise you should hire a copy writer with experience in writing to recruit.

The article should kind of “selling” your company and “selling” the job to the most suitable person who might not even be actively searching for a job.

Tip #2: Let Your Recruitment Process Do The Filtering

Set up your whole process to make sure that from the first contact moment – reading your marketing-master-piece of job description – every step of the process is designed to filter out candidates who are not suitable. This way you will spend your most valuable non-renewable resource (time) with the best candidates.

You should describe this new process already in you job description so that candidates can align with it.

For example if you ask the candidate not to call instead wait for a hyperlink to complete a questionnaire and yet they call, it is a sign they are not good at following instructions. Bad sign, don’t continue with the candidate.

That is also true for sending in information or completing a questionnaire before certain deadlines. If deadline missed, stop hiring the candidate. He will have difficulties in the job.

One simple example for a recruitment process that filters well is here:

  1. 60 sec video from the candidate including name and email
  2. If OK: link to fill in a basic questionnaire before deadline
  3. If OK: send link to upload past experience
  4. If OK: phone call by you/HR
  5. If OK: invite for meeting with HR including work/simulation
  6. If OK: invite for meeting with hiring manager and HR
  7. If OK: hire

Tip #3: Follow and measure the process

To have consistent result, you need to make sure your designed recruitment process is being followed by candidates AND by your HR personnel. The latter one may be even more challenging because they are used to the old way and now they need to change.

One easy fix is for example that you remove all phone numbers from  your ad because you do not want to be disturbed by “interested” yet unqualified candidates. Again, you should spend your talk time only with highly qualified candidates who have qualified themselves following you smart recruitment process.

As your candidates “fall-trough” the funnel and most of them will “fall-out”. Just by counting those going through one step to the next, you can calculate the conversion rate of each step. In this way you can calculate the required number of candidates that needs to be going into the top of the funnel in order to get sufficient candidates going into the final stage.

This can help you to improve the predictability of your recruitment process in terms of lead times and quality of candidates.

Would  you like to get more practical tips on your other HR processes?

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