5 Ways to Rethink your Recruitment Process
HR Insights

When was the last time you thought about your recruitment process?

Like, really thought about it. Not when you’re in the middle of an interview, wondering if your questions are ‘structured’ enough. Not while you frantically flip between emails and spreadsheets looking for a candidate’s reference list. And certainly not when a new vacancy opens up at your company—that position needs to be filled ASAP. You don’t have time to think about hiring funnels!

It’s normal: recruitment in small businesses tends to happens in a rush, with no dedicated talent team to manage it.

So instead of compelling job descriptions posted in all the right places, and highly-qualified candidates clamouring for the job, hiring managers end up with the best they can find instead of the best person for the job, period.

The problem is that poor recruitment processes are unsustainable, time-consuming, and costing your company money. Extended job vacancies can cost up to $800,000 per year, while a single bad hire can equal a $15,000 loss for the employer.

Poor recruitment processes are time-consuming and costing your company money—up to $800,000 per year.

The answer is to stop putting it off and start rethinking your recruitment process end-to-end. That is, from the moment a candidate applies to what happens during their first weeks and months on the job.

Here are 5 ways to create a better hiring experience for your current and soon-to-be employees.

1. Consider the Applicant Experience

When recruiting, put yourself in job seekers’ shoes. Would you apply for a company that you know nothing about? A company whose job description says more about what they need than what they’re able to offer? A company that makes you jump through hoops just to apply? Probably not.

If your recruitment process doesn’t begin with the applicant in mind, you could be losing top candidates before you even had a chance.

Instead, use your careers page to create a positive, professional first impression that will make candidates want to apply.

If your recruitment process doesn’t begin with the applicant in mind, you could be losing top candidates before you had a chance.

Job descriptions should include a logo, company description, and realistic perks and expectations (67% of employers say that retention rates would be higher if candidates knew what to expect about working at the company before accepting an offer.)

Finally, make it as seamless as possible to apply. Whether they found your posting through a job board or social media link, it should be clear exactly where to send their resume and how you will be in touch to discuss next steps.

2. Define your interview funnel

The New York Times recently published an article about the utter uselessness of job interviews. In it, researchers found that unstructured interviews are nothing but an illusion. In fact, they actually harm judgement and decision making.

Structured interview processes, or funnels, are critical for reducing bias, evaluating job-related skills, and determining if the candidate is in fact qualified for the position. They can also shorten time-to-hire by cutting out redundancy and uncertainty.

Decide ahead of time how many interviews there will be and who will be involved in each. Interview funnels also include screening calls, reference checks, and skills tests.

3. Get the right people involved

Great hiring doesn’t happen in a vacuum. In small businesses especially, new hires can have a huge impact on the team’s overall performance, cohesion, and culture. Bringing in perspectives other than your own is crucial to effective team-based hiring.

Former Fortune 500 exec Lisa Quast says that she never hires someone without including others. “I realize my own opinion is only one quick snapshot. Having the final candidates interview with others in the company provides additional perspectives I might not have seen. Those additional perspectives greatly increase the odds of finding the best candidates.”

Great hiring doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Additional perspectives increase your odds of finding the best candidate.

Of course, deciding to involve other members is one thing—getting actionable feedback from them is another. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) can help by inviting specific hiring managers or employees to participate, and recording their comments and feedback in one place. No more sorting through emails or trying to document verbal feedback.

Collaborative recruitment software gets everyone on the same page and moving towards the ultimate goal: hiring the best person for the company’s success.

4. Cut your recruitment efforts in half

Half the work of hiring is sorting through applicants and deciding who’s qualified for what. On average, however, corporate job openings attract up to 250 applicants. That’s a lot of emails to sort through—nevermind the ensuing spreadsheets.

With a pre-built talent pool, you won’t have to start from scratch every single time. Rather than collecting applications via email, use an ATS to collect and organize pre-screened applicants who were either unavailable for the position they originally applied for, or who were determined to be a better fit for another role.

Building out a solid talent pool can get you and your hiring managers out of reaction mode by providing a reliable flow of candidates and effectively cutting the recruitment process in half.

5. Congratulations, they’re hired! But your work isn’t done

The recruitment process doesn’t end when the candidate has been recruited. On the contrary, without proper onboarding and training, you’re more likely to end up right back where you started: rushing to fill a position, ASAP.

That’s because new employees who attend onboarding orientation are 69% more likely to remain at the company for up to three years. At the same time, a lack of training can lead to frustrated employees, dissatisfaction, and ultimately, high turnover.

To reduce administrative burden and ensure a better onboarding experience, look for ways to streamline and automate the transition from applicant to employee. Store the applicant’s records and personal information in your HRIS along with onboarding packages, required training documents, an employee handbook, and anything else they’ll need to get off to the right start.

Sum up

End-to-end recruitment is about so much more than a job description and interview. It’s about the entire experience, from the moment a candidate applies to when they transition from applicant to employee.

End-to-end recruitment is about the entire applicant experience.

Here are a few questions to ask when you rethink your own recruitment process:

  • What do your job postings say about your company?
  • What is the applicant experience?
  • How have you structured your interview funnel?
  • Who is involved in the interview process? and how will they share their feedback?
  • Where do you store and manage your talent pool?
  • How can you make onboarding more successful?

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