If you don’t know what you want your recruitment process to achieve, you’re probably not going to achieve much of anything. On the other hand, setting clear recruitment goals and objectives will likely boost your retention, making your business more productive and competitive.
This simple guide provides potentially invaluable tips and insights to help build a strong recruitment process that ensures a steady stream of fantastic candidates and new hires.
1. Define Goals and Objectives
The first step is setting specific goals and objectives when recruiting new employees. Start by asking yourself, “What do I need from this position?” and “What type of person will best fit my team?” This helps articulate the soft skills and qualifications of your ideal candidate.
Next, write out your specific expectations of the candidate. This might include having a master’s degree, experience with Java or C++, familiarity with a certain online dashboard tool, or simply being someone who’ll boost productivity. Whatever it is, writing it down helps establish that goal.
Another objective might be setting a deadline for when you’d like the new hire to begin work. Making clear that the new employee needs to be on the job by May 1st, for instance, establishes a timeframe and perhaps a sense of urgency.
Just be sure to check with any internal stakeholders who may also be linked to this hire. This will keep the recruitment process on track with shared expectations across all departments.
2. Prioritize the Candidate’s Experience
During the recruitment process, be sure to consider candidates’ needs – something that’s easy to overlook in this era of modern technology.
From initial contact through onboarding, make sure you keep in touch with candidates and provide regular updates. This will help cultivate trust and create a positive impression, even for candidates your company ends up not hiring.
The increasingly common practice of “ghosting” candidates, or ignoring their calls and emails, is deeply unprofessional and often inspires frustration and anger. This, in turn, can lead to nasty negative reviews of your company on major job sites, damaging your employer brand.
Avoid this by keeping candidates informed of their status and letting them know they will not be offered a job, if that’s the case. You could also provide feedback on why they weren’t selected, which, again, will leave a positive impression.
Remember that an engaging and upbeat recruitment and hiring process will significantly strengthen your company’s brand, leading to more talent in the long run.
3. Detailed, Accurate Job Description
Crafting a detailed job description is a crucial step in attracting and hiring the best candidate. After all, if your job posting is inaccurate or lacks details, you’re likely to end up with a slew of irrelevant applicants wasting your time.
Besides the job title, required experience, and educational qualifications, be sure to list the expected responsibilities and soft skills, such as an ability to collaborate or work odd hours. You could also provide insight on your company culture to help applicants decide if it’s a good fit.
You could also mention desired characteristics and qualities, such as “French fluency preferred” or “should be willing to work some weekends”. Use language that might resonate with potential applicants by employing industry-specific words and phrases.
If you’re looking for a software engineer, for instance, terms like “object-oriented programming” and “machine learning algorithms” tell applicants that you know the lingo and are looking for qualified professionals. It also shows you understand their hard skills and value their expertise.
4. Consider Passive Candidates
Finding the perfect hire requires effort and patience. To speed up the process, many companies also consider passive candidates, or professionals who aren’t actively looking for a new job.
Job boards such as LinkedIn and Indeed are great places to start when looking for quality passive candidates. These platforms allow you to connect with professionals who may not have even heard about your company’s open positions.
After you connect, inform them of your available jobs so that they can determine if any fit their skills or vision. This can lead to conversations about your company, its culture, and how the candidate might fit.
5. Make the Interview Process Clear
Ready to start interviews? If so, it’s important to let your candidates know how many rounds of interviews to expect and when salary information will be discussed, feedback will be given, and offers will be made.
Clarifying the process puts everyone on the same page and allows for better scheduling. It also eliminates the possibility of surprises along the way and shows respect for candidates’ time.
Introducing salary late in the recruitment process can be awkward, so it’s in your best interest to make your candidates comfortable from the start. The same goes for feedback; no one likes to be left in the dark about where they stand.
Being transparent from the start of the recruitment process helps establish ground rules and expectations. Be sure to communicate clearly. Whether their interview results in success or rejection, all candidates should feel valued and respected as professionals.
6. Encourage Two-Way Interviews Instead of One-Way Recordings
Recruitment and hiring are getting increasingly tricky, thanks in part to new tech tools. Job sites like Indeed now offer employers the option of accepting recorded interviews from job applicants.
These are called one-way recordings, and the way it works is the hiring company sends the applicant a series of questions, which the applicant then answers in a video. While this might be helpful in some cases, the best way to get to know people is via face-to-face conversation.
Thus, the smart move is to stick with the traditional two-way interviews, either in-person or online, and avoid video submissions. Good interviews are a two-way street.
7. Don’t Overuse Indeed Assessments
To ensure you get the best candidates, streamline your recruitment by avoiding an over-reliance on online applicant screening tools like Indeed Assessments.
Putting your trust in such tools often results in overlooking qualified candidates. Consider the importance of cultural fit and soft skills when it comes to major hires; these are skills that online surveys tend to overlook.
8. Paid Tests and Assignments
Paying candidates to take a final job application test, such as a writing or data analysis assignment, often provides an excellent verification of skills. A candidate might check all the boxes on paper, but if they can’t deliver the sort of work the job requires, they’re probably not right for the role.
At the same time, when applicants know they’ll receive compensation, they are more likely to do their absolute best. The result is, therefore, a strong representation of their skills, making it easier to make hiring decisions. Of course, being paid also makes applicants feel valued.
9. Introduce Qualified Candidates to Hiring Managers
Your candidates probably met your company’s recruiter at the start of the process, but they should also meet the hiring manager.
Hiring managers often work in a company’s HR department, but they can also be found in just about any department, especially in larger businesses. A company might have three hiring managers in HR, one in the tech department and another one in marketing, for example.
Note that in many smaller companies department managers will also oversee hiring for their department, but this doesn’t make them hiring managers. Rather, they’re managers who also play a key role in hiring.
It’s important to introduce strong candidates to their hiring manager as soon as possible, helping build a strong and positive relationship to clear the way for onboarding.
Also, create a system for tracking candidates through the hiring process, with entries that include CV details, interview notes, preferences and more. Set up automated emails or notifications to alert recruiters when an applicant is ready for the next step.
Finally, schedule regular check-ins with your recruiting team so everyone is kept informed of progress and risks.
10. Use Recruitment Software (Application Tracking System)
Recruitment software, such as application tracking systems (ATS), can make the process much more efficient. An ATS streamlines recruitment by organizing and tracking applicants, automating communication, and speeding up screening.
Every business is different, so your ATS should be aligned with your company’s hiring goals. Consider factors such as job type, location and skill level when building out your system.
Just make sure your ATS has all the necessary features, including a candidate database and automated email templates for communication with applicants.
11. Create a Professional Image on Recruiting Materials
You might consider strengthening your email templates by adding a company logo and consistent branding. This will help create a professional image for potential employees and help present your core values from the get-go.
Moreover, having unified branding throughout all recruiting materials, including job descriptions and applications, shows serious commitment and organization. It demonstrates that you respect talent, and know how to attract it.
12. Use Social Media to Strengthen Your Employer Brand
Social media has emerged as an incredibly powerful tool for finding top talent. By leveraging platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, employers can reach a much larger pool of potential candidates while building their employer brand.
Focus on creating content that communicates your brand by offering staff testimonials and success stories from current employees. Insights into company culture and values are also valuable.
Post regularly about open positions so potential candidates can easily find them. You can also use social media to start conversations with potential candidates or just about hiring and recruitment more broadly.
Being a thought leader is always a good way to boost a brand. LinkedIn is currently the most popular tool for contacting passive candidates. But in some industries, Facebook and Instagram are more worthwhile.
Networking with job seekers on social media will increase your chances of finding suitable applicants. You can chat with potential hires and gauge their interest before reaching out with an official interview request.
13. Track Performance Using Recruitment Metrics
One of the best ways to ensure you make good hires is to track performance with recruitment metrics. Good recruitment metrics help companies quantify the success of their recruiting and look for areas of improvement.
Measure your company’s performance by analyzing recruitment metrics, such as retention rate and cost per hire. Businesses typically measure the share of new hires that stick around for a certain period of time, such as two or three years.
Studies show that about 7 of 10 employees that experience great onboarding stay in their jobs for at least three years – that’s impressive retention. Analyzing cost per hire also gives you an understanding of whether you’re recruiting the right people. A reasonable cost per hire is $4,000, depending on industry, size, and the role being filled.
14. Accept Changing Trends
Today’s employers are focusing less on cover letters and four-year degrees and more on experience and skills. Evaluating a candidate’s skill set, rather than their CV, has become the more informed approach to hiring.
Just be sure to stay up-to-date on the latest technology. Most companies use recruitment software to quickly compare candidates via keyword search.
Recruitment is not only about adding new staff; it’s about building a reputation and relationships, attracting talent, providing a smooth onboarding, and more. So be sure to take your time and plan out each step.
Setting clear expectations, using multiple screening methods, and providing feedback are some of the best ways to improve the process and ensure a steady stream of top candidates that keeps your business on the cutting edge.