The procedure of sourcing, screening, interviewing, and ultimately hiring the very best talent for particular roles can be demanding. The job market is fast-paced and competitive, so it pays dividends to streamline the recruitment process as much as possible, in order to maximise the likelihood to secure the best candidates before another company. But it’s not enough to be efficient – good recruitment is more about finding the ‘right’ candidate for a given position and organisation.
Ultimately, a vastly qualified and experienced candidate who’s a square peg in a round hole, in terms of the position or company ethos, is a bad hire despite their objective talents. Therefore, the following points aim not just to improve the efficiency of your recruitment process, but also the quality. The focus is mainly on corporate recruitment, although many aspects also apply to agency recruiters.
Clearly defined recruitment strategy
As in all aspects of business, having a well-defined recruitment strategy is a prerequisite for hiring the right talent for your firm. Before doing anything, identify your recruitment goals both in relation to current and projected staffing requirements. It’s also worth considering whether you plan to target active, passive, or even internal candidates, as this will greatly influence the focus of your approach. Bear in mind that a recruitment process doesn’t need to be reactive, even if you’re not targeting passive candidates per se. By adopting a talent pipelining strategy, you can proactively create a network of potential candidates. This way, you can be prepared for your future needs.
Talent pools are rapidly becoming an indispensable tool for recruiters, and are particularly useful for talent pipelining. Simply put, a talent pool is a central database of potential candidates, complete with their personal details, experience, and skill sets. The candidates can also be categorised according to custom parameters. The idea is to fill the database continually from a variety of sources – e.g. social media outreach, application, and existing employees – so that you don’t have to start from scratch with every new vacancy. By organising candidate profiles in this way, as opposed to spreadsheets, the process of screening appropriate candidates for a vacancy is much quicker and more streamlined. Some specialist software, such as Hello Talent, also allows you to collaborate on talent pools by sharing within a team, and rate and review candidates on a single page.
Detailed job and person specifications
Whether you’re recruiting for a new or existing position, having a clear idea of what specific roles you need a candidate to fulfil will make it far easier to determine if they’re suitable or not. A well-defined and detailed job specification, or description, is a win-win for both recruiter and candidate. When you’re clear about precisely what you’re looking for, it’s bound to reduce the number of applications from unsuitable candidates. In addition to the job specification, you should also devise a person specification that deals more with the type of person you’re looking for. This can include specific qualifications, experience, personal attributes, or anything else that is fair and relevant. Lastly, ensure both specifications are divided into essential and desirable criteria as this will help you to whittle down your shortlist later on.
Review your procedures regularly
There are of course many more ways to improve how you manage your recruitment process, but ultimately it’s impossible to tell if your methods are having the desired effect without regularly reviewing them. Assessing your cost-per-hire metrics is a good place to start, both in terms of funds and labour. When you have the statistics in front of you, you can see which areas are most expensive and time-consuming, and then make a judgement on whether the hire justified the expense. In this sense, the performance and suitability of a candidate once they join the company is also highly relevant. These factors should then help to inform any adjustments to your recruitment approach, such as outsourcing certain processes or switching to telephone interviews for the first stage.