This is the third article in the nine-part series about the Eight Biggest Challenges facing Recruiters by Smart Recruit Online.

This was preceded last week with a more detailed look at the first challenge understanding the fragmented recruitment landscape.

In this 3rd chapter I want to explore the idea that improving efficiency within the recruitment process can make recruitment less arduous, can save on cost, speed up the process and improve results.

As I said in my first chapter, unnecessary and ineffective administration time and duplication of effort is what soaks up the vast majority of a recruiter’s time and accrues cost to the company.  

The way to address this issue is to first break down the recruitment cycle into stages and identify those elements that are most time consuming to you:

OK so before I start dealing with each of these topics, I am going to say from the outset that if you don’t have a recruitment management system to co-ordinate all your recruitment activity, then get one. There are many free and low cost options available and they pay for themselves several times over.

The days of managing a recruitment campaign manually are long gone and by operating in this way you are potentially having a significant negative impact on the effectiveness of the company’s talent attraction strategy.

If you would like a free guide on what to look for and some suggestions on how to select the right recruitment management system (RMS) for you, then just, inbox me here on LinkedIn and I will share a short paper that will help you make your assessments on which way to go. In this respect, many of the solutions that I propose will require that you are operating your recruitment in this way.

OK so firstly, what are the primary objectives for making improvements to the efficiency within your recruitment process? Because when I speak to companies about this topic, they sometimes look at me like I just asked them to do a load of domestic choirs?

Let me spell it out, starting with the obvious one, that is, you can spend less time on administration and avoid duplication of effort, you can speed up the time to offer/hire, avoid losing applicants during the process, improve the applicant experience, protect the corporate brand and ultimately improve the quality of applicant that you subsequently hire. I’d say that was a good enough set of reasons to give some consideration to this matter?

Requisition Approval

Most recruitment platforms will have some sort of requisition approval tool, but there are also some plugins that you can apply to your ATS or CRM.

The most efficient process is for all parties to be sent the requisitions simultaneously and establish a KPI so that the person creating the bottleneck is exposed; 48 hours from requisition to initiating the recruitment process is a sensible KPI. I shudder when I hear companies tell me that it can take 2 weeks to get a job advert posted.

Job Advert Writing

90% of all jobs posted online are not job adverts, they are job specifications and job specs receive less than 30% of the applications that a well written advert can achieve.

The easiest way to overcome this is to establish a formulae, and create a guide, so that good copy is encouraged by all people contributing to the process. Maybe the hiring manager is asked to write both a job spec and then also provide information that will help to sell the job? But whatever you do establish the process that can be replicated each time that you need to write advertising copy.

If you struggle to write your own formula, you can always use our Job Advert Generator Tool, it’s completely free.

Advertising Channel selection

The first thing that I would do when looking to advertise a job, is to consider where the candidates looking for that type of role are most likely to go? Given that 73% of all job related searches start in Google, I suggest that you replicate what the candidates will do and run a search using the job title and location, to see what Google produces in its results. If you get the top 3 individual channels covered, then you will maximise your results.

However, I would also suggest looking at the fixed fee advertising options, because many of them will cover the top 3 results in a Google search and that will most likely provide you with better value for money than if you went to each of the individual job advertising channels separately.

Job Posting

If you are regularly posting to multiple channels and that includes your own career site, social media channels and groups, as well as the specialist job advertising boards, then the ultimate tool to consider is a multi-poster like Broadbean.

Load your job up once and post to al channels in one click. Many of the RMS and fixed price solutions like our own service have integrated Broadbean, so that you get this world class product as part of the posting campaign price.

CV & Campaign Management

This is probably the most time consuming aspect of recruitment, sifting through applicants CV’s looking for evidence that the candidate has the right skills and experience before selecting the shortlist for screening.

Inside most recruitment management platforms there is the ability to score and grade applicants, as well as write notes, but some of the more advanced systems also have integrated parsing that will do the skills and experience match for you automatically, placing the applicants into some sort of order of suitability for you.

This gives you a massive head start on those roles that receive high numbers of applicants and will save up to 50% of the time that would have normally been spend on this part of the process.

Communicating to unsuccessful applicants

Recent surveys and polls show that as much as 82% of all applications never receive any response after applying for a job.

Given the level of importance that companies place on protecting and promoting their brand, then I would say that this is a massive own goal for most companies.

It seems like a laborious and thankless task with no real element of reward for doing it, but believe me most applicants are extremely grateful to receive any form of communication from you.

Building a corporate brand is all about reputation and trust and the recruitment process gives companies a great opportunity to reach out and touch a high number of relevant people every time that they have a vacancy and those people that apply are getting a taste of your brand and establishing an opinion of that brand on the back of that experience.

Recruitment Management platforms should provide the ability to mass mail out rejection emails that can be personalised. They take seconds to deploy, so there is no excuse for not doing this.

Screening Potentially Suitable Applicants

So we know that over 50% of all recruitment selection consists of a CV application and an interview only. Only 37% of companies even bother to take references. So when we consider that over 80% of all employees that leave their job within the first year of employment due to cultural and behavioural alignment issues, isn’t it crazy that so few companies bother to measure and assess applicants against this.

Screening is perceived as timely, costly and a bit of an enigma.

As a minimum, I would suggest that technical screening where appropriate and behavioural assessments should be a minimum and even a pre interview task and a background and reference check pre offer.

If the RMS you are using doesn’t provide these services I would look at getting them integrated. Check out the following tools that will help you to perform these tasks quickly and efficiently:

Prism Brain Mapping for behavioural assessment, Launchpad, for video profiling, iCube for technical assessments, Experian for background checks.

Managing interviews

A good RMS will provide you with the ability to coordinate interviews better, but the essence to making this work more efficiently is to agree on more recruitment slots than you need at the beginning and then use an online diary system, so that the applicants can select from the slots that are available.

Once taken, those slots are then removed and all parties are notified about the interview details and Outlook diaries are blocked out automatically.

Screening incoming sales calls

I have added this into the list because it appears that the volume of sales calls to HR has increased significantly over the last few years, with more recruitment agencies, job boards, social media, aggregators, agents, brokers etc. all chasing the recruitment pound. Dealing with these calls is distracting and time-consuming, however, making a provision, so that you do not miss opportunities to evaluate potential solutions is also important.

The simplest solution is to have a phone system that asks the caller to select from a number of options. One of which would be that you are a service provider looking to introduce your service to the company. This option would lead to a pre-recorded message that directs the caller to a page on the website, where they can complete a form outlining what their product and service does and what benefits it potentially offers the company.

Representatives of the company could consider each proposal on its merits to the company and decide whether to invite the company to a conversation or meeting.

This will filter out the time wasters that don’t have something worthwhile to offer and allow you to manage these calls more efficiently.

Read the previous instalment here