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4 Key Areas to Improve Your Recruitment Process

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Ryan Brinks

August 5, 2021

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For many organizations, improving their recruitment process is quite daunting, partly due to the ambiguity within such an objective. Human Resources (HR) managers could take that to mean the quality of new hires is low. Other HR leaders may think they take unnecessary steps and delay in finally singling out the right candidate.

As many as 73% of candidates happen to be passive job seekers who aren’t paying that much attention to requirements and putting extra effort into their applications. In fact, 60% of them quit during the application process. If you’re pursuing better recruitment solutions, here are some key areas that impact the results of the process and ways to improve recruiting as a whole.

1. Clear Communication

When starting the hiring process, ask yourself, “what are we looking for?” Ensure you develop a picture of your ideal candidate that is as detailed as possible. It also helps to know what you’re willing to compromise on, be it experience, location, post-graduate qualifications, etc.

Once you have established all these details, the next step is to present them in an easy-to-understand manner. One of the major issues faced in recruitment is putting out communication about a job offer and receiving applications from people who barely fit the description. 

This is partly because recruiters sometimes fail to present a job offer in a manner that conveys what’s most important to the recruiter. Ask yourself, “are people going to understand this the way I intended?” How can you make sure you and the applicants are on the same page?

Try supplementing office and business language like “customer onboarding and quality assurance” with simpler sentences that describe a day in the life of someone in that position. 

This helps if the job description involves numerous activities. For instance, you can supplement “in charge of digital marketing” with “selecting visual content for our social media pages and posting daily.”

This way, you can avoid scenarios where recruits feel like they were tricked into more work for less money. It also helps you avoid hiring people who have fewer skills than you hoped for within a certain discipline.

Brand Representation

Let people know what your organization does, what it’s trying to achieve beyond its business goals, and how the organization usually works towards that objective. For example, “we are a SaaS company enabling ordinary/less tech-savvy people to achieve more productivity through collaborative software platforms, powered by the latest technologies.”

Such a statement preceding the job description and requirements can let an applicant know that you are customer-centric and forward-thinking, and also highlights the particular value your products offer.

Branding manual on a desk

Job Ad Structure

Ensure that the most important qualities are listed higher or come first. For instance, if you need a news anchor, you may prefer one who has lived within the locale for a while and speaks the language fluently, particularly the accent. 

But you may also want one with a degree in journalism, mass communication, or another closely related discipline. In such a case, it may not be wise to focus on other attributes like ultra-specific training and short courses in select topics. These can be listed among optional requirements.

2. Automation

The process of filling five to twenty positions at a small organization may not be so hectic. However, as the number of positions to be filled increases, the exercise can get trickier. You could also have vacancies at differing levels of management, at various branches of the organization scattered across different regions, along with other nuances in the recruitment process.

These inevitably increase the amount of information to categorize, the number of people to reach out to, etc. This is where automation comes to the rescue. It can help you get some of the more monotonous administrative tasks off your plate. Consequently, you’ll be able to focus more on efforts like drafting the right questions for interviews and refining job ads.

Automation can be applied in various areas within the recruitment process, such as:

Job Advertising

Currently, technology is enhancing job advertising beyond the communication aspect of it and the need for a space to display job postings. Tools like Appcast, Recrutics, Joveo, Adstream, and Wonderkind are taking more advertising-related tasks out of the recruiters hands.

These tools offer what we call programmatic job advertising, which is beneficial on two major fronts. First, they use robust algorithms to find the most affordable platforms in regard to price versus the number of people reached.

Second, they go a step further by looking for the platforms that are more in line with the type of job offers you’re putting out. The goal is to get your ad seen by people who are more likely to belong to the category you want, even right down to industry specialties.

The tool then automatically places your ad on the most ideal platform, saving you the time that would be spent checking various sites. Some of these tools, like Appcast, even allow you to pay per applicant instead of per click. With this approach, you don’t end up wasting money on just getting the ad seen; the service provider tries to position it in such a way that people apply so they can get paid.

Others like Joveo also give you the ability to analyze more performance metrics related to your job ads and gain valuable insights on how each factor influences the applicant rates and totals. Eventually, you’re able to learn from this data and change your advertising strategy accordingly.

Applicant Tracking

This is a much broader aspect of recruiting that involves gathering applications, storing and organizing them in the right groups, moving eligible applicants to the next stage, sending out progress notifications, and many other activities.

Many organizations’ recruitment processes are hampered by the lack of a smooth transition between different stages. This is partly caused by the huge workload that comes from receiving a multitude of online applications, many of which don’t meet the standard.

The result is a delay from the moment a worthy candidate submits their application to the point where they are shortlisted for the next exercise, be it an interview, submission of a document, or another instruction. 

Modern application tracking systems provide better formats for absorption of applicants’ data. By doing so, vital keywords aren’t missed, and there are fewer scenarios of having answers to different fields jumbled up. Therefore, you have coherent data as a starting point.

You also end up doing less work reviewing applications since the system filters out sub-standard ones. And you can automate some of the subsequent actions to be taken for the applicants who qualify, such as sending out email notifications.

Some of the best applicant tracking systems (ATS) include Taleo, RecruiterBox, Jobvite, Workday, Greenhouse, Lever, Workable, and Recruiter.

Mobile and desktop applicant tracking software

Interview Scheduling

It’s not always feasible to go through the list of every candidate who meets the criteria to move on to the interview stage. On top of that, it can be tedious to try and reach out to each and every one of them manually.

Luckily, interview scheduling software has steadily advanced, offering the ability to schedule video interviews too. You can learn more about the most efficient video interview platforms in this detailed video interview scheduling guide.

Automation can also be applied in a number of other parts of the recruitment process, like social recruiting, pre-employment assessment, candidate nurturing, etc.

3. Intelligent Candidate Screening

Candidate screening is an exercise that often requires hiring managers to cross-check a number of candidate attributes. In cases where you have a long list of boxes that a candidate has to check, and numerous candidates who check different boxes, the work gets more fatiguing.

With resume screening tools like Freshteam and Ideal, you can utilize automation to match candidate attributes to the predefined criteria to determine who checks the most boxes. There are also tools that come with built-in virtual recruitment assistants in the form of chatbots that can interact with candidates. These come in handy for situations that require a little more discretion, as they use machine learning.

A recruiter screening a candidate virtually


4. Interview Streamlining

Interviewing is a key part of recruitment since it offers a chance for both the recruiter and applicant to make a strong impression beyond what is on paper. And with the advent of video interview software, recruiters can get a better sense of an applicant’s interpersonal skills.

The most efficient video interview platforms expand the realm of what you can achieve through video interviews. For example, it is difficult to memorize everything said during a face-to-face interview. So if you intend to conduct mini tests on how an applicant would respond in a particular situation within these interviews, you can use the record feature. 

This will help you revisit the interviews at your own pace and reabsorb any minor details you could have missed. You can also structure the interviews, limit answer time, and develop templates to follow. Video interview software can also be used to tag videos and rate them for more organized storage and easier retrieval.

You can also integrate the software with other productivity and collaboration tools, schedule interviews in bulk, send follow-up emails, document highlights, anonymize candidate information, and receive notifications about video messaging views. This wide array of functions can help you strategically incorporate the video interview exercise into the recruiting process and have it flow smoothly.

All in all, it could help if you set up the recruitment process in such a way that it evolves with industry-specific trends and technology advancements. Hiring managers should endeavor to keep tabs on changes in the way job seekers look for jobs and what employer qualities they prioritize.

They should stay on top of the latest and most viable tools and practices in recruiting. With automation helping recruiters reduce the cost per applicant by over 30% in some aspects of recruiting, it is definitely worth adopting. The same goes for the cost-effective video interviewing route, which is already used by up to 63% of human resource managers, according to an OfficeTeam survey.

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