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Less is more: 8 ways to make your recruitment process more efficient

August 16, 2023
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In their Future of Work 2023 report, Korn Ferry highlighted some pretty alarming figures. With the rise in inflation, unprecedented crises around the globe, and an overall shift in how the job market operates, it’s striking — but not surprising — that 44% of people today think of their career in terms of months rather than years, while 82% say they’d leave an employer for a better paid job.

In a time where businesses are trying desperately hard to do more for less, employers are caught between a rock and a hard place — on the one hand, we want to give our employees everything they want and need, but on the other, we are facing a highly volatile, competitive, and unpredictable market. With turnover on the rise, it’s only natural that businesses are investing in streamlining their recruitment processes. In fact, 78% of hiring managers agreed that finding and retaining top talent is going to be their biggest challenge in the coming years.

Reconsidering the way we hire is essential in this new reality. Here are our 8 top tips to help you do this more efficiently.

1. Rethink job titles and descriptions

One of the hardest parts of recruitment is sourcing candidates. However, it seems like job descriptions have transformed into an exercise in coolness rather than a sincere attempt to find the best talent.

So many companies today are posting ads for ‘rockstars’, ‘gurus’, or ‘ninjas’ that it’s becoming harder to tell what these companies are actually looking for! We suggest you just cut to the chase. Your potential hires are busy and don’t have time to read between the lines, however creative they are. This is costing you in both volume and quality of candidates. Make sure that the job title and description are clear and concise — can a hire tell what they are actually meant to be doing in this role?

It’s also a vital exercise because it allows you to develop an idea of the ideal candidate. Separate your ‘must-have’ from the ‘nice-to-have’, and consider their length. We suggest to keep them to a maximum of six points each, and to steer clear of grandiose or absolute terms — women and neurodivergent people in particular are proven to be less likely to apply to jobs where they don’t meet 100% of the criteria, so you may be missing out on real gems.

2. Turn to your employees

Armed with a ‘persona’ that you’re looking for and strengthened by a clear and precise job description, getting candidates immediately becomes more straightforward. However, many businesses fail to consider the power of their current employees in this process. If you’re recruiting for a more senior role, advertising it internally could save you time and energy. An existing employee already knows how your company works, fits into your culture, and understands the role you’re recruiting for best. What’s more, it’s a great way to retain talent in the long term.

Another great option is to introduce a referral programme, rewarding your employees for making introductions that stick. You already know that your staff are high quality performers, so it only makes sense they’ll be friends with other quality candidates they could bring in — why not take advantage of that?

Bonus tip: Think back — are there any candidates who reached late stages and you had to decline, but who were great prospects? Contacting them before you advertise is a fantastic way to make the most of your recruitment process. 

3. Simplify your process

While it is important that you get a sense of a candidate before hiring, no one wants to go through the nine circles of hell to get a job. Is that third interview really necessary?

The trick is to find a balance between getting to know a candidate — their personality, behaviour, skill, and ability — and making the process swift. Once you know what you’re looking for, it shouldn’t take a screening call, work task, interviews with every member of the department, and a cognitive test to figure out if a candidate ticks these boxes or not. In reality, 78% of jobseekers would drop out or consider dropping out of long or complex recruitment processes. That’s why we always recommend a short 5-10 minute screening call, psychometric assessment, and one structured interview as your basis. For more technical roles, adding a work task could also be beneficial, but only if you feel it is necessary.

It doesn’t start there, though. Examine what your candidates are asked to do to even be considered for the job. Do they need to manually re-enter their CV on your website? Are you requesting they fill out a whole form full of questions before they can send their application your way? Try to minimise the entry requirements to a CV, cover letter, and, if necessary, a couple of relevant qualifying questions. At the end of the day, if candidates drop out or give up in the middle of applying, you’re only making the process longer for yourself.

4. Involve fewer people

Especially in small businesses, there is a tendency to believe that everyone has to get along with everyone. While this is an ideal situation, it doesn’t mean that everyone actually has to be involved in the process. And, in larger companies, there is sometimes so much bureaucracy that means many more people are participating in the hiring procedure than is helpful.

Consider who really must be involved. It could be a direct manager, the head of the department, and an HR or hiring manager. In some cases, you may also want to introduce a candidate to some members of the team at a later stage in the process. Regardless, make sure that the decision-making process falls on a minimal number of people, and that their involvement isn’t making the process longer.

5. Communicate regularly with candidates

Sometimes recruitment processes take a few weeks. Of course, you should aim to cut that time, but it’s not always possible — especially if you have a high volume of applicants. Realistically, most of your candidates are not only applying to work for you — A-list prospects are going to be interviewing for a few jobs at a time, and you really don’t want to miss out on the ideal candidate because you went off the grid for a week.

Touch base with your applicants regularly, even if you don’t have updates for them. Trust us — even a quick email telling them there’s no news yet would make a difference. It’s also essential that you keep applicants informed about the process itself: what are the stages they’re going to go through, how long they can expect between them, when they should be given an answer, and when their start date would be. This transparency will not only keep them enthused, but also show that you respect their time and make them more likely to eventually accept an offer from you over another company, saving you from restarting your search.

6. Rely on objective data

Gleaning the necessary information about a prospect might take longer than we’d like. That’s why injecting your process with objectivity can shorten your recruitment time — it allows you to gain the knowledge that you need quickly and in a reliable way. Personality and cognitive assessments are a great way to do this without spending much time or money. It’s no wonder that 80% of Fortune 500 companies swear by them!

Thrive provides assessments that are benchmarked against tens of thousands of people working the same roles you are recruiting for. This means the traits and skills that are being tested are unique to the requirements of a particular job. You can also add traits that are important to you specifically, making it a great tool to support your process with relevant data. The platform also allows you to view other candidates with high scores that could be a great match, increasing your talent pool.

7. Streamline your interviews 

We’ve already mentioned that it’s best practice to avoid multiple interviews. Instead, you should have one interview that collects the right data. In order to do this, you need to consider what you’re asking, what information you’re learning from the answers, and how it compares to other candidates. This is why we always recommend using standardised and structured interviews.

Think seriously about the questions in relation to the role. If you’re hiring a salesperson, what are you looking for in a candidate? If the answer is persuasiveness, for instance, ask them if they’ve ever managed to sell a product to someone who was resistant at first, and how they went about it. This will help you understand how they relate to your desired traits, as well as compare them more easily to other candidates, as you’re asking the same questions.

The Thrive platform also supplies you with questions that are specific to your candidate’s profile, based on their assessment. Asking these allows you to review how your prospect handles their weaknesses.

8. Think of recruitment continuously

Let’s face it: even the roles you currently have filled are going to need rehiring in the future. And by future, we mean that it’s unlikely they’ll stay filled for the next two years.

Recruitment can’t be a process that you start only once you have a vacancy — it has to be a continuous project that involves making sure your brand is enticing to candidates, that you are up-to-date with the market standards and expectations, and that you get to know promising talent for when you need to tap into it, whether it’s through social media or industry events. Starting from scratch every time is just unsustainable in this day and age.

Ready to find the best candidates, quickly? Book a demo with Thrive today.

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