A guide to efficient recruitment

In an increasingly competitive recruitment landscape, you need a dedicated strategy to help you identify the talent that’s right for the role, suited to your culture, and likely to stick around. Get this right and you can achieve anything. Get it wrong and you’ll face workforce disharmony and rising costs. This guide is our take on what a best practice approach to recruitment looks like, and what recruitment tools you can use to improve your prospects. Taking a look at efficient and effective recruitment strategies and processes involved with hiring, we’ll explore how to develop and measure your recruitment processes to increase positive outcomes.

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1. The importance of efficient recruitment

Effective recruitment means more than hiring the right person for the job. A fast and efficient recruitment process can reduce costs, enhance a company’s reputation both from a market and candidate perspective and ensure that the very best talent is identified, engaged and brought into the business. As a business owner, you want a team that you can count on to get the job done while you focus on other things. Management of any large corporation will tell you that finding good, loyal talent is hard. Take the time to develop a recruiting process that is constantly looking for people with the skills you need and the motivation to work for you. A good process not only finds outstanding employees but saves you time and money on replacing and training new people.

Find quality candidates

Having good quality employees is the number one goal for any employer. Establishing a job description and advertising in places where you know you will be able to attract people with the right set of skills is the first step. It's important to identify which tasks you need the recruit to complete and whether or not you are capable of training them. For example, a plumber hiring a bookkeeper isn't going to want to train a bookkeeper on how to do the job. Research how competitors pay for the same job and the types of benefits that they offer. Many good employees will actually choose to work for an employer paying a little less if there are benefits such as health or retirement plans. Get a feel for the market, establish a budget and seek a candidate that meets the skill requirements for the job and pay them accordingly.

Improve employee retention

High employee turnover can be a real killer for your company’s long-term prospects, but if your recruitment and selection processes are effective, you will be far more likely to consistently pick people who perform well and remain loyal employees. It's all about using defined methods and assessments (rather than gut feelings) to identify applicants who will commit to the role and the company’s mission, and then successfully bringing them into the team. If you are regularly losing people within the first 90 days of employment, it’s a clear sign your recruitment practices aren't up to scratch.

Increase productivity

An efficient, seamless recruitment experience increases the likelihood that new employees will be more engaged and motivated from the get-go, which improves their long-term chance of succeeding in the job and working to build the business. A large 2012 study by the Boston Consulting Group into the relationship between people management and financial performance found that “companies adept at recruiting enjoyed 3.5 times the revenue growth and 2.0 times the profit margin of their less-capable peers”. Quite apart from the effect of their own poor performance, hiring the wrong person can create stress and conflict in the team, and suck up management time that could be better spent on developing your people and the business.

Reduce your cost per hire

With new jobs being created every day and hiring demands steadily rising, today’s recruiters need tools that help them successfully compete for talent. But if you want to reduce your cost-per-hire, or if you have a limited recruiting budget, you need tools that are both effective and affordable.

Reduce your time to hire

Organizations are losing out on productivity and revenue while open positions remain unfilled. Taking a long time to hire can leave candidates wondering what’s taking you so long to make a decision—and might move on to other opportunities as a result. This can further impact your time to hire. If you want to increase your chances of winning top-tier talent while decreasing your time to hire, you need an efficient recruitment process and tools. 

Larger talent pools

Finding the largest number of suitable candidates can lead to increased hiring driving growth and productivity within a business and may provide a quicker turnaround in filling vacancies.

Reduce legal risk

The recruitment process forms the base for the employment relationship, so having rigorous, transparent procedures that you follow for every new hire reduces the chances of finding yourself in legal wrangles. That means being sure you hire without discrimination or bias, adhering to privacy and human rights regulations, ensuring your new employee is entitled to work in Australia, and that they get a watertight employment contract to sign before they start. If you and your new team member start off with a clear understanding of the position, each other’s expectations, and rights and responsibilities, you will be less likely to need to take remedial steps or end up offside, which could lead to disciplinary action or even dismissal (increasing the risk of unfair dismissal claims).

Contribute to team diversity

Aside from the legal considerations, robust recruitment practices that are free from potential biases and discrimination helps you create a stronger, more diverse team. This is more than “feel good” rhetoric or box-ticking. A diverse workforce that brings a wide range of perspectives and approaches is proven to be better for business performance and resilience, with improved employee engagement and retention. It could be a balanced gender mix on your board, a variety of ethnicities in your customer service team (so customers feel connected to the people who are helping them), or ensuring that you’re not just hiring carbon-copy employees who won’t bring fresh ideas and innovation to your team.

Effective recruitment process

What is a recruitment process?

The recruiting process involves finding a suitable candidate for an open role within a business. It involves ‌attracting, interviewing, selecting, hiring and onboarding new employees to fulfill a specific role. The stages of a recruitment process can involve one person or a team of people within an organization that handles the end-to-end process of effectively sourcing new employees. There are several stages throughout the process and it may carry them out in-house or through an external agency or third party organization that specializes in recruitment. The process involves identifying business needs for staffing, attracting and sourcing appropriate talent, interviewing, vetting candidates, hiring and onboarding.

Depending on business requirements, the process may be relatively quick or may take several weeks or months. The process can involve multiple departments working together to develop a clear job description before advertising the role and may include multiple rounds of interviews with various people within the company to find the most suitable candidate - using an HR team or recruitment consultants, especially within a specific field such as IT or creative industries. There is no single recruiting process as they will vary business to business depending on company structure and size, industry, and the role that is being filled. Junior roles often involve a less rigorous operation than that for senior and leadership positions, such as C-suite executives.

2. Issues that lead to an inefficient hiring process

Like most issues in business, inefficient hiring processes often boil down to poor planning, communication, and the improper use of tools. Here are the five most common causes of inefficient hiring processes.

Lack of planning

Effective recruitment is all about planning. Planning for what your current and future needs are, planning for how you’re going to fill those needs, and planning the execution of a process to find the ideal candidate. At every stage of the hiring process, it’s important to take the time to plan out how you’re going to execute on a goal. Recruiters who fail to plan properly set themselves up for failure down the road. Without planning, an efficient hiring process is not possible.

Lack of clarity

Likewise, it’s critical that recruiters clearly explain what they expect from all candidates to be successful on the job. That means creating unique job requirements and descriptions for every vacant position, and clearly stating what is expected in the recruitment ad. This helps candidates pre-screen themselves, saving recruiters time and energy otherwise spent screening unqualified candidates.

Roadblocks, delays, and lost productivity

Unsurprisingly, one way to ensure that you don’t have an efficient hiring process is to failing to alleviate any roadblock and delays that lead to lost productivity. This could be as simple as automating certain tasks that hold up the hiring process or removing unneeded red tape that leads to productivity backlogs.

Lack of communication

This issue relates specifically to internal communication. If your recruitment team is not regularly meeting with one another, hiring managers, and strategic leaders in the company, then you’re likely missing opportunities to make your hiring process more efficient. Regular dialogue with your co-workers will enable you to continuously identify and remove roadblocks, while also ensuring that you are planning properly and providing clear and accurate requirements to candidates.

Using the wrong technology

Last but not least, using the wrong tool or technology for the job can also cause unnecessary delays and complexity in your hiring process. It’s important to ensure that whatever technology you use is well-suited to the size of your company and your hiring volume. Overly complicated technologies can cause delays due to needless complexity, while outdated or insufficient technologies might not be able to keep up with your team. Whether you’re using an ATS, CRM, video interviewing software, or any other recruitment tool, it’s important to ensure that it’s helping, not hindering, your hiring process.

Now that we’ve looked at what might be holding you back from an efficient hiring process, let’s look at some ways to make it a reality.

"By automating the screening phase, we managed to scale quickly while keeping our focus on diversity and having an inclusive candidate experience"

Johanna Nordin, HR Business Partner at Pophouse Entertainment

3. How to create an efficient hiring process

Automate tasks

To ensure that your recruiters are focussing most of their energy on the jobs that make the biggest impact (like filling your talent pipeline), it’s important to remove time-consuming tasks from their plate. Luckily, recruitment technology has improved dramatically in recent years, allowing companies to automate menial tasks like screening resumes, scheduling interviews, answering simple questions, or sending out rejection emails. Task automation is a self-fulfilling prophecy of efficiency. The more you can free your recruiters from time-consuming tasks, the more they can focus on improving the overall speed and quality of your hiring process. Use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to maximize your automation needs. You’ll be able to automate where you’re posting job listings, track the number of applicants, and filter resumes to find the most qualified applicants. With all the time saved, you’ll be able to spend more time nurturing relationships with potential hires.

Hire collaboratively

As mentioned earlier, one of the major contributing factors to an inefficient hiring process is poor communication. If recruiters or hiring managers are making decisions about candidates in a bubble, then it’s highly likely that they will make the wrong one. Instead, it’s important to get as much input as possible from other stakeholders to help ensure the best possible decision.

Collaborative hiring is one way to ensure that effective communication is maintained throughout the hiring process. Many collaborative hiring softwares, like Recruitee, allow specific team members to review interview answers and candidate profiles and record their opinions. This gives recruiters a hiring manager a more objective, 360-degree view of not only which candidate is most qualified, but who the team would prefer to work with. Combined with talent pipelines, collaborative hiring can even lead to a situation where the perfect hire is flagged and contacted before any recruitment ad is created. In these cases, the company will save money, time, and effort that would otherwise have been spent gathering net new candidates.

Speed up your screening process

Creating a more efficient hiring process starts with speeding up the most time-consuming stages while maintaining quality. Unsurprisingly, the most time-consuming recruitment phase is usually screening candidates. That’s because it involves scanning resumes, shortlisting, scheduling and conducting interviews, shortlisting again, and then making a final decision and job offer. That’s more touch points than any other stage of the hiring process.

Finding ways to make screening more streamlined will lead to a much more efficient hiring process overall. Some common techniques for speeding up the screening process include:

  • Using video interviews instead of in-person interviews early in the recruitment process.
  • Using structured interviews to ensure consistent and efficient screening criteria.
  • Using pre-screen tests and questionnaires to weed out unqualified applicants immediately.
  • Automating tasks like scheduling and resume keyword searches.
  • Together, these tactics can drastically reduce the amount of time spent screening candidates, while also ensuring that it’s always done effectively.

Enhance the candidate's experience

Improving the overall candidate experience will help to ensure that you always have an efficient hiring process. That’s because some of the most common ways to improve candidate experience also contribute to faster and more efficient hiring. Shortening the application process, for example, makes the overall experience much less tedious for the candidate. It also reduces the number of touchpoints and handoffs that recruiters have to stickhandle for every new hire. Maintaining a vibrant careers page and employer brand will help candidates determine whether or not they will be a good cultural fit at your company. This helps them to pre-screen themselves for the position, reducing the number of applicants who won’t make a good fit. This also creates a better candidate experience by helping candidates feel more informed and excited about the position that they’re applying for. Finally, by always maintaining clear communication with candidates, you improve their overall experience, while also ensuring that you avoid roadblocks and delays caused by poor communication. As you can see, with a combination of talent pipelines, the proper recruitment software, efficient and collaborative hiring, and an exceptional candidate experience, you can achieve the efficient hiring process that your team has always dreamed about.

Collect the right data

To be able to create measurable data from your process, you need to focus on the right areas for data collection and decide on the right competence for the specific role you’re recruiting for. A common misconception is that competence consists only of theoretical or practical knowledge and this is the most common area of basing your selection decision on if only looking at a resume for example. The optimal combination for defining competence is not only to look for specific knowledge and experience but also personality traits, aptitude and motivation. A candidate's competencies should always be related to a specific task or situation and the different areas might therefore vary in importance depending on what role you’re recruiting for, meaning, that one candidate might be very competent for one role, but not for another.

Effective recruitment process
 
 

4. How AI helps in effective recruitment 

AI for recruiting technology allows recruiters to better leverage their ATS, providing the ability to hire more efficiently, shortlist more accurately, and screen resumes with more fairness. AI for recruiting solutions is an important piece of the HR technology ecosystem. Directly integrated with the ATS, AI-powered tools add a layer of talent and intelligence to the recruiting process, designed to automatically screen thousands of resumes and reduce time-consuming manual tasks. Screening resumes efficiently and fairly still remains the biggest challenge in talent acquisition: 52% of talent acquisition leaders say the hardest part of recruitment is identifying the right candidates from a large applicant pool.

According to a survey of talent acquisition leaders, 56% say their hiring volume will increase this year, but 66% of recruiting teams will either stay the same size or contract. 52% of Talent Acquisition leaders say the hardest part of recruitment is screening candidates from a large applicant pool

 

The benefits of using AI for recruiters

1. Saving recruiters’ time by automating high-volume tasks

Talent acquisition leaders report that their hiring volume will increase next year but their recruiting teams will remain the same size or even contract. This means recruiters will be expected to become more efficient by “doing more with less.”

Manually screening resumes is still the most time-consuming part of recruiting, especially when 75% to 88% of the resumes received for a role are unqualified. Screening resumes and shortlisting candidates to interview is estimated to take 23 hours of a recruiter’s time for a single hire. AI for recruiting represents an opportunity for recruiters to reduce the time spent on repetitive, time-consuming tasks, such as automating the screening of resumes, automatically triggering assessments, or scheduling interviews with candidates. The best AI-powered technology will be designed to not only automate a part of your workflow but to integrate seamlessly with your current recruiting stack so it doesn’t disrupt your workflow. As a bonus, speeding up these parts of recruiting through automation reduces time-to-hire, which means you’ll be less likely to lose the best talent to faster moving competitors.

2. Improving quality of hire through standardized job matching

Quality of hire used to be a bit of a recruiting KPI black box due to an inability to close the data loop (i.e., measuring what happens to the candidates after they get hired). As HR data has become easier to collect, access, and analyze over the years, quality of hire has become recruiting’s top KPI. The promise of AI for improving quality of hire lies in its ability to use data to standardize the matching between candidates’ experience, knowledge, and skills and the requirements of the job. This improvement in job matching is predicted to lead to happier, more productive employees who are less likely to turnover.

"We developed Tengai's interview to be rewarding, efficient and convenient for candidates"

Sinisa Strbac, CPO at Tengai

Innovations in AI for recruiting

AI for recruiting has several potential applications for automating high-volume, repetitive tasks such as resume screening and pre-qualifying candidates.

1. Intelligent screening software

Intelligent screening software automates resume screening by using AI (i.e., machine learning) on your existing resume database. The software learns which candidates moved on to become successful and unsuccessful employees based on their performance, tenure, and turnover rates. Specifically, it learns what existing employees’ experience, skills, and other qualities are and applies this knowledge to new applicants in order to automatically rank, grade, and shortlist the strongest candidates. The software can also enrich candidates’ resumes by using public data sources about their prior employers as well as their public social media profiles.

Intelligent screening software that automates resume screening represents a massive opportunity for recruiters because it integrates with your existing ATS, which means it doesn’t disrupt your workflow, the candidate workflow, and requires minimal IT support.

2. Recruiter chatbots

Recruiter chatbots are currently being tested to provide real-time interaction to candidates by asking questions based on the job requirements and providing feedback, updates, and next-step suggestions. AI-powered chatbots have a lot of potential to improve the candidate experience. 58% of job seekers say they have a negative impression of a company if didn’t hear back from the company after submitting an application, whereas 67% of job seekers have a positive impression of a company if they receive consistent updates throughout the application process.

3. Digitized interviews

Online interview software has been available for a while, but today’s technology claims to use AI to assess candidates’ word choices, speech patterns, and facial expressions to assess his or her fit for the role and possibly even the organization and its culture.

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5. How Tengai helps you have an efficient recruitment process

AI in recruiting: A winning combination

Clearly, artificial intelligence can improve recruiting efficiency and effectiveness. Recruiting and talent acquisition functions have evolved past personal networks and job boards, but AI is not the sole solution to increased proficiency. Used alone, it may provide data that does not prove useful, it will ignore the human idiosyncrasies of culture fit and it may overlook qualified candidates with underachieving resumes. Engaging a talent acquisition strategy that leverages today’s powerful technology with experienced human talent acquisition professionals will prove to be the most successful way to win the battle for top talent in the future.

Candidate filtering

There are very few things more time-consuming to a manager looking to expand his or her team, than wading through endless numbers of CVs and applications to find the gems amongst them. Even with highly targeted placement of adverts on specialist job portals and clear essential role requirements and pre-screening questions – the CVs just keep on coming. A recruitment partner is the first step in this filtration process, eliminating the most time consuming and frustrating element, and thoroughly screening all of the potential candidates to ensure that only the best candidates with the right skill set are presented to you.

Reach higher quality candidates

On the opposite hand, many of the best hires’ companies may come from candidates who are not active in the market place – their current employers know their value and are keen to retain it within the business! It may be that candidates are passive in terms of new opportunities, or that they have been too busy in their current role to actively market themselves. What this means for the recruitment process is that it is often slowed down by the difficulties associated with reaching and attracting the top talent into the business. Recruitment consultants who truly know their industry and their network will always be on top of who is passive within the marketplace and what would make them take the leap.

Increase quality with Tengai

Find out more about how we can help you streamline and raise the effectiveness of your recruitment processes.