Nowadays in almost any industry hiring new people and growing teams is a common challenge. The reasons vary and depend on very specific needs for knowledge workers, skilled workers and the required location. In any case at the time of the decision to recruit new employees the need of a stronger work force already exists and any day with a not filled position is a loss and brings costs. Thereby making your recruiting processes as efficient as possible and improving the recruiting success rate should be your priority number one.
Through years of experience in recruiting for different industries we have identified the following topics about how to build efficient hiring processes. This guide will set you up to grow the amount of applying candidates, to enhance the candidate experience, shorten the application process and improve your own screening, evaluation and interviewing processes.
First of all you should get really clear about what you are looking for. What is your perfect candidate? Which skill and experiences are a must for you to cover and where are you more flexible? Only if you know exactly what competences you are looking for you can tune the recruitment process accordingly.
This doesn't mean that you need to define everything very detailed or narrow it down, but if you keep your requirements broad at least ask yourself: "why not defining it a little bit more detailed?"
After you have fine tuned your requirements you can now tune your job description. We have often seen long lists of requirements within job descriptions and the requirement of many years of experiences in specific fields.
Our recommendation is: do not narrow it down too much. From a marketing perspective: It decreases the beginning of the funnel. Only take in your absolute must have requirements and rather spend more depth on the description of the role. What will be the expected tasks and responsibilities of the role? Thereby you make it transparent for whom you are looking and what the expected scope of the roll will be.
Your must have requirements narrows it down to make it a little more strict. Overall it should be your goal to inform as good as possible about the role without narrow your potential candidate pool down too much.
Before start recruiting your should heavily streamline your hiring processes. Define for yourself and the related teams how will the process look like?
Screening: How will the screening process look like? To make recruiting as efficient as possible you need to start efficient at the very beginning of the process. Make sure that as soon as a new candidate applies the recruiter or hiring manager is aware about their responsibility to make the first screening as fast as possible and to make a decision if a candidate comes into the closer consideration for an interview. Often it also make sense to have a very first quick screening call for about 15-30 minutes with the applicant for a personal impression.
To make the screening as efficient as possible the right tool setup is important. Teach your hiring manager and recruiters how to use the tools as efficient as possible. We get to this topic later again.
Interviews: How will job interview with your company look like? Will you follow a strict structured or semi structured interviews? What are common questions you ask? How many interview rounds are common and who needs to be part of these rounds with which goal?
Remember, as more people you involve within the interview rounds the harder and time consuming will be the arrangement of interviews. Also coming to a conclusion does not get necessary easier if you have more than 3 persons involved within the process. On the other hand, involving more people form the team can have it's benefits: more opinions and also the chance for the candidate to get to know the team more and thereby maybe get positively impacted.
Decisions: Efficient hiring means efficient decisions! As pointed out earlier, get clear about your requirements and what you are looking for. But also define how a decision will be made. Who's opinion really matters for a final decision. Especially if a decision is made against a candidate, quickly execute and send a transparent decline for the candidate.
This is crucial for two reasons. First of all it's only fair to let candidates know about their status so they can continue quickly with their search. Telling them transparently why it is not the right match will help them to improve in the future and you keep at least helpful in the mind of the candidate which might pay back later again. On the other hand by declining an application you get the candidate out of your mind and the open applications list which helps to focus on keep on hiring further.
We have pointed it out slightly already, communication is absolute key for efficient hiring. As company you want to always stay top of mind at your applicants. Remember, often candidates do now only apply for one job they are in need and have usually no time to loose. And even if they are not in a hurry you are still in competition with other companies that might look for the same kind of candidate.
Starting from the first touchpoint try to be as responsive as possible. After a first application get back quickly with a first feedback or some information how the process will go and what to expect. If something takes longer don't worry but keep the candidate informed about it to stay in touch.
From our experience the biggest loss of dynamic and speed within recruiting is due to unclear responsibilities between hiring manager and recruiter. Get clear about who has which responsibility and task at which phase of the recruiting process.
A very basic tip but often not optimized enough: fine tune your email messages you want to send to candidates in the different phases. There is no need to write a simple first invitation to a video interview again and again. Usually all applicant tracking systems on the market offer you email templates, they are a good start but take the time and optimize it once for your specific needs. It will make the hiring process more fun as you have less repetitive tasks.
Another recommendation is to find a way how to easily find a matching time slot for an interview with your team as well as the candidate. Share your calendars with each other and maybe commit to specific days and time ranges in which interviews should happen. Nothing is more annoying than suggesting candidates time slots and then they don't work out because of internal misalignment. Also tools like calendly can make sense to send your candidates a simple link to choose a timeslot that matches them best. It reduces the back and forth for time alignment and thereby is less hassle for the candidate and yourself.
Making candidates aware about your job opportunities and sourcing them to be proper applicants is another big challenge and at the very beginning of the process. Without getting to much in detail the following recommendation can help you to improve your candidate sourcing:
Improve your employer branding to become more attractive and informative for potential candidates. Showcase your company culture on as many different channels as possible. Create landingpages for interested candidates to tell more about the company, their values and their employees. Get more outreach by showcasing your culture in podcasts or share employee spotlight or team insights on appropriate social media challenges. Make your company to not only be a company, give the persons behind the company a voice and make it appear as personal as possible. People wand to work with people and love to learn more about your inner company culture.
Find ways how to actively use the companies teams network to find candidates can be super beneficial. Setup and attractive referral program that makes acquiring new candidates really valuable for your employees. Often we have seen referral fees of like 500-1000 USD / EUR, this is a good start and better than nothing but not really super attractive to actively go out and look for new potential hires in the network. Don't forget, any week you do not have a position filled costs, this amount quickly sums up if a position is not filled for 2-3 months. We recommend to review if paying a month of additional salary maybe is appropriate to the related positions you are hiring in. It is still much less than any headhunter fees but definitely attractive for your employees to get out in their network.
Depending on your business it can make sense to not only search via the big known job boards out there but focus more on niche communities that offer a jobs section or their own job board. It's a good chance to spread your brand in these niche markets and to appear as attractive opportunity for potential hires.
We won't go in detail but there are different sourcing tools and services that allow you to directly reach out to ether candidates that are generally open for work or even for potential candidates that are currently hired somewhere else. LinkedIn offers quite a bit of functionality to build up these cold outreaches to experts in your niche.
Often not considered enough is to build up a longterm talent pipeline and talent pool. If you build up a great company brand and present your company culture in the media, people will get interested to work for you but maybe do not find the right open position yet. Take the chance and setup some talent pipeline program to collect these candidates. A starting point could be a company culture newsletter or specific department insight newsletters. The main goal here is to keep in touch with these potential candidates, raise the employer brand awareness and share open job opportunities with these candidates regularly.
In case of building up a talent pool you can also facilitate previous candidates that mastered the first interviews, seemed to be attractive but did not make it to the final round. You can ask them if they want to subscribe to your talent pool for future opportunities. Thereby if you start looking again for specific roles, you can reach out directly to these candidates and give them another chance. If you manage to build up such talent pool over a longer period of time, you can really benefit as also the experience of early candidates will grow and maybe get to a level to be good for future hires.
A relatively new approach is to book paid ads on social media channels for your specific needs. If you manage to identify a your target group of candidates on social media you marketing team can easily book ads to get traction to your job advert.
Summarized these topics might sound obvious for you but usually not for everyone in your team. Take some time and think through your recruiting processes from different perspectives. Keep your candidates experience always at priority number one and communicate on eye level with anyone who wants to work with you.
TalentLane Applicant Tracking System is an optimized service for efficient hiring. It helps you to easily bring structure into your process, assign responsibilities and informs related team members about the next tasks in hiring.