Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential. – Winston Churchill
Losing candidates or their interest in a particular job vacancy or a company altogether is today a really important topic when we talk about candidate experience or just general employer branding. A good process is an imperative to have in place if we want to maximize our talent pool and solidify a good company performance by having top candidates. This is why a good recruitment process is crucial. Imagine a recruiter working on a job vacancy, they do the usual steps by opening the job ad, screening CVs and then sending them to a hiring manager. A week and a half later, the hiring manager sends the candidates they want to be called in for an interview. Without any prior briefing, the recruiter and the hiring manager conduct the interview with the best candidate from that pool. The recruiter starts with the question they had in mind but the hiring manager cuts them off by a question of their own. All the interviews continue in a similar fashion without any sort of constructive flow. The poor candidate is obviously nervous and doesn’t show his best self. All the interviews follow with the same attitude, without too much consideration for the time frame. They select someone after more than two months and it isn’t a candidate who was their first, or even a second choice. Feedback is sent to the rest of the candidates after three months.
The process above sounds like the worst possible kind of recruitment one could go through, right? That’s because it is. Such a recruitment process directly impacts the candidate experience and the branding of the company as a whole which in turn results in either losing or gaining top candidates. This is why a recruitment process should have impeccable, constructive steps to follow which will ensure that candidates continue to exhibit good interest towards companies. What are the mistakes made here?
Recruitment process improvement
Let’s dissect the above scenario and see how that process can be immensely changed and improved. The first mistake there is the fact that the recruiter didn’t set any time frame to a hiring manager for their candidate pre-selection. Long are the days gone when you could take a week and a half just to select which candidates you wanted to invite for an interview. The recruiter should always remind hiring managers about the labor market status for the particular position. The market is becoming each year more and more saturated so soon it’s probably going to be universal in terms of positions. The hiring manager has to take notice of the fact that he has to organize their time to the recruitment’s advantage if they want the best talent on the market.
Then, they started the interview phase without any prior briefing. This is a huge mistake because it entails couple of important factors. First, assuming that the recruiter isn’t too familiar with the position and the hiring manager’s department, they have to get that information if they want to reciprocate that knowledge into recruiting the right candidate. Skills, competencies, character, department’s needs etc.; all of the essential information for an expected good outcome. Second, an interview isn’t a coffee and brunch type of meeting. A good interview will have constructive form in which the recruiter, hiring manager and the candidate will each play their part when needed. That means that both the recruiter and the hiring manager should exactly know when to ask a question, what kind of question to ask and how many questions should even be asked. This is how you create a good, professional flow in which you give the candidate the sense in which you know what you’re doing and that you’re an expert in the field. The above sloppy scenario makes candidates nervous, gives off the sense of incompetence and is one of the reasons why candidates disappear in thin air.
Another mistake is not setting the time frame in every step of the process. We mentioned the time it took for the pre-selection but the same can be said for every stage. We have to make balance between the quality and the speed of the process as a whole because that’s what the market usually demands nowadays. We’re going to mention feedback here again. We know how much it’s important but it doesn’t exclude the time it takes to get one. Companies should avoid long recruitment processes in general but on what they should specifically pay attention to is providing the feedback in a timely manner. Sending a feedback after three months is almost an insult, let alone a lack of professional courtesy.
All the steps mentioned can easily be implemented in practice if you have a metric by which you can track each step of the process. But why is that important?
Recruitment process metrics
The above steps which are imperative aren’t possible without tracking them by numbers. That means that each company should have a recruitment process which is traceable by metrics. For example, since we mentioned that time frame is really important, if you track your time to hire, you will know exactly how long it took for each position to close. Same can be said for the time on stage. If you track your time on each stage, you will know on what you have to improve or change. There are many factors to track, it all depends on how big the company is and where the results are lacking which will give perspective on what to focus on. By tracking your metrics, the general process will become less flawed and simultaneously give you the sense of how exactly effective is your process in the first place.
Recruitment process heavily influences the candidate experience and employer branding. It’s one of the major players of the endgame business results companies strive for. This is why the necessary steps have to be set in stone if a company wants to compete on the highest quality level with the rest of the labor market. I didn’t want to go into to many details but these are couple of really important facts to notice. What are some other factors to pay attention to? Please let me know in the comments!