Ask virtually any company what its greatest assets are, and most are bound to respond with, 'our people!'
And yet, if this adage were true, organizations around the globe probably wouldn't struggle with recruitment and retention - even in an age where more companies place significant emphasis on workplace culture and employee wellness.
However, despite focusing on organizational culture and creating attractive working environments, companies consistently miss out on top talent or are 'ghosted' by potential candidates. As it turns out, ghosting is no longer reserved just for the world of online dating, but is leeching its way into the world of recruitment!
Stats like these are relevant, given that companies around the world are now operating in what can be thought of as a 'buyers market.' Meaning, candidates have more choice and selection when it comes to open roles and companies.
For example, Zendesk reports that, globally, 45% of employers are struggling to fill open roles, and that number is predicted to rise over the coming years steadily.
Just as recruitment experts and HR professionals have attested for years, the biggest issue facing organizations today, aside from retaining top talent, is the hiring process. Why is it that so many recruitment processes fail? More importantly, how can you improve yours?
3 key reasons why most hiring processes fail
There are many arguments for why recruitment is broken; however, most of these arguments can be narrowed down to a few simple reasons.
The first relates to recruitment itself. Many companies will assign hiring responsibilities to one person in their company, sometimes even from an unrelated department, who is ultimately responsible for sourcing the right candidates. Inevitably, bias will result, which makes it difficult for employees to remove themselves from the equation and focus simply on finding the right candidates.
The key is to ensure that you centralize the process to a hiring manager or professional recruiter!
Secondly, recruitment timelines can be detrimental to hiring the right people. We mentioned above that 54% of employers miss out on top talent due to prolonged hiring processes. Companies like yours may have missed out on the right candidate simply due to poorly structured recruitment timelines!
The takeaway? Reassure candidates by being upfront about your company's hiring process and inform them of projected recruitment timelines.
"Nearly half of job seekers will 'ghost' a potential employer during the hiring process, while 54% of employers miss out on qualified candidates due to protracted recruitment processes."
Last (but certainly not least), transparency is key. Candidates want to know that a prospective employer will go the extra mile, just as they expect their teams to. Organizations have to be honest, open and transparent in their policies and organizational culture!
How, then, can organizations improve their hiring processes?
Rethink your job posting strategy
When hiring a new team member, your first move (or that of your company's recruiter) is likely to create a job description and submit it to popular job search engines, like LinkedIn or Indeed. The next step involves patiently waiting for applications to come through in response to your job posting.
Interestingly enough, companies like Netflix ditched traditional job postings to focus on marketing open roles to candidates using a cultural approach. It's why they created a culture deck to introduce prospective employees to the company as opposed to yet another job posting filled with expected duties, tasks, and KPIs.
In this way, Netflix and organizations like it have proven that the traditional job description is obsolete. When using job postings to attract talent, we're just casting a wide net with a 'one size fits all' approach.
Instead, consider pitching your open role. When companies approach investors, for example, they usually deploy a pitch deck; why not pitch your company and its culture to potential team members? With this approach, you focus less on getting people to 'check' your company's boxes and more on attracting the right talent.
Treat your recruitment process as you would a strategic marketing plan
When companies develop a new product, they often implement a strategic marketing plan, and the same could (and should) be said for your hiring process.
Ultimately, this is how you'll attract and onboard the talent you're looking for.
By approaching your hiring process like you would a strategic marketing plan, you're ensuring that the process is consistent and cohesive with every aspect of your company's overall brand.
Taking a more marketing-minded approach allows you to reach new audiences of candidates you might not have ever targeted, which is good news when looking to attract talent from a unique range of industries with diversity in mind.
Always be as specific and transparent as possible
Whatever method you use to advertise or market a new role with your company, the key to successfully getting the point of the position across is to be as specific and transparent as possible.
Let's say, for example, that you're seeking a Social Media Manager to join your company's marketing team. While most Social Media Manager roles encompass the same nature of duties and KPIs, you would need to be specific in what you expect from the position, the results you expect to see the successful Manager achieve, and the particular skills they need to have for the role.
Additionally, you would also need to be transparent about the role and what the candidate can expect from it. Perhaps they'll work alongside other team members, but they would also need to know the salary, benefits, travel requirements, and other small yet essential details about the role.
Specificity and transparency ensure that applicants have a firm, complete understanding as to your expectations and, further, what they will get from the role.
Ask the right questions
We've all had an interview where we've been asked a pretty unique or interesting question that may or may not be relevant to the role.
Maybe a hiring manager has asked you what your 'spirit animal' is, or they throw you a curveball by asking you to explain what your 'biggest weakness' is.
While these questions may be well-intentioned, often they don't get to the heart of what a hiring manager needs to know about a candidate, nor do they truly represent the person on the other side of the desk!
"Whatever method you use to advertise or market a new role with your company, the key to successfully getting the point of the position across is to be as specific and transparent as possible."
Instead of asking questions for flare, consider asking questions pertinent to the role and the candidate. For example, ask candidates what their career trajectory is, how the role can help them achieve their goals, or why they are interested in your company.
Questions like these provide insight into the goals of each candidate and how they might contribute to your organization.
Make candidates aware of your recruitment timelines
Earlier in this article, we talked about recruitment timelines and how prolonged processes can be detrimental to companies hiring top talent. This ties back directly to our point about transparency, too!
Most candidates will be curious about your recruitment timeline but may be hesitant to ask. A best practice is to make it clear to candidates what your recruitment timeline is to avoid alienating candidates or leave them hanging.
The same can be said for hiring timelines which involve multiple interviews with different team members. By being upfront about how long it will take your side to process an application from start to finish, the more open candidates will be to moving along with their application.
Don't forget feedback!
One of the most effective ways to improve your hiring process for both current and future employees is to ask for feedback. According to LinkedIn, approximately 79% of companies ask candidates for feedback at some point during the hiring process.
To boost the candidate experience while also attracting the right talent, you first need to be aware of what works, what doesn't, and how candidates have felt about their experience. This could entail asking for feedback on elements such as:
- The ease of use of your application system or software
- The swiftness of acknowledgment of applications
- The length of interviews and how you conduct them
This type of feedback gives you insight as to where your hiring process succeeds and where it can be improved to make the candidate experience as positive as possible!