Far too often, recruiting is a thankless job. Your boss gives you a hard time if you don’t get the expected number of applications by the end of each week. The hiring manager gives you a hard time if the quality of applications is compromised. The finance department gives you a hard time if you breach your recruitment marketing budgets!
According to SHRM, the average open requisitions per recruiter in 2018 was between 30 and 40. As businesses today are dealing with shrinking and uncertain budgets – and doing more with less – the numbers in 2020 are expected to be much higher. No wonder recruiters are a stressed out lot.
Let’s break that down a bit. Even when talent scarcity is not an issue, finding high-quality candidates is never easy and some jobs will always be hard-to-fill. Recruiters must also manage expectations of the hiring manager, ensure they have what they need – to do their job successfully, and communicate outcomes as well as forecasts. From dealing with subpar job descriptions (that don’t convert) to delayed approvals and decisions, they commonly struggle with a lack of internal support.
A focus on recruiter experience and effectiveness is critical to delivering better hiring outcomes – more qualified candidates and hires, faster times to fill, and lower costs per hire. This includes optimizing recruitment processes to improve sourcing effectiveness and efficiency, ensuring recruiters have enough time on their calendars to build relationships with the right candidates, and much more.
There is also a strong positive correlation between recruiter experience and candidate experience, therefore, this also contributes to an improved employer brand image and reputation.
Here are 6 things you can do, as an employer, to enhance recruiter experience and effectiveness:
1. Streamline your talent sourcing and screening process.
When your candidate sourcing and screening process is well defined and implemented, they help attract more relevant talent, with a high likelihood of converting to hires, thus reducing downstream inefficiencies and overheads. A rigorous attention to quality and detail is extremely important for each step of the process.
At the very top, for example, optimized job ads and descriptions can go a long way in attracting the right talent to your jobs. Unfortunately, a lot of job descriptions are slapped together at the last minute, often borrowing heavily from older content, industry peers, competitors, and other companies, with little regard given to how potential applicants would perceive them.
To avoid being overrun with a gazillion irrelevant job applications, recruiters are compelled to spend a lot of time going through their job ads and descriptions all over again, and ensure they are clear, unique, relevant, compelling, SEO-friendly, and devoid of unconscious biases. This eats into precious time they could be spending on building great relationships with qualified candidates.
2. Clear up recruiters’ calendars to make space for candidate engagement
After receiving job applications, recruiters typically communicate with candidates in a series of steps – to perform initial screening, schedule interviews, etc. What’s often missing in this ritual, is a sincere human connection with the candidate.
When recruiters make an effort to really know their candidates – their motivations, the reason they are looking for a change, whether they’ve applied to the right job or multiple jobs, etc., it becomes easier to convert these candidates (or even retarget them). This also helps prevent “ghosting,” while at the same time improving employer brand reputation.
All of this takes time. This is why it’s critical to free up recruiters’ calendars and adopt technology to automate certain tasks.
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3. Use technology to automate mundane, repetitive tasks
Mundane, repetitive tasks take time away from the most human part of a recruiter’s job – building great candidate relationships and moving qualified applicants further along the recruitment funnel.
Recruitment process automation technology can help recruiters automate tasks such as basic screening and prioritizing, sending outbound messages, scheduling meeting times, and more. This significantly boosts recruiter productivity and enables them to source and engage candidates at scale.
4. Leverage the right performance metrics and data to make decisions and drive action
Recruiter effectiveness and efficiency is judged on the basis of a number of performance metrics – job applications received, successful interviews conducted, number of hires delivered, time to fill, cost per hire, etc. Most of these metrics are interrelated. (Read blog: Recruitment Advertising Metrics you should track for Hiring Success)
Arming recruiters with actionable insights derived from such performance metrics can help them make better candidate sourcing decisions. It also helps in identifying issues in processes that are not working or jobs that are not converting – and course-correct. For instance, a high number of clicks followed by a low click-to-apply conversion rate often indicates an overly long or complicated job application process.
Other data points, such as (some) applicant demographics, affinities, online behavior, device preferences, etc. can inform more effective targeting strategies. For example, optimizing job applications for different device types and screen sizes helps minimize applicant drop-offs.
The decision of whether or not a candidate will be the right fit for a job, can also be hugely aided by using the right data (for example, education, professional certifications, previous work experience, and more).
While awareness of the importance of leveraging such data and insights is common, an easy way of accessing them in one place (dashboard) isn’t. Investing in a robust data visualization platform that seamlessly integrates with your primary data sources can significantly enhance recruiter effectiveness and productivity.
Furthermore, when evaluating performance metrics and data, it is important to understand that hiring is not just the recruiter’s job. It takes close collaboration across teams to achieve the desired results. An absence of that can cause recruiters to feel disengaged from their jobs or even result in false reporting.
5. Ensure a smooth working relationship between recruiters and hiring managers
Achieving expected hiring outcomes becomes difficult when hiring managers do not cooperate with recruiters, whether it involves helping create effective, accurate job descriptions, or just addressing questions or concerns in time.
When processes (as well as process owners) are correctly and clearly defined and communicated, it minimizes the scope for confusion or lack of cooperation and ensures higher quality and agility.
6. Upskill and empower recruiters and hiring managers to be better at their jobs
Training recruiters on data analysis and interpretation, recruitment planning best practices, job ad optimization, and forecasting; hiring managers on communication skills, interview ethics and etiquette, and effective coordination skills; and both on how to work together effectively can greatly enhance overall performance and efficiencies.
How would you rate your recruiter experience and effectiveness? Did we miss anything on this list? Let us know – we would love to include your insights and experience here.