As a recruiter, you don’t just want to find the right candidate for your client’s open position, you want to find that candidate NOW. Actually, you want to find them yesterday . . . or quite possibly the day before that. Knowing how to improve the recruitment process is not easy. However, it is necessary for those recruiters who want to find the right candidates and make more placements.
Recruiting is a game of inches. It’s often the recruiter who gets their A-level candidate in front of the hiring manager first that wins the placement and the placement fee. That means recruiting is also measured in terms of speed: the faster, the better.
How to improve the recruitment and selection process
There’s a saying in the world of athletics, especially when it comes to sports like football. That saying is “Speed means everything.” That saying also pertains to the world of business, especially in terms of employment and hiring. Here’s another saying: “Time kills all deals.” You’ve probably heard that one before.
So for all intents and purposes, this statement is also true:
how to speed up the recruitment process = how to improve the recruitment process
Having the perfect candidate for a job order means absolutely nothing if you submit that candidate after the position has already been filled. There is no “A for effort.” Instead, there’s an “F for slow.” In order to improve the recruitment process, you must make it go faster. If not, you will be left in the dust, sad and placement-less.
However, this IS good news. That good news takes the form of software—an applicant tracking system (ATS) that can put your recruiting desk in overdrive, help you source more quality candidates, submit those candidates, and blow the collective socks off hiring managers.
#1 — Automating tasks
If you sit there, manually adding data all day, when will you make placements? Never, that’s when! It is absolutely imperative that you keep manual processes to a minimum during the recruiting process. Your software should be making things happen automatically, so that you can devote the time you would have spent doing those activities on other things. These other things include prepping candidates, extending offers, closing deals, and cashing placement checks. Cha-ching! (Sound effects are optional.)
#2 — Streamlining systems and processes
Where can you eliminate steps? Combine steps? Both eliminate and combine steps? Where do bottlenecks exist? Is there an overlapping of duties somewhere? How many questions in a row can I ask? You need a recruitment software that works the way you like to work. Then you need to use that software to speed up the placements, continually making tweaks and improvements along the way. The goal: sourcing, screening, and submitting at roughly the speed of light.
#3 — Keeping everybody in the loop
This is important for firms that have multiple recruiters, researchers, and/or administrative personnel. They might all have a hand in the recruiting process. If so, none of them should be slowing down the process because they’re not being notified of what’s happening. The placement process should be a well-oiled machine. Let’s face it: candidates and clients slow down the process enough as it is. The last thing you want to do is slow it down yourself because of communication breakdowns. That’s called shooting yourself in the foot. BANG! (Sound effects are optional.)
#4 — Providing metrics and data analysis
From where are your best candidates consistently coming? You should be tracking that. What is your firm’s average time-to-fill ratio? You should be tracking that. What’s your firm’s average cost-to-fill ratio? You should be tracking that. Which sources are yielding exactly no placements? You should be—well, you get the idea. The only way to get bigger, faster, and stronger is to accurately analyze the data and make adjustments based upon that data.
Other suggestions to improve the recruitment process
Sure, an applicant tracking system is a great way to improve the recruiting process. However, it’s far from the only way. As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” What’s necessary to a recruiter? Making placements! So a recruiter will improve their process in just about any way they can.
Below are five other suggestions for improving the recruitment process, with links to corresponding blog posts that contain more information.
#1 — Improving recruitment skills and competencies
If you’re going to start anywhere, start with the man (or woman) in the mirror. It stands to reason: if your skills are better, the recruitment process will be better. When you become better at something, you’re usually able to do it more quickly. And as we discussed above, “speed means everything.”
#2 — Honing and streamlining the recruiting process steps
Once again, when you streamline a process, the process goes more quickly. The faster, the better. Now, that doesn’t mean you should take shortcuts that will sabotage the whole thing. Streamlining is not the same as taking shortcuts. Most steps in the process are essential ones. They just need to be done better and more quickly.
#3 — Learning to manage the placement process more effectively
Managing is all about how you approach the process. Remember that the process can be different depending upon certain factors. These factors include the type of search involved, the client with which you’re working, and the candidates with whom you’re working. The process for one placement could be different from the process for another placement. How you manage each placement process ultimately affects the effectiveness of the overall recruiting process.
#4 — Becoming a master of recruiting passive candidates
The majority of the top candidates in the marketplace are passive candidates. The problem is that passive candidates are not looking for a new job. You must convince them to consider your client’s opportunity. Those recruiters who become masters of recruiting these types of candidates greatly improve the recruitment process.
#5 — Training yourself on how to be a great recruiter
This is a more comprehensive approach to the situation, but it’s still applicable. Once again, this makes sense: if you’re a poor recruiter, then you’ll probably have a poor process. If you’re an average recruiter, then you’ll probably have an average process. However, if you’re a great recruiter, then chances are better that you’ll have a great process.
When you strive to improve the recruiting process, there are many factors to consider. One of those factors is your firm’s software—specifically, your firm’s applicant tracking software. Another of those factors is your firm’s hardware—in other words, YOU. What you bring to the table is at least as important as what your recruiting software brings to it.
You can upgrade both your software and your hardware. How you upgrade you is up to . . . well, you.
But how does your software package speed up the recruiting process for your firm? Could you go even faster with a better ATS? Do you even have a software package? If not, time is wasting . . . and that means wasted placement opportunities, as well.
Improve your process, save more time, and make more placements. That’s a winning combination for any recruiter.