Why is hiring hard?
The British billionaire and businessman John Caudwell once said, “if I’m lucky, I only get recruiting wrong 70% of the time”. So why is it that we find recruitment so difficult?
Training and know-how
One of the fundamental reasons many organizations struggle with recruitment is that they often do not teach their employees how to hire. In other organizational areas such as marketing, sales, or project management, individuals are equipped with the necessary tools to achieve success amongst their team, though recruiters by comparison are often left to their own devices. A great way to tackle this challenge within any organization is to foster a coaching culture, whereby recruiters and HR managers have the chance to cultivate their soft skills in order to thrive.
An additional reason why organizations struggle to hire is a lack of internal communication between the recruiter and the hiring manager. Recruiters often feel left in the dark regarding the specifics of the hiring manager’s expectations, which often results in delays in the hiring process while the recruiter has to gather more information about the role from alternative sources. Ultimately, this leads to delays in the hiring process and, worst still, can cause an organization to miss out on the best talent.
Another cause for HR headaches is that left unchecked, recruiters can become prone to confirmation bias. Say, for instance, that you are a recruiter and an analytical, detail-oriented thinker; it is often the case that recruiters and HR managers will look for those very same set of skills when interviewing, instead of identifying those that might be of higher value for the position. Along the same lines, someone who is naturally shy can come across as less engaged (or less of a ‘team player’) than a more outgoing candidate, even if their skills and knowledge are superior.
Lastly, hiring can often be hard because the organization’s recruitment process lacks a coherent strategy and structure. In fact, a recent study found that 56% of recruiters felt they weren’t able to find the ideal candidate because of the length of the hiring process. Therefore, a balance of organizational efficiency and strategic thinking is vital in ensuring the hiring process is as painless as possible. Here are 7 ways to make that happen.
7 tips for improving your recruitment process
1. Make your job posting stand out
First impressions matter and your job posting will, most likely, be the first exposure any candidate has to your organization. As such, it’s vital to make sure your job description is informative, engaging, and transparent. Naturally, you will want to describe what makes the role attractive in your job posting; it is essential to ensure, though, that the description is honest and deliverable. A recent survey revealed that an overwhelming 96% of job seekers felt it was important to work for a company that embraces transparency, so it is important to get off on the right foot.
2. Involve others in the process
Hiring can often feel like a lot of pressure on the recruiter or HR manager to make the right decision, but it certainly doesn’t need to be that way. Indeed, before even beginning the first interview, it is worthwhile opening up a line of communication with the relevant team who will work with the new hire. Ask the team what the must-have skills are for the role, as well as the gaps the new hire is likely to fill, in order to start in the best position when interviewing new candidates. This will also ensure that the candidate is the right fit for the team, ultimately increasing employee retention.
3. Avoid a lengthy application procedure
According to a recent study, 20% of candidates will withdraw their application if the form takes longer than 10 minutes to fill in. In some cases, this might help weed out candidates who are less motivated or applying to several other jobs at the same time, but a drawn-out form can leave a bad first impression at times and discourage the right candidate for the role.
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4. Value company culture
Taking the time to explain to candidates a little about your company culture can go a long way since this gives you the chance to let the personality of your organization thrive. Companies within which employees feel empowered and can communicate openly are extremely attractive to potential hires, so if your organization excels when it comes to company culture, don’t be afraid to show it.
5. Keep an open mind
In order to avoid any unconscious bias, it is important to keep an open mind to candidates from a variety of backgrounds. Blind resume reads – where resumes are read without the candidate’s name or picture – are an invaluable tool in ensuring the hiring process is entirely based on the candidate’s skills and suitability for the role. It is worth considering that 67% of job seekers see diversity as an important factor when deciding to accept a role, so diversity and inclusion play a key role in fostering an attractive and engaging company culture.
6. Structure your interview process
It’s easy to get lost in the flow of conversation during an interview process, however, it is important to be aware that this may not be giving each candidate an equal opportunity. Therefore, it is certainly worth carefully considering a set of questions you want to ask for every interview. Not only does this mean that each candidate has a more equal opportunity, but it also allows for a more direct comparison between candidates based on their responses to the same questions.
7. Consider setting up a post-hire questionnaire
For many recruiters and HR managers, the candidate’s first day and onboarding are seen as the end of their contribution to the hiring process, but this isn’t the case. It is always useful to learn how former candidates felt about the recruitment process. Did they feel the organization was communicative and respectful of their time during the hiring process? Were there any aspects of the process they felt could have been improved upon? Questions such as these help companies develop a culture of mutual improvement, as well as ensure every employee feels their contribution is valued.
To conclude, although recruiters and HR managers often feel a weight of responsibility for choosing the right candidate, hiring doesn’t have to be hard. By balancing a strategic and structured approach toward finding the right hire with an open, honest, and communicative relationship with the candidates, any organization can ensure optimal success when hiring new talent.