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Recruitment processes can sometimes leave you tied up in knots. We’ve all been there. Searching for ‘the one’ and feeling like you’ll never find them. Being inundated with CV’s and not being able to respond to candidates. Or just feeling like you are in the never ending circle of recruiting more staff. If your organisation is okay at getting decent candidates in a reasonable amount of time that’s great. But if you are at the stage where you want to refocus, these simple steps will help to point you in the right direction – without leaving you gasping for air…..

Create A Careers Page On Your Website

  • Creating a careers page on your website can save you time and money.  You can post any job adverts on the page for starters allowing candidates to contact you directly limiting the need to use agencies.
  • You can have an FAQ page which should help to cut down on the number of applicant questions you receive during the hiring process which helps save you time. Include simple questions such as ‘How do I apply for position?’, ‘Will you contact me if a suitable alternative role comes up?’, ‘How many stages are typically involved in your interviewing process?’ and  ‘Will I receive a confirmation once I submit my application?
  • You can also include pictures of current employees with testimonials about working for your business. Better yet, embed videos with employees talking about what to expect when working at your company. Have your videos available on a company Facebook page as well if you have one.

Create A Careers Blog For Your Company

A careers blog will give candidates instant access to what is happening in your business.  Set up a regular blog devoted to all things related to careers at your company and have weekly topics such as:

  • A Day In The Life – Invite current employees to blog about what they like about their role and encourage them to be candid about what’s challenging in the job, as well – candidates want to see an honest approach.
  • Upcoming Job Fairs/Events – consider embedding videos of company events in the blog (corporate days out, exhibits, etc.).
  • Interview Tips – Offer advice on how to best prepare to interview and/or where to find out about your company’s milestones.

Respond To Candidates

How often do you tell a candidate that you will be in touch with them no later than the end of the following week…and end up getting back to them 3 weeks after that, or worse still – never?

Whilst life happens, it is completely fine to touch base with candidates just to let them know that the process has been delayed but you are still interested in their application. This is also a good time to make sure the candidate is still available despite the delay to avoid wasting anybody’s time.

Don’t Be Afraid to Test Candidates

This is such a simple one but can often be overlooked.  As an example, don’t be afraid to ask a programming candidate to write a short code, or a sales candidate to do a mock sales call or a pitch for business.  After all you need know if the candidate can deliver against what they have claimed on their CV.

Avoid Closed Questions

Go easy on the yes/no questions because you won’t learn much from the answers. Try instead to ask leading questions such as ‘Tell me about a time when….’ ” You’ll get much more useful information from candidates this way. Check out our recent article ‘The 10 Interview Questions You Need To Be Asking…’ for some great examples.

Another View Point

If a candidate has provided personal references take the time to call them. They may be biased (why else would the candidate have given you their name) but it will help if you have an alternative view on the candidate and what they have achieved in a previous role.

How To Say No

It may not be feasible for you to send a personalised rejection letter or email to every applicant who does not make it to interview but there are things you can do to lighten the load but still allow you to keep that personal touch:

  • Have different templates for the different stages at which someone is removed from the process (i.e. immediate no, no after phone interview, etc.).
  • You’ll need a rejection that lets them down gently but encourages them to apply again in the future if you think they may be suitable for another role in the company.
  • And also a template that discloses that the reason a candidate was not selected is because the position was put on hold or filled internally (at least the candidate then knows that you didn’t reject due to qualifications or experience and again, if suitable they may apply for roles in the future).

Keeping in Touch

Staying in touch with candidates and building relationships with them over time can help improve the recruitment process and build a network of contacts for future positions. It also can save you time and money in the long time.

  • Connect with all great job candidates on LinkedIn so that you can maintain contact with them in the future.
  • Reach out to exceptional job candidates every once in a while to “check in” and build a relationship.
  • Periodically call or email employees that have left the organisation on good terms. Stay in touch with top talent that has left your organisation.
  • Periodically reaching out to candidates by emailing newsletters or press releases about significant company developments.
  • Send your top passive candidates a personal note every so many months to stay in touch.

Run An Applicant Referral Scheme

Consider running an applicant referral bonus program so that your previous applicants can earn rewards for referring their friends for other positions. This type of initiative helps you save money and time on recruiting costs.

Measure Effectiveness

Finally, you should be measuring your hiring process so you know if it’s working or not. You can measure time to fill and cost per hire as a starting point – even these simple stats will show how efficient and costly your process is.

Your Recruiting Reputation

Whether you realise it or not, the way you recruit makes a difference to your recruiting success or failure. Indeed, some candidates are willing to accept a lower salary from employers when the company’s image and candidate experience are positive. There’s real value in a good recruiting reputation and you’ll feel the consequences of a bad one. Your recruiting process needs to be focused on winning top candidates over and attracting them to your company and open positions.

Remember, that it takes time to hire the best people for your business yet most people begin the hiring process later than they should and then end up panic buying employees. Smart companies are always looking for the best talent, not just when there is a vacancy.

Recruitment today is continuously evolving and your recruiting process has to keep up if you want the kind of hiring success you need to build a productive workforce. New technology, sourcing and recruiting tactics, a changing economy and so many other variables mean that you need to constantly be reviewing and improving your recruitment processes so make sure that you don’t let your recruitment process go stale.

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Photo Credit: WIAA State Wrestling Championships by Todd Hobert