HR Management & Compliance, Learning & Development

Improving Your Recruiting Efficiency

As you all know, the longer it takes to recruit (and it can take some time), the more costs you accrue in lost productivity and administrative costs.

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The first step to improving recruiting efficiency is to assess where the bottlenecks are. These are the areas that should be tackled first. For example, if you’re finding you get too few applications and you have to wait a long time to begin interviewing, you may need to expand your reach. Or, if you find that you get too many applications and you spend too much time creating a short list, you may need to either have a better job post or get assistance in narrowing the field. Start with the biggest bottleneck.
In this two-part Advisor article, we’ll address several of the major components of the recruiting process, giving efficiency improvement tips for each area.

Tips to Improve Advance Preparation

  • Have a process in place where job descriptions are routinely reviewed and updated. This means you’ll waste less time updating job posts once a job becomes vacant.
  • Keep updated on compensation trends to know how much a given role should pay if you need to fill it quickly. (Ideally, the person currently in the role will have a salary in line with market levels; but we all know this may or may not be the case in reality.)

Tips to Get More Applicants

  • Expand where the job is posted. Continually assess the best and most effective places to post job vacancies. Don’t forget to utilize social media. If you’re not sure where candidates are looking, do a search as if you were looking for this job, and see what sources come up first.
  • Consider allowing the position to be filled by someone who works from home, even if this is not the norm for the organization. This means the job can be posted nationally or even internationally to get more visibility, without an associated increase in relocation expenses.
  • Assess where your competitors are posting; do they use niche or industry-specific job boards that you’ve not been using?
  • Utilize means other than standard job posts to spread the word about the available position. For example, try having an employee referral program.
  • Ensure the job post is comprehensive. It should explain not only the job requirements but also why the applicant would want to apply. It should differentiate between the essential job functions and other functions. It should note which qualifications are minimum requirements and which are simply preferred qualifications.
  • Consider adding salary information to the job post, which can increase the number of applications. (Bonus: It can also decrease the number of applicants who would not be willing to work for the stated level.)
  • If using job boards or other means that allow it, consider “promoting” the job post to gain more visibility for qualified applicants.
  • Consider offering a hiring bonus.
  • Ensure your organization’s website and social media presence are welcoming and contain enough information for potential applicants to get a feel for the organizational values and culture, which can help them decide whether to apply.
  • Review where you’ve received the greatest number of applicants from in the past; consider putting more effort into those methods or venues. (If you don’t have means to know where applicants have found you in the past, consider collecting those data to be used in the future.)

Tips to Review Applications More Effectively

  • Consider using third-party assistance in creating a short list based on your set of must-have qualifications.
  • Use automation to narrow down which applications are prequalified. Many different software options are available to assist.
  • Consider using phone screening to further qualify applicants before deciding who to interview in person.
  • Improve the job post to reduce the number of unwanted applications.
  • Consider using a third-party service to conduct any background checks that are part of your hiring process. [This not only can save you time but also can help to reduce the risk of discovering information that has no bearing on the applicant’s ability to do the job, like his or her religion, national origin, or medical history. This type of information is often inadvertently unearthed when conducting background screening (especially via social media) and is better if left out of the decision-making process.]

In tomorrow’s Advisor, we’ll give tips on three more aspects of the recruiting process where efficiency can be improved.