Weak system and planning lead to poor hiring decisionsData and metrics drive a successful recruitment strategy. What isn’t measured can’t be improved. Think of bad hires and the cost per hire metric. This data is very beneficial to indicate costs. However, it can’t quantify the long-term price businesses pay for ongoing employee churn. The cost of bad hires can have a knock-on effect that can impact business growth for years. Any organization is only as good as the employees driving the different processes and delivering products and services. If the right employees are crucial to business success, then recruitment must be viewed as the catalyst for success. The strategies, processes, and systems that are implemented will define the quality of hires, their loyalty, and their level of commitment.
What if you don’t have the budget for an HR department?Not every company can afford, or even needs, a fully staffed HR department. Startups and SMEs are a particular case in point. Management in startups and SMEs are usually experts in their field with minimal recruitment experience. So if business growth starts at recruitment, how can they ensure they attract the best talent? The one solution is to outsource all vacancies to recruitment agencies, but that’s a very costly option. The other is to harness HR tech. Let’s look at some of the options available to ensure that you make the best hiring decisions. (Remember to avoid one-size-fits-all thinking since people and roles differ significantly.)
Invest in an applicant tracking systemAn ATS is the central point of all your hiring efforts. Built-in features go way beyond just hiring by maintaining extensive records and integrating with other systems. You can use an ATS for job description templates, posting job ads, automated pre-screening of applications, declining unsuitable applicants, and automated responses. The ATS will present you with candidates that meet your specified minimum requirements only and will save you time. Setting up a hiring team, scheduling interviews, all candidate communications, and team notes are all available in real-time. You can also create talent pools for candidates that will make great hires for future opportunities.
Start using recruitment metricsTracking hiring data without an ATS is very difficult. As you post more jobs and begin accumulating more applicants, you can start setting parameters for metrics that have value to your organization. Time and cost of hire metrics are beneficial if you employ a lot of entry-level and low skilled staff. But all hires should have a quality measure as well. A high staff turnover rate, whether through resignations or asking people to leave, is an indication that you’re not attracting the right people. Candidate quality metrics are an essential measure. With this you can analyze the flaws in your recruitment processes because remember; There’s little worth in racing to fill a position to (hopefully) save money, only to repeat the process all over again in a few months.
Define your recruitment strategyInvesting in an ATS and defining a recruitment strategy go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. Before you can implement any recruitment processes per your strategy, you have to know your business from its core. Words like company culture, employer branding, diversity culture, and a whole plethora more are always thrown around in the HR sphere. But what do they mean to your organization? Once definitions are in place, you can then start attracting candidates who identify with your unique employer brand. By actively getting your brand story into the public domain, you’ll draw in like-minded people. Once you know your organization’s values, culture and goals, you can develop a strategy. Key issues to consider are:
- What skills will you need in the short and long-term?
- If cross-border expansion is part of your business growth plans, how will you attract talent in other regions?
- How will you build an active and engaged talent pool so that you have access to suitable skills at short notice?
- How are you going to make the candidate experience exceptional, even for those who don’t get hired?
- How are you going to adapt your recruitment processes to avoid one-size-fits-all policies?
- Who will be responsible for regularly promoting your brand across social media platforms and in mainstream media?
ConclusionHasty hires and quick-fixes might look good initially. It will, however, take far more time to repair the damage and make up lost productivity than what it takes to devise and implement a proper recruitment strategy. You can’t continuously improve your recruitment strategy without tracking data to identify weak points, bottlenecks, and poor management. You need real-time metrics to make qualified and informed decisions. That’s why you have to invest in an ATS and have it integrate with software that will improve process quality and candidate quality, among other measures.
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