Creating efficient processes can make a great business even better. There are probably lots of processes embedded in your business that all work like cogs in a wheel to ensure the smooth day-to-day running.
You have probably spent time, energy and resource ensuring that each cog is well oiled and customers are looked after, credit control is systematic and your sales team know how to take a call through to order stage. But, have you thought about your recruitment process? Do you take the same systematic approach to recruitment like you take with the other parts of your business? Do all your managers work consistently to hire the right kind of talent to your organisation?
Maybe you feel it is overkill, after all, perhaps you only recruit a few times a year. You are probably not on your own. But, how can you tell your applicants what to expect from your hiring process or ensure consistency in your recruitment decisions if you do not know what the process is internally?
Finding the best talent is getting tougher. Companies are being researched and judged before applicants even apply. Sites like glassdoor.com are quickly gaining ground as a valuable tool to benchmark the type of employer they are and what their recruitment processes are like. People talk. Social media is viral. Bad news travels faster than good news.
Communicating, setting expectations and managing those expectations are becoming the basics in the war on talent. If your recruitment processes don’t demonstrate that you know what you are doing and show consistency, you may find it even harder to attract the talent you need to make the other cogs in your well-oiled machine hum.
So, what can you do?
We have outlined a 5 point plan to help you establish the basics of your recruitment process.
1. Map out your current recruitment work flow
Mapping out your recruitment workflow is one of the most effective recruitment audits you can do for your business. This will give you a much greater understanding of how who and what happens to applicants throughout your internal recruitment process.
Start with mapping out the journey of a CV; where it goes, who touches it and at what point decisions were made on the success or failure of that application. You want to map the journey from initial apply status in your inbox all the way to offer. Is the flow consistent? Are the decisions consistent across departments? Are your processes consistent? Do you need to map and analyse the flow with different departments? Find out the issues, the bottlenecks and the good stuff.
2. Test your candidate experience
We wrote a previous article on how to test your applicant experience. This guide has all the tools you need to help you understand what happens when an applicant applies. The results may surprise you and may differ from what you think happens internally (results from stage 1).
3. Get buy-in
Managing change is one of the hardest things to do in a business. People are naturally reluctant to change and change is usually seen as a threat. There are many tools at your disposal to overcome some of the fear of change that your management team, staff or CEO may have. However, if you are to implement a new process effectively, and it affects them, you need to have their buy-in. Involve them in the process, explain and demonstrate the impact the current model has, highlight what your competitors are doing, draw on the benefits of an effective model. Check understanding, deal with fears or objections as they arise and get the commitment to make it better.
Take some time to find out what your ideal applicant expects. Perhaps include some questionnaires or ask a question in the interview. Find out what your competitors are doing and what they are doing better than you. Review sites like glassdoor.com or even Facebook to find out what people really think of recruitment processes. Ask your staff, what happened to them when they applied and went through your process. Find out what they like and don’t like, what they expect and what would really make them impressed.
5. Implement and measure
Hopefully, by now you have buckets of information. You know what does and what does not work, for both your internal resource capacity and for your applicants. Carefully dissect each stage, allocate a time scale to each stage, an outcome and a measurement of success. Identify key roles that each person has to play within the process and allocate the measurement accordingly. Stage 1 may be: Your administrator receives and forwards all CVs to the relevant hiring manager and thanks the applicant for their CV within 4 working hours of receiving it. The CV is imported into a company CRM and a note attached.
In the majority of cases, it won’t take much to stand out in the market and give your applicants a great experience of your organisation. Once you have the process nailed, it offers you a great opportunity to communicate what a brilliant, organised and efficient company you are to work for. If you can demonstrate this to all applicants who apply, it will undoubtedly present you with the best chance of attracting talent to your business, not to mention the time saved by your internal team.
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