Finding the right candidate to fill open any position is never easy. Hiring managers and executives around the world will tell you that spending hours combing through applications and interviewing potential additions to the team can be a lengthy, draining process.
The good news is that there are ways to simplify your recruitment process so that you’re still seeing high-quality applicants, but are spending less time sifting through duds. This combination of tools and practices might even net you better candidates than you were attracting before. Here’s how to simplify your own recruitment process.
Attracting the Right Applicants
The first thing you want to do is figure out what type of applicants you’re looking for. If you’re in need of help, but aren’t looking to hire full-time, it might be time to consider hiring independent contractors. A total of 34 percent of the entire US labor force currently engages in freelance work, and there are both benefits and drawbacks to hiring contractors. They’re cheaper, they are hired to do a specific task, and if they’re exceptional in their role, they could be hired on later as a full-time employee, provided there’s room. The drawbacks are that you have less oversight when it comes to deliverables, little employee loyalty, and using freelancers could hurt your company culture.
If you’re looking to hire a full-time employee, on the other hand, it’s important to remember that you’re looking for more than just a competent worker—you’re looking for a new member of your team. These people will not only need to be proficient in the hard skills that their position demands, but should also be good a fit in terms of company culture and should display strong soft skills.
Because these types of applicants are in high demand, you should never rest on your laurels and believe that, by posting a job offer, you’re the one with something to offer. There are plenty of companies out there that are very similar to yours, hunting for the right talent. This is exactly why you not only need to be succinct and exact with your job description, but you should also try to make it enticing.
As Shannon Williams with LucidChart writes, “a job description is often a potential candidate’s first impression of your company, so make it a good one.” The description should not only establish what you need from the candidate, but also what you can offer prospective employees in your organization. Williams argues that the basic description should include these things:
- Job title and department
- Hours (full-time, part-time, shift schedule)
- Summary of the position, including objectives, responsibilities, and its relation to the rest of the company
- Minimum requirements
- Preferred experience and qualifications
- Description of your company and its mission
- Salary and benefits
Be sure that you personalize the description, and that you’re not just reposting the same “want ad” that you did the last time you were looking for employees. The more care you take in this regard, the better applicants will emerge in your prospective pool.
Utilizing the Right Tools and Technology
While there are a couple of things you can do on your own, such as writing the right job description and visualizing your ideal candidate, there are others that you can’t do without the right tools. The Workopolis Blog lists three tech tools specifically that can help to simplify your recruitment process:
- Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS): An ATS can help organizations manage applicant information such as resumes, applications, recruitment statistics, etc. These systems might send automatic replies confirming receipt of application materials, and can even help to build a solid applicant pool if you enter the recruitment phase again.
- Video Interview Tools: Communication tools like these allow you to connect with and interview applicants around the world, and can help you lock down solid talent almost as soon as the application comes in. Video interviewing can also be a big help for hiring freelancers or remote workers, if that fits into your company’s standard operating procedure.
- Career Website: As opposed to a single page listing career opportunities, you can offer an entire website as a resource for employee prospects. “Career websites are a perfect canvas to showcase real, original photographs of your employees (or company Instagram), answer FAQs about working with your team, and showcase any community or charity involvement your company participates in,” they write. “All these ‘real life’ snippets of your company’s culture help show the applicant what it’s like working in the role, enhancing the candidate experience.”
Another tool that’s becoming essential in a simplified hiring process is Artificial Intelligence. The experts at the University of Alabama online write about how AI personnel management systems are currently helping IT departments find and recruit the best professionals to work in their departments.
“This kind of software operates in two distinct manners,” they write. “First, it may spot the most high-quality resumes among hundreds or thousands of candidates pouring in. Second, it may broaden the hiring pool so employers can include a more diverse group of candidates than they would be able to do on their own.”
Make sure too that you’re investing in the right tools just as much as you’re investing in finding the right applicants—the two go hand in hand.
Be Swift, Be Agile, Be Decisive
Lastly, now that you are attracting and combing through your applicants, your last step is going to be culminating and acting upon this information quickly. This means that you are keeping a productive rate when it comes to applicant interviews, and that you’re not wasting your time or theirs.
Part of this process involves consistently communicating with your potential hires. Maren Hogan, writing for TalentCulture, suggests keeping your candidates in the loop, and, even if you don’t have real news to relay to them, give them a call anyway to let them know where they stand.
“After an interview, give some feedback, even if to simply say goodbye. Email is fine, just keep it short and professional and address the candidate by name. No one wants a ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ letter,” she writes. “What candidates hate most is the dreaded silence. Tell them the next step and make sure you follow through as promised. Do what you say you will do.”
By setting up your recruitment process in an intentional and optimized manner, not only will you net the best recruits, but you’ll do it much quicker than you have before. Set up these processes, and reap the benefits of decisive, talented hires.