Another week, another gloomy prediction about the recruitment issues employers are likely to be grappling with in the coming months. This time, it’s the turn of the union Prospect, who in a survey reported in HR Magazine, say two thirds of its EU worker members are considering leaving the UK because of Brexit.
The full impact of Brexit on labour supply remains to be seen – but add to that unemployment at a record low and a rapidly diminishing pool of talent, and it’s clear that organisations cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to hiring.
There are of course numerous factors that influence how successful or otherwise a business is likely to be when it comes to attracting the best and brightest people – a strong employer brand and competitive salary to name just two. But one thing that is guaranteed to turn candidates off is a slow, unwieldly and badly managed recruitment process.
So how can organisations ensure their processes are both smooth and speedy and that they don’t miss out on good people in a tight and competitive market?
1. Streamline the approval process
A critical vacancy arises but before you can get it out there, it has to go through numerous internal approvals. The department head wants to review the job description. Senior management need to sign off on the salary. Marketing want to make sure the job ad is on brand. In the meantime, productivity suffers and potentially great candidates are being missed. Internal governance is, of course, important. But in a fast-moving market, it’s worth reviewing recruitment approval processes to make sure they are fit for purpose. Can the number of people who need to be involved be reduced? Is there any way of speeding up the process? Cloud-based recruitment software has a role to play here, automating unwieldy manual processes, making it easier for managers to access the info they need from wherever they may be and nudging them if they don’t respond quickly enough.
2. Bring consistency to job advertisements
Giving out a strong and consistent message to potential hires ensures that the business is attracting the right kind of people. It helps to ‘sell’ the business and the role as a complete proposition and encourages candidates to engage with you right from the start. It’s worth taking time to get this right, but once the tone, style and messages have been agreed, most recruitment software packages will allow you to set up standard templates that recruiting managers can draw on. It ensures all the right information is included, gives out a consistent message and saves time by making it easy for managers to input their specific job details into an already-agreed format.
3. Keep up with recruitment trends
Reaching potential candidates is so much easier now than it used to be, especially with an applicant tracking system. There are numerous job boards catering for both general and specialist roles, many of which pro-actively alert job-seekers to suitable roles; ‘matching’ services for those looking for apprenticeship and internships, and of course the recruiters tool of choice, LinkedIn. Google has also recently got in on the game, with the launch of a localised version of its job-hunting tool, which shows candidates new and relevant roles based on their interests and location. The older tried and tested recruitment techniques still have their place, but make sure you’re not missing out on good people by over-looking some of the speedier and more innovative platforms that are now out there.
4. Let software take the short-listing strain
Sifting through piles of (often unsuitable) applications is one of the biggest bug-bears for recruiting managers. This is one area where recruitment software can really help ease the pain. The latest systems can help you generate standard application forms, so that all the necessary information is collected and you can assess candidates on a level playing field. Qualifying questions can be added (such as right to work or any specific qualifications required) to avoid wasting time. It means that viable short-lists can be generated quickly, allowing you to get requests for interviews out quickly and avoid losing good candidates.
5. Streamline the interview process
From a candidate’s perspective, there’s nothing more annoying than getting embroiled in a lengthy recruitment process, with long gaps between assessments and first and second interviews and lengthy delays when it comes to an offer or rejection being issued. No matter how interested someone is in a role, if an offer is made for a comparable job they are not going to hang about while your company deliberates at length. In a competitive market, where candidates will typically be looking at multiple opportunities, employers don’t have the luxury of time. Take a close look at your interview/offer process and assess whether there are ways that software could help you add speed and consistency. Take a step back and look at it from the perspective of the candidate. What can you do to communicate with people better and improve their experience of the end to end recruitment journey? In a tight market, when talent is at a premium, these are the details that could give you the edge.