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5 steps to a more efficient hiring and recruiting process

Chris Galy
Findem Chief Evangelist
April 13, 2023

Great candidates won’t wait around for recruiters to get back to them, and bad processes result in the wrong hires. That’s why efficiency in your recruiting and hiring process is so essential to attracting and retaining top talent. But what drives efficiency in 2023? 

In this blog post, I’ll summarize the top 5 steps HR leaders can take today to rein in spending, reduce wasted effort, and address burnout among HR professionals. But first, let’s look at where we are today.  

Today’s challenging landscape

We surveyed 300 senior talent leaders to better understand the causes and consequences of inefficiency. According to the 2023 State of Hiring and Recruiting Report

  • 71% of talent leaders missed a key hire due to inefficient processes 
  • 54% feel pressure to increase candidate quality
  • 73% are experiencing burnout due to recruiting and hiring

In my 28-year career, I’ve experienced downturns before, but this one feels different because so much has changed, all at once. The pandemic and recession created challenges for HR teams across the globe. The war for talent drove up compensation and resulted in a growth at all costs strategy. Now companies are pivoting to “do more with less.” 

But the HR and talent leaders who have a seat at the table can take advantage of this opportunity to reprioritize, re-focus, and re-engage their teams. 

Here are the 5 steps you might consider when leading a team today.

Step 1: Define your process

Inefficient processes will continue to slow us down and increase the frustration of all involved unless we take steps to improve them. Unclear roles between recruiters and hiring teams, too many interviewers, and misalignment between hiring manager expectations and posted job descriptions are some of the most common causes. These challenges make hiring more difficult, leading to longer cycle times and a poor candidate experience. That translates into missed key hires. 

We need to define processes, measure them more deliberately, and assign clear ownership to achieve mutual accountability. Low complexity, high volume administrative tasks can be automated with common technologies and AI. It’s time to ask yourself, what can you improve through recruiting automation?

  • How much effort would your recruiting teams save if they could shortlist candidate slates faster and spend more time with smaller, higher quality, diverse slates?
  • How many hours a week are wasted switching between tools for recruiting tasks?
  • Do recruiters perform the same search, again and again, across different channels to uncover more prospects instead of using multi-channel search? 
  • Can inbound candidates be stack ranked on more than just what’s listed on their resume? 
  • Do recruiters have to add candidates to a talent pool to create diversity or can the talent pool be automatically balanced in an unbiased way? 
  • Could conversational chat tools be used to generate first drafts for outreach, job descriptions, or even job searches?
  • What about automating interview scheduling or initial screening? 

Step 2: Stop the SaaSness madness 

The HR tech stack has become bloated with software that was easy to acquire, but hard to integrate, and slow to adopt. As a result, many HR and TA departments have siloed data, time consuming processes, wasted budget, and unrealized potential. It’s time to take a good look at the tech stack and simplify.

Look for tools that do more than one thing, integrate with standard APIs, and add value to core technology like your ATS.

HR and TA leaders should insist on tools that enable a unified view of the pipeline. Recruiters with real-time visibility can more efficiently work the funnel. Leaders can allocate resources more effectively and better manage their teams using data not conjecture to make decisions. A hiring manager view can build more trust and confidence in the talent slate and with your recruiter partner. 

Findem is a powerful tool that can consolidate many of the systems recruiters use into a single solution, making recruiting more efficient and improving the candidate experience.

Step 3: Measure outcomes from end-to-end

By defining processes and expected outcomes, then measuring them from end-to-end, talent and HR leaders can pinpoint what's working and what’s not. Without the right measurements and KPIs, it's hard, during lean times especially, to request funding to make improvements. 

Your measurements should align to best practices, but don’t be afraid to customize goals and KPIs to the outcomes you seek. Keep the long-term in mind as you define measurements so they will stand the test of time, and then get agreement from your key stakeholders. Dashboards and reporting tools improve productivity for the team and can be shared to raise the visibility of successful programs

If benchmarking across your industry is important, you will want to use commonly defined measures. That said, in my experience, even common terms may be defined differently by different organizations, particularly when it comes to qualitative measurements. For example, quality-of-hire is much debated and you should make sure the organizations you benchmark against share your definition. 

In my opinion, the quality of a hire is a reflection of the accuracy of the hiring process. If you have a defined process and you have minimal or no deviation from your process, shouldn’t you end with what you were looking for, or something within an acceptable variance?

Findem has a world class Talent Solutions team to help you with selecting and benchmarking your practices. We stand side-by-side with you through product selection, implementation, operationalizing, and continuous improvement. We ensure you have the coaching and support you need to make a stalwart platform for future decisions.

Step 4: Create a safe space 

To address burnout, let’s start by acknowledging that it’s hard to find exactly the right person, at the right time. Candidate volume fluctuates with market conditions, and recruiters go from fierce competition for talent to having to pass on great people because the time for hiring isn’t right. A tactic such as outbound sourcing is essential in a tight labor market, but internal mobility could be the best channel for leaner times. Regardless of the timing, it’s always good to nurture your high quality talent pools so you have the trusting relationship needed when the right opportunity comes up.

Do not expect to solve the recruiting puzzle all at once, but create a safe space for experimentation and continuous improvement. By targeting a critical few efficiencies to implement, and running small scoped experiments, you can to test ideas, gain acceptance and support before expanding.

Software and vendor partners should support experimentation with the flexibility to channel time and energy into what’s working now. 

Step 5: It’s all about people

Technology and automation have simplified and streamlined both the application and the review process. That means talent teams deal with a volume of applicants like never before to fill jobs that may never have existed before. But how can we make the candidate experience more personalized and humane?

I’ve heard the same concerns from candidates for years. 

  • I applied and thought I was a great fit, but never heard back. Did they even receive my application?
  • I had a great conversation and expected a call back, but never heard from the company again. What happened?

Talent teams need a way to truly understand the person beyond the resume or the job profile to know whether or not they have the potential for the job. Every applicant deserves a timely and authentic response to build trust and confidence in the employer brand. Talent teams need efficient processes that give them the time and space to focus on screening people in rather than screening them out. 

We’ve all had terrible candidate experiences. So much time is wasted in the discovery process, that the little things that signify respect for candidates get dropped. A series of small missteps can become a much larger disappointment, and have a negative impact on the company's reputation. 

A more efficient hiring and recruiting process is a more human one. Make the time to close out with candidates who make it deeper in your process in person. Even better, let them know where they stand throughout the process, instead of ghosting them or the equivalent of “breaking up over text.” There are so many more examples, but it comes down to treating candidates the way we would like to be treated and having the time to do it.

A better hiring and recruiting process

Powerful tools like Findem can consolidate systems and provide attribute-based search across an unparalleled talent data cloud. Consolidation and augmentation with better technologies can drive efficiencies and improve processes so you can address these questions directly:

  • How can we be more strategic in our recruiting processes to achieve better, more personalized candidate experiences? 
  • Where can we find efficiencies to allow for more human interactions for the critical moments?
  • How can we better measure results and communicate outcomes?

Technologies can help with this transformation. Look for trusted partners who will be there for you after the sale, to help you set up correctly, and establish appropriate measures for success so you achieve the efficiencies and the desired outcomes.