HR 101: 5 Ways Small Employers Can Streamline Their Hiring

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Aug 21, 2018

There’s no time like the present to reevaluate your recruiting processes and strategies to improve efficiencies and save you time. With the summer recruiting doldrums soon coming to end, now is an especially good time to review what is working well for you and where you need to step up your game.

This is especially critical for smaller employers and organizations that don’t have the budgets or recruiting staff of the big companies, but are still competing for the same top talent

Here are five areas to look at in order to fine tune your recruiting program:

1. Review your statistics

You can use the data you have to make better hires more efficiently. Look at your numbers for the first half of the year. Analyze the dropout ratio for every step in the hiring process: sourcing, screening, interviewing and final hiring. Based on the ratio, calculate the total number of applicants required to fill a position. Do this for each type of job in your organization. For some jobs and some industries it’s 10 or more applicants for every one you hire; for others it might be 3 to one. Knowing these ratios will help you better understand size of the pool of applicants you need for any given position.

Now see how many applicants you have in your existing talent pool for each job so you know how ready you are when an opening comes up. And review how often each job comes open.

Ultimately, you’ll want to look at how you can maximize the efficiency of those ratios so you start out with a more qualified pool of candidates, and therefore need fewer to find the perfect fit.

2. Analyze and diversify candidate sources

If you have the data – and you should – analyze where your hires came from: job board (which ones?), referrals, company career site or somewhere else. Is social media a great tool for certain industries but not others? Are there new sources you should be trying out?

This is valuable information that will help you improve your recruiting process. Based on what your analysis shows, as well as industry patterns, you’ll be able to identify the most productive sources for each job.

Any number of recruiting platforms and applications will allow you to target candidates with a good degree of precision. Using those capabilities can save you money and make your process more efficient. Take note of the clear winners, but always be testing new options.

3. Track and monitor

Once the applicant pool is filled, the next step is to track the applicants and shortlist them based on their resumes and basic background information. The shortlisted candidates can then be called for personal interviews. Referrals, which are almost always your best source of hires, should be the first candidates you contact.

Your ATS can do most of the heavy lifting; most have a system of ranking candidates against the job description. However, the simpler and older systems are keyword based, so it’s possible for these to overlook or down-rank qualified candidates whose resumes don’t mention all the right words.

4. Streamline your screening process

From phone screens to multiple rounds of interviews, the screening process can be an incredibly time and talent-intensive process. In this candidate driven market, taking too long to make a decision will cost you. You can be sure that the best candidates have more than one option, and they’ll take it if your process is drawn out.

Technology can help by simplifying the application process and maintaining contact with the candidate through the stages of the hiring process. But, as every recruiter knows, the biggest challenge is the hiring manager. It’s not unusual for a hiring manager to want to see “just one more candidate.” Educating them on the need to act decisively and quickly is essential. Help them understand that waiting for the “perfect candidate” may mean the job never gets filled.

5. Let artificial intelligence help

In the past couple of years artificial intelligence has made waves in the recruiting and hiring space, and for good reason. AI-based platforms can be used to take the bias out of the initial candidate screening process, helping recruiters assess qualified candidates without the influence of unconscious bias. Other AI tools can help identify candidates who will be good cultural fits.

With every sign that recruiting is going to continue to be difficult, streamlining your processes to increase your efficiency and productivity is a must in order to successfully compete for the top talent you need and everybody wants.