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Mar 13, 2023

Over the last few years, HR journalists have coined the terms “The Great Resignation,” “The Great Reshuffle,” and, most recently “The Great Breakup.”

It’s no wonder really. For hiring managers and job seekers, the employment market has proven to be turbulent, unpredictable, or at the very least, evolving.

But in the fact of hiring freezes in some sectors, finding and retaining talent remains a top priority for most HR professionals.

The trouble is, getting them in the door is only the first hurdle.

And the fact of the matter is, it’s likely your interview process is not attracting and supporting your attempts to get the right talent for your team.

Does your interview process support the right talent?

So why is this?

I’m not saying organizations don’t want to hire the best people.

All HRDs will want to hire the right talent for their organization. And it’s likely that the interview process is the key piece of interaction that stands between making the ideal hire.

But this is why getting the process right is increasingly essential.

Whether you use phone screenings, video vs. in-person, a measure of soft and technical skills, timed tests, portfolio reviews and others, every organization has its own interview process.

But, I often find that many recruitment teams find it difficult to spot the holes or bad habits in their processes.

For instance:

– The timed tests they provide their marketing hires won’t be effective for their engineering prospects, for example.

– Maybe their interview process isn’t structured.

– Or maybe you’re asking the wrong questions depending on a team’s differing goals.

The inconvenient truth is that it’s likely many companies won’t have evolved their interview process in years.

How to determine if you need to revamp your recruitment strategies

While there is no cookie-cutter approach to revamping your recruitment process, it’s time your organization started to look for gaps.

I say gather your people teams and ask yourselves these essential questions:

1) When was the last time we made changes to the interview process?

 Your recruitment process should evolve over time.

Has it been more than three months since you took a look at your interview templates, data, and trends or made updates? What better time than Q1 to do a refresh?

STAT CHECK: 55% of candidates believe that it should take one to two weeks from the first interview to being offered the job

2) What does our recruitment data reflect about our interview process?

With an average time-to-fill rate of 52 days for small companies and 69 days for extra-large companies, your goals should reflect the size and needs of your organization.

Time-to-fill also varies by role and industry. Use industry benchmarking as a guide and ensure you’re measuring your data over time; include time-to-fill, offer of employment acceptance rates, candidate sourcing tools, quality of hire, and relevant data. This way, you can start to use your own trends as a guide moving forward.

If your time-to-fill is longer than the industry standard or increases compared to previous years, you need to make changes.

STAT CHECK: 63% of candidates say most employers do not communicate adequately, while 53% of applicants said they did not receive a response from employers until 3 months after applying (Talent Board).

3) What feedback do candidates get from the interview process?

Candidate resentment — a measure of how prospective candidates rate their candidate experience — is at a historic high, according to Talent Board’s 2022 North American Candidate Experience Benchmark Research Report.

The candidate experience has crucial implications on your organization’s hiring ability and impacts a candidate’s decision to move forward in the process, apply in the future, refer colleagues, or become brand advocates.

It even influences their decisions as prospective customers. So, you should be sourcing feedback and measuring candidate resentment at all stages of the interview process and implementing changes based on feedback.

STAT CHECK: 82% of job seekers would share a positive candidate experience versus 69% who would share a negative candidate experience (Talentegy).

4) What stories are our employer branding initiatives telling to prospective talent?

Your story is the identity of your organization.

In the same light, your employer branding tells stories to prospective talent. Employer branding will help you attract the right talent, boost retention, and build a strong company culture.

It can even reduce marketing costs, build credibility with clients/customers, and more. Understanding an effective employee branding strategy for your organization is necessary if you want to stand out from the competition.

STAT CHECK: 82% consider employer brand and reputation before applying for a job – a 7% increase in the past five years (Careerarc, 2021).

5) Does our interview process leave room for bias?

Unstructured interviews can feel like the easier choice for hiring managers because it’s a go-with-the-flow approach.

However, easier doesn’t mean better.

Whether it’s the halo effect, the thorn effect, or unconscious bias, unstructured interviews leave room for bias to sneak its way in.

Instead, implement a structured interview process that eliminates any subjectivity.

STAT CHECK: 79% of HR professionals admit unconscious bias exists in both recruitment and succession planning decisions

Five steps to revamp your interview processes 

  • Analyze your data

Time-to-fill, employment acceptance rates, candidate sourcing methods, quality of hire, and candidate resentment are all critical data points to track and measure.

  • Prioritize the candidate experience

A positive candidate experience builds trust and loyalty with prospective candidates, ensuring they move forward with the hiring process, refer other candidates, or reapply in the future. Ensure your DEI strategy is also part of the candidate experience.

  • Know your story

Legacy brands know who they are and who they want to appeal to, so you should too. Understand your company’s voice and then compare it to your employment marketing. Your social channels and website should tell candidates a powerful story.

  • Eliminate bias

Diversity, equity, and inclusion remains top priority for prospective employers. DEI shouldn’t be a catchphrase but an integral part of your company culture. A key part of ensuring your interview process is equitable is to remove all opportunities for bias.

  • Make changes every quarter

Your organization has quarterly business goals, so why should your recruitment strategy be any different? Ensure your recruitment team checks for holes, sets goals, and implements changes every three months.

Hiring the right people for your organization is no easy feat.

If you want to hire and retain top talent while reducing competition from other organizations, you’ll need to audit your recruitment strategy and ensure you’re doing it right.

Otherwise, your recruitment strategy might cost you the talent you’re aiming for.