Talent acquisition is rewarding, but can be a painful process for both the recruiter and the applicant(s). Here are some suggested methods for cutting waste and improving the overall recruiting process…
1) Online applications. Most companies are either in this game or going there, but many that use an application tracking system also have paper applications. In some cases, they require both. Not to mention the redundancies of having a CV or resume, then the online application, then the paper application. Don’t waste you applicant’s time with rework, and don’t waste your own in dealing with reams of unnecessary paper.
2) Incentives your externals the right way. The best system I’ve seen offers their external recruiters a bonus payment if the first candidate they present is hired. This gives them incentive to really learn the culture and position to give you a great candidate the first time. If you think of the wasted time and money in looking at multiple candidates, it’s a small price to pay.
3) Cut your interview to offer time. Sometimes the bottlenecks are simple ones to reduce, once you realize that time is not a free resource. One team I worked with waited until the end of the process (meaning post-acceptance) to perform the background check and drug screening. It added 5-10 days to the end of the process. The cost for each round of checks was about $50. Once I asked them if the position added more than $10 per day of value, it became an easy decision to move it. Now they perform those checks on the final three candidates just before the last round of interviews. Results don’t come back until after the interviews and (generally) the decision is made, but the delay in getting the offer and acceptance in greatly reduced.
4) Create a pull process in staffing. Recruiters will tell you there is a limit to how many searches that can do at once before you start to lose quality. Ten seems to be the average. If you are using an online talent system, hold the requisitions back until one of the ten they are currently working is closed out. This also allows you to track your staffing levels and know if you have the right number on the team, too many, or not enough. Speaking of which…
5) Centralize your staffing team. Just like a call center, shared staffing resources allow you to handle the peaks and valleys of demand across your business without over- or under-worked people (as well as often needed fewer recruiters overall). Rather than have a staffing person for each location/department/business leader, build a central team that can take requests from across the business and triage them for best responses. Within that team you can still have specialists as needed, but you reduce your risk of losing an expert recruiter because their knowledge can be more easily shared.
And the unnumbered bonus tip is, of course, get really good at talent retention and development. It will help keep the recruiting needs to a minimum, which is the best way to reduce the waste in the first place.