Finding—and retaining—top talent has never been tougher.

Think about this for a moment:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, job openings, hires, and resignations reached record levels in 2018.

So what?

Well, resignations typically rise when labor markets favor jobseekers, say labor analysts.

Top performers are in-demand; they’re confident that a better prospect is just around the corner.

Standing out in this competitive market calls for the right recruitment process.

Why the Recruitment Process Matters

By focusing on improving the recruitment process, you stand a better chance of attracting the right candidates. These are the kind of people who share in the company’s vision and have the skills to help make it a reality.

Let’s consider the costs of flawed recruitment processes.

One obvious consequence is high turnover. The average cost of turnover per employee is $15, 000, according to a 2017 study by the Work Institute.

But that’s just the dollar amount. You need to add productivity costs, too. The departing employee takes with them company knowledge, skills, and domain expertise. Even if you manage to fill that gap fast, studies show new employees take up to six months to achieve full productivity.  

Then there’s the risk of hiring the wrong person.

Exactly what makes someone a bad hire?

Perhaps the employee isn’t a great culture fit. Maybe they can’t perform the job well, leaving other colleagues to pick up the slack.

Whatever the reason, these hiring missteps come with a high price tag attached, according to this global survey by CareerBuilder.

In the U.S, 27% of employers said bad hiring cost $50,000. Even worse, 29% employes in Germany reported that a bad hire cost $65.231.

That’s why there’s a massive payoff in investing in the right recruitment processes.

Most HR experts split the processes into three broad stages:

  • Planning
  • Recruitment
  • Hiring

Across these phases, it’s key to prioritize speed. Keeping the process short creates a better candidate experience. The duration of recruitment processes vary greatly across sectors, ranging from 12 days in the construction industry to 44.7 days in financial services, according to some estimates.

Regardless of the length of your company’s recruitment process, keep candidates in the loop. You could, for example, commit to touching base with candidates once a week.

7 Tips to Getting the Recruitment Process Right

Now let’s look at practices used by the HR professionals.

Identifying the Recruitment Need Proactively

By taking a proactive approach to recruiting, you’re more likely to spot gaps before they begin to disrupt the business.

Key factors include:

  • Are some employees overworked because they’re performing two roles? If staff are working harder to cover functions outside their job descriptions, they may start to look for other opportunities.
  • Have employees tendered resignations? Start planning your next round of recruitment right away.

Work through these points when determining your hiring needs:

  • How many posts need to be filled?
  • What are the duties that need to be performed?
  • Which qualifications are required?
  • Will this be a full-time or part-time role?

The point is to do a deep dive into what is required before you begin your search.

Develop a Detailed Job Description

The more accurate your job description, the more chance you have of attracting the right candidates.

Think of it like this, candidates use the job description to assess whether or not the role is a good fit. Can they meet the demands of the position? Do they want to do what the role requires?

Remember: a mismatch between the advertised duties and the actual role will only result in frustration all-around further down the line.

Here’s a few pointers:

  • What are the exact duties?
  • What skills, knowledge, and experience will be required?
  • What’s the salary?
  • How will the successful candidate’s performance will be reviewed?

It’s important to be realistic when you’re developing the job description. For instance, are you offering the right salary for the kind of experience and skills you require?

Research industry averages using sources like PayScale if you need data on market-related salaries.

LinkedIn offers job description templates if you need help getting started.

Use Digital Recruitment Platforms

There are two main ways organizations typically find candidates: external and internal sources.

According to the SHRM Human Capital Benchmarking Database, 66% of hires were external candidates. But most organizations use a mix of both approaches in the recruitment process.

HR professionals are split on which approach is best, with most encouraging a bit of both. On one hand, promoting internally establishes your company as a great organization for growth. As an added advantage, the employee knows the processes and company culture. However, external hires bring with them fresh perspectives and typically have the skills to start performing right away.

Internal hires come from a range of options, including promotions or transfers.

For external sources, make sure your ad is visible on the biggest digital professional platforms.

Modern companies know the value of a digital recruitment strategy. Most people take their job hunt online.

LinkedIn research shows the top channels people use in their job search:

  • Online job boards - 60%
  • Social professional networks - 56%
  • Word of mouth - 50%

When it comes to the ad, most job ads will be split into a similar format:

  • Company description
  • Values
  • Job title and department
  • Duties
  • Experience and skills required
  • Bonus skills, e.g., specific domain expertise
  • Salary and benefits
  • Application instructions

To stand out at this stage, companies usually focus on their strengths, e.g., competitive benefits, a compelling mission, or great work culture.

Make a positive impression during screening and interviewing

The average job opening will attract 250 resumes, according to Glassdoor.

And if you’ve ever needed to sort through resumes, you know it can be a frustrating exercise. You’re looking for candidates who meet the minimum requirements, before moving on to select those with the right mix of experience and skills.

To speed up the process, some HR professionals have handed over some of the grunt work to applicant tracking systems, software that automates everything from analyzing online submissions to scheduling candidate interviews.

Proceed with caution, though.

A survey by CareerArc found that 40% of employees used ATS technology to screen candidates; however, 62% admitted that qualified candidates are being disqualified by mistake.

Experts in that study encourage personalizing rejection notes. This makes unsuccessful candidates less likely to leave negative reviews about your company online. They may even be open to future opportunities at your company.

Once you have shortlisted candidates, consider screening via video call or telephone. This is a great way to assess the candidate’s communication skills and make a positive first impression.

The number of interviews depends on the level of the position. Some roles will require a skills test. Above all, it’s crucial to communicate the steps of the process to the candidate.

It’s useful to treat your interview process like the marketing opportunity it is. A Clutch survey found 91% of new hires said the interview process influenced their opinion of the company.

Automate HR Paperwork

Once you’ve concluded interviews, it’s time to make the offer.

Make it easy for yourself and the candidate. Create templates for common HR paperwork like job offer and contracts. Next use a tool like eversign to make it possible for candidates to sign digitally.

Instead of sending the job offer  via email for printing, scanning, the candidate can accept the offer easily online, wherever they are, from any device.

Hiring and onboarding

Getting new hires off to a great start begins with effective onboarding.

New hires who don’t have a positive onboarding experience are twice as likely to look for a new job, reports digitate.

For starters, ensure that everything is in place when the new hire starts, e.g., hardware, logins, etc,.

Beyond that, consider sharing a video or Trello board covering what they can expect on the first day. Include anything they’d need to know about company culture or specific tools.

Effective onboarding programs are usually a team effort, with existing employees taking responsibility for bringing the new staff member up to speed.

Research by Bersin by Deloitte recommends personalizing the onboarding experience. Key, the research found, was creating a consistent onboarding experience so that new employees held uniform views on the company’s mission and goals.

Perform Ongoing Evaluation

Successful recruitment professionals constantly evaluate their strategies.

A report by the SHRM suggests studying hiring sources and the time to fill as key key metrics in your evaluation.

Study why new hires were attracted to the role. Determining the factors that draw the most promising candidates means you’d be able to play those up in future.

Build your Dream Team with the Right Recruitment Process

In a competitive economy, successful organizations know the only way to attract perfect candidates is to create a recruitment process that works.

By planning carefully and treating candidates with respect, you’ll attract the best talent, all-star employees who have the skills and passion to push your company forward.