Auditing your recruitment process – 6 simple steps to keep you on track

Last updated:
July 28, 2021
February 8, 2022
min read
Adrie Smith
auditing recruitment process
Table of contents

90% of recruiters say that today’s labor market is candidate-driven, making it increasingly difficult to find the ideal candidate. This stresses the importance of having a strong employer brand and giving your applicants a good candidate experience. To get the best candidates, you have to have a fully optimized recruitment process.

An ineffective or inefficient recruitment process can hurt your company, as you will miss out on the best talent. In turn, this will cause your competitors to get ahead of you. To prevent this, you have to start by first auditing your recruitment process. Your recruitment audit helps you understand what your current process looks like, what your bottlenecks are, and how your candidates perceive you during the process.

Why audit your recruitment process at all?

Not only is recruitment auditing essential to ensure you’re achieving what your organization requires from a hiring standpoint, but also whether or not the process is cost-effective. There are hundreds of investment areas for effective recruiting, and those that aren’t showing the return demanded of them need reconfiguring or replacing.

With a more efficient and cost-effective recruitment strategy, you could find yourself with resources available to fund the parts of your operation that are lacking—or even hire more staff!

How often should you carry out a recruitment strategy audit?

How often you choose to deliver a recruitment audit varies on the business, the amount of hiring involved, and of course, how successful your current strategy is. That said, it’s unhealthy for any business to become complacent, so keeping a continual eye on performance and ensuring you’re achieving the results you need should be an ongoing process.

What we suggest is, if your hiring successes are lower than you need, you’ve left your audit too late. Having a regular schedule to carry out major and minor audits at specific intervals should be an essential addition to your calendar.

Who should be involved in the audit?

We think there’s value in including anyone who interacts with your strategy at any stage. As you’ll read through this article, there’s a great deal of data to gather by including your recruiters, asking for feedback from candidates who drop out of your process, and even finding out what you did well from your successful hires during onboarding.

Too many cooks can indeed spoil the broth, but carried out correctly, the more angles of your recruitment audit you cover, and the more people you inquire of, the more data you have to glean from. Facts and figures are essential for an accurate picture; a hit and hope process isn’t going to help anyone.

6 steps to audit your recruitment process

So how do you conduct an audit of your hiring process? Where do you get started, and what tools do you need? Follow the tips below and find out how you can start auditing your recruitment.

1. Map out the candidate journey

The most important step when auditing your recruitment strategy is to map out your entire application process from the candidate’s point of view. The best way to do this is to make it visual. Grab a big poster-sized piece of paper or use a tool like Whimsical to draw the candidate journey.

When auditing your hiring process, you don’t have to map out your candidate journey in its entirety. Start by mapping out each touchpoint between the candidate and your organization. This includes the different stages that a candidate goes through in the application process. The candidate persona can be left out as this differs from job to job.

Mapping out the candidate journey will give you a clear overview of what your application process looks like for candidates. You will also get to see what the touchpoints are between you and your candidates. This will be of great value for your audit as you will be able to see how your internal processes connect to different points in the candidate journey.

2. Map out the internal processes

For many companies, conducting a recruitment audit is mainly about improving the internal processes. So the next step is to map out all your internal processes. The things to map out are:

Once you get a clear overview of your candidate journey and the internal processes, you can see which parts of your recruitment process aren’t up to par. These should be improved or optimized.

For example, if you see that you’re having a hard time responding to candidates within 2 working days, why not set up an automated mail flow? This makes sure that the candidates are kept in the loop and never feel ignored.

3. Use quantitative data

Data is the most valuable asset when auditing your recruitment process. Your recruitment data reveals a lot about your process. It tells you what your bottlenecks are, what parts of your recruitment cause you to miss out on talent, and what you can improve on.

As talent acquisition platforms are becoming more popular, recruiters have access to more recruitment data. Using this data is crucial when auditing your recruitment processes. Some of the most important recruitment metrics to include in your audit are:

  • Time to hire: How long does it take for you to fill your open jobs?
  • Applicant drop-off rate: How many candidates drop off from the pipeline, and where do they drop off?
  • Job offer to acceptance ratio: Percentage of candidates accepting your job offers.
  • Career page conversion rate: Percentage of career page visitors that convert into applicants.

These different metrics are extremely valuable for your recruitment audit. They will provide you with important insights that you can use when looking to improve your hiring processes.

4. Use qualitative data to shed light on bottlenecks

While quantitative data gives you a large amount of information, it does not answer the “why” question. Quantitative data only tells you the cold plain facts without any interpretation.

If you want to know why certain quantitative data is as it is, you have to collect qualitative data. Soft data is gathered by asking your candidates or website visitors for feedback. For example, when a candidate drops off, could you send them an email asking them for their reasons? This way, you can get insights into why your drop off rate in some stages of the process might be higher than expected.

Collecting qualitative data requires more time and effort than quantitative data, but the effort is well worth it. If you want to conduct an audit of your recruitment process correctly, you need to collect qualitative data. Without it, your quantitative data will be harder to interpret and therefore less insightful.

5. Gather input from your recruiters

When auditing a process, it is crucial to get input from the people that carry out the daily tasks. This means that you should carry out your recruitment audit in close cooperation with your recruiters—after all, they’re the ones working in the trenches every day. Not only will your information be more accurate, but your recruiters will also think of ideas they feel will help you to improve the recruitment process.

Involving your recruiters requires the correct planning. The best way to start is by identifying the different steps in the process. Involve a few of your recruiters in this part of the process but not the entire team. Once you’ve formed an overview, you can hold a meeting with the entire team to discuss each step in more detail.

Try to gather insight into every single step and what tasks the recruiters perform during each stage of the process. Also, make sure to ask the recruitment team about how long it takes to take candidates from one step to the next and how much time they have to spend themselves on each task.

6. Monitor your competition’s recruitment tactics

Wherever you can, you should be monitoring the differences between your recruitment strategies and those of your competitors. If you can learn from the areas they perform better than you or understand why they’re landing the talent you want, you can include those elements in your own systems.

Is it to do with brand quality? Process? Have they found ways to offer candidates more than you can? And if so, how? And what?

Again, data is everything, so don’t assume anything without facts and figures to back up your ideas.

The importance of your recruitment process audit

A recruitment audit is a crucial part of your recruitment. After all, you need to know whether your recruitment efforts actually give you the desired results.

Without carrying out proper recruitment audits, you won’t know, for example, whether the careers page that you invested much of your resources on works or not. Does it convert applicants? Do visitors actually click around on the page? Are you spending too much time on a specific step within the process causing applicants to drop off? All of these things can be prevented if you audit your recruitment processes properly and frequently.

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