Optimizing your recruitment: less manual, more personal

Last updated:
December 17, 2020
December 22, 2021
min read
Beth Hudson
Table of contents

Recruitment is exciting, fast-paced, and innovative! However, there are manual tasks that can quickly bog down your hiring process. There’s no point putting in valuable time and resources when you get low-quality hires in return. Hiring has the potential be fun and smooth-sailing, but you must take a critical look at the areas in which it can be optimized along the way! But what does it mean to optimize your recruitment, you may ask?

Read on to enjoy a recap with some highlights of the #TAinnovators (Talent Acquisition Innovators) Twitter chat on how to optimize your recruitment. We asked, and you answered!  

Optimize your recruitment question 1

Q1. What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “optimizing your recruitment”?

To optimize your recruitment means “owning and increasing metrics at every stage of the candidate journey” (@Ferdigoetzen). Pick the five most important recruitment metrics, track them, and analyze the results. Put this to use by filling gaps where your process may be lacking. “Recruitment optimization encompasses all aspects of the process and ways in which you can speed them up/increase the efficiency. HR tech is a key player here!” (@TAinnovatorBeth).

This way, you can find “the best people for the job and the jobs you aren’t aware of yet” (@BrainBlenderTec). Terry made the brilliant point that even when you aren’t sourcing actively for an open position, you still need to remember to optimize. In order to optimize your recruitment, you should include preparing for positions that may open up in the future! Keep Talent Pools and concoct an efficient way to funnel the right talent into potential new hires.

In a nutshell, “getting the best out of the recruitment process, e.g. the highest return on investment and great experience for all stakeholders” (@enmichael) is what it means to optimize your recruitment. Emmanuel joined in the chat and reminded us that optimization means making the process run smoothly for all parties involved. Here are some basic tenets of recruitment optimization for review:

  • Own your metrics
  • Analyze all parts of the process, including individual participants
  • Recognize holes in the process that need focus
  • Replace manual tasks where beneficial
  • Enhance the hiring process by working on the separate parts

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Data and automation are likely already a big part of your recruitment strategy. But are you using them correctly in order to fine-tune your recruitment to the best it can be? If not, your hires (and your entire company) may be struggling unnecessarily. Check out what our #TAinnovators chat participants had to say about how they measure recruitment success.

Optimize your recruitment question 2

Q2. How do you measure your recruitment success? Are there any metrics you’d like to measure but aren’t yet?

Our #TAinnovators chat contributors are currently measuring:

  • Time to fill
  • Time to hire
  • Quality of hire
  • Efficiency
  • Innovation
  • ROI
  • Longevity

Here are some crucial metrics they may have forgotten:

  • Source of hire
  • Applicant drop-off rate
  • Job offer to acceptance ratio

Remember that your focus here needs to be on areas of your recruitment that need the most attention. Thinking about what will get you the most in return when you optimize your recruitment is the smartest route to take! So how do you know where your process could be improved? It often lies in time-consuming manual tasks.

Optimize your recruitment question 3

Q3. Which recruitment practices do you consider outdated, and which manual tasks do you still keep in place?

Here are some outdated manual recruitment tactics, according to our #TAinnovators crew:

  • Paper advertising (e.g. flyers, magazine ads, billboards);
  • Traditional, one-person interview structures;
  • Spreadsheets and/or paper documents;
  • Generic cover letter requirements;
  • Aptitude tests.

There are some commonalities among these manual tasks that make them less-than-appealing to continue in modern recruitment:

  1. Strictly offline channels;
  2. Non-collaborative tasks;
  3. Manual organization (or lack thereof) without online backup;
  4. Habitual requirements that have always been around;
  5. Impersonal tests of candidates.

These can be eradicated to improve the metrics mentioned above (and more). HR tech, such as an ATS, can drastically decrease unwarranted effort put in and increase hiring efficiency. However, we aren’t against all manual tasks, per se. Here are some of the #TAinnovators favorite manual tasks that they keep around:

  • Team interviews;
  • Trial tests;
  • Video answers;
  • Physical agendas and calendars.

What do you think? You should consult your entire team to see what manual tasks can be nixed and what can stick around. Speaking of team collaboration…

Optimize your recruitment question 4

Q4. How many people do you have involved in the recruitment process? Do you think less is more?

For the fourth and final question, the #TAinnovators chat broached the subject of having “too many cooks in the kitchen”. Is this possible in recruitment? Should you involve everyone, regardless of company size? When you optimize your recruitment, it means trimming down, but does that apply to your hiring team? The talent acquisition innovators weighed in:

@TAinnovatorBeth: Everyone! Create a crash course for the hiring process, and let everyone give some input. The more the merrier.

Collaborative hiring has its perks:

  • Reduced chance of biases swaying hiring decisions
  • Increased company morale
  • Inclusivity and a feeling of contribution from all team members
  • Better fits due to allowing input from everyone

@BrainBlenderTec: We now use a lot of AI recruitment throughout. It not only headhunts but pinpoints skills that are or will be needed.

Artificial intelligence was brought up as a potential recruitment team member. But does this replace human interaction and decision-making? It’s up for debate and will have to be proven effective. Automation works to a certain degree, but make sure you aren’t sacrificing collaboration and tasks that need to be hands-on in the process.

@Jkatzaman: The size of your recruitment process should relate to the size of your company and the number of positions to fill. In a small business, the recruiter might be the owner. On the other hand, Microsoft relies on Google.

It’s well-known that large corporations don’t get the most interaction at the candidate-level from the CEO. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t be involved in the process! To give a personal feel, have the owner of the company (big, small, or in-between) delineate the company values and goals. Check out this email to employees at LinkedIn from CEO Jeff Weiner as an example. This inclusiveness should be felt across the board, whether by the owner being physically present or by the entire team being on the same page. You should all be working toward the same goals, and this should reflect in the people you end up choosing to join the team!

@MeursMilan: We try to involve the whole team in the recruitment process. Not at every stage of the funnel, but for some stages, input from the people that are actually going to work with the candidate can make a huge difference.

A healthy balance of collaboration is key. Milan establishes boundaries but also utilizes team tasks to ensure you’re doing everything possible to optimize your recruitment. Without letting too many opinions get in the way, hiring can be structured, organized, and a team sport at the same time. It makes a huge difference when a candidate can be evaluated by the people that will be working directly with them in the long-run. They know the ins and outs of the department and functions required for the position to be successful. You want the new hire to be a culture fit, so get the people who are immersed in the culture involved in hiring!

This #TAinnovators chat session taught us that there are many ways to optimize your recruitment, and they vary dependent on resources, outlook, and goals. However, the ideal hiring process is a collaborative one with minimal manual tasks. Speed up your time-to-hire and increase the quality of your new hires, simultaneously! It’s not unattainable, as long as you learn what optimizing the recruitment process means to you and your company.

Join us on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. ET by following #TAinnovators on Twitter!

#TAinnovators is a live chat that delves into the talent acquisition world and encourages discussion of trending recruitment topics. Follow @Recruitee on Twitter for updates.

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