This article was originally published at Smart Recruit Online.
By Chris Murdock
I want to start this article off by saying no talent acquisition process is perfect. Like the genetics and characteristics that define people as unique, every business is unique in how they source, recruit and engage talent. Some businesses do group interviews, some prefer to use text recruiting technology and others enjoy more traditional methods like posting on job boards or advertising their open positions in newspapers.
Let’s be honest, you’re probably reading this because you have some aspect of your talent acquisition process that you’d like to fix, edit or change altogether. If so, welcome! These 5 tips to increase efficiency in recruiting and sourcing are good for any occasion! Let’s break it down, step-by-step:
BUILD A REPUTATION OF EXCELLENCE
One of the best assets any business has at their disposal for talent acquisition is their brand. When people view you and the work you do as excellent, you tend to see an increase in respect from pools of talent. When making a decision on where to apply for a job, 84% of employees/job seekers say the reputation of a company as an employer of choice is important. Not only is a strong reputation an asset for attracting top talent, it’s also a means to promote your expertise.
Here are some basic tips for building a reputation of excellence:
- Foster integrity – Honesty works like a magnet to both clients and candidates. Be up-front, genuine and open-minded with everything you do and they will respect you for it.
- Go the extra mile – When you take extra steps to ensure the success of your clients and talent pools, everyone ends up a lot happier and more satisfied with your service. Meeting the minimum requirements just doesn’t cut it in today’s candidate-driven job market. Be sure to follow-up with clients and candidates long after your required tasks are done.
- Make connections – When you work with people, you’re all a part of the same team. Working as such will help you build relationships with those people and establish a lasting connection to them. Grow your network! Be open to making friendships with your team members.
BUILD A REFERRAL PROGRAM
Referred candidates are 5x more effective than ordinary candidates sourced from job boards, so adding them to the top categories of your roster for potential hires is a must. Since these candidates often take more time in the acquisition process, it’s best to have a referral program in place to maximize talent pools and speed things up.
Here are some basic tips for building a successful referral program:
- Determine your offer – Being as clear as you can about what’s being offered to referrers is the best way to eliminate confusion and minimize hiccups in the process, especially if the reward is a bonus or other sum of money. Create formal documents or agreements if needed to help with this.
- Comb internal pools (before external) – Ask your current employees who they would like to work with and what people they worked with in the past that they enjoyed working with and why. Gathering your internal pool first will help narrow your search.
- Send regular status updates – Once referrals start applying, keep them updated on everything from the status of their application to the offer/rejection. Both candidates and referrers want to hear back from you, so let them know what’s going on.
SET A COMMUNICATION SCHEDULE
Candidates want to know what’s going on, and keeping them updated quickly and frequently will help improve the trust between them and the company. Organizations that invest in a strong candidate experience improve their quality of hires by 70%. Maintaining consistent communication with regular updates to candidates is a major factor in improving candidate experience.
Here are some basic tips for creating a simplified communication schedule:
- Take advantage of free technology – Use whatever technology you have at your disposal to communicate. Platforms like Google and Yahoo have a vast number of functions to assist with maintaining constant communication with candidates.
- Set reminders – Setting reminders to follow-up on communication with a candidate will help keep yourself accountable. Sync alerts on your mobile device to keep a constant watch on what questions or problems your candidates are experiencing.
- Network through follow-ups – The candidate experience isn’t over after the search has been closed. Focus on the follow-through to keep top talent in your pipeline for future positions.
CREATE A STRONG TALENT PIPELINE
Talent Acquisition doesn’t end when the offer is extended to a candidate. What about future positions or openings? Do you have a backup plan in place in case the candidate doesn’t work out? That’s where talent pipelines come in. Building relationships with and nurturing candidates, even if they don’t get an offer, helps prepare your business to hire ahead of demand.
Here are some basic tips for creating a strong talent pipeline:
- Create a database – Maintaining your network of candidates is easier with a database. Whether it’s in an ATS or a basic Google spreadsheet, create a central hub for your pipeline.
- Stay in touch – Good communication doesn’t have to mean emailing candidates every day. If they live in your city, take them out to lunch or meet up and chat. Get to know your candidates so they know you’re invested in them.
- Have them meet the team – In addition to getting to know candidates, introduce them to your team. Maybe let them shadow an employee for a day to show them what life is like in the office. In talent acquisition, it’s the little things that make all the difference – like showing candidates you mean business wherever you can.
BUILD-OUT YOUR ONBOARDING PLAN
A lot of times talent acquisition becomes so hyper-focused on the present that it can be difficult to map out the next step in the process: onboarding. But preparing for the next step is just as important, if not more important, than what’s happening in the present. In terms of recruiting and sourcing, that means planning the onboarding process to help prepare for the tasks leading up to extending the job offer to the right candidate. 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding.
Here are some basic tips for creating an effective onboarding plan:
- Plan ahead – The future can be hard to predict, so having a flexible program in place that can adapt to changes is key. Honestly, sometimes brainstorming possibilities for all possible outcomes can be a great way to make sure you’re never caught off guard when something goes wrong. For example, having a network of referred candidates to interview if a new hire unexplainably quits and disappears after their first month on the job.
- Outsource (if you need to) – Many factors go into a successful onboarding program. One such factor is using cost-effective planning strategies. When it comes to recruiting and sourcing, every penny counts. If it’s cheaper to outsource your onboarding and training, it never hurts to take advantage to save some much-needed capital.
In the end, the most helpful thing you can do to increase efficiency in your recruiting and sourcing process is to keep moving forward. In an industry where there are so many moving parts, we’re bound to have a challenge. It’s important to follow up, learn and move forward from those challenges.
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