Human Resource Management

HRM Guide UK HRM Guide USA HRM Guide World About HRM Guide Student HRM HR Updates Facebook
Search all of HRM Guide

Recruitment - Now Less of a Minefield?

In the first of this series of articles on implementing an optimum HR strategy, Tony Brookes, Sales Director, Vacancy Filler Recruitment Software, looked at the different recruitment methods. In this, the second article, he examines the vital next steps and takes a look at additional ways to ensure a recruitment strategy really delivers.

December 9 2014 - Recruitment is probably the most difficult part of running most businesses but also one of the most critical.

In the last article we looked at the choice of recruitment methods, which is becoming ever wider as new technology opens a greater range of options.

But once a company has decided on the preferred recruitment method(s), and they have some possible candidates to review, what is the next step in the quest for the optimal recruitment strategy?

Good Recruitment - Candidate Testing

Candidate testing, particularly where organisations are able to benchmark specific roles beforehand so that comparisons can be drawn between each candidate and the benchmark, will help considerably in the search for a 'good recruitment' strategy. However, it is not generally a good idea for testing to be left to the discretion of the hiring manager, who in all probability may not hire on a regular basis. Even the common use of cloud-based Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) may not help with this, as manager self-service is a common feature and so, without control, is in fact perhaps even more likely to deviate from a standard process. This is being seen in organisations who fully delegate the hiring of staff to departmental heads or regional managers with just a 'light touch' from HR, which is becoming increasingly common.

For an ATS to really help in the quest for good recruitment procedures, the system should act as an extension of an organisation's recruitment team - streamlining, optimising and allowing a business to get the absolute best out of its recruitment activities. As part of this, a good ATS provider should have a dedicated team of experienced recruiters, who can lend their expertise to an organisation, either as an ongoing arrangement or when the in-house team is pushed for time or are perhaps not used to recruiting for a certain type of role. This should include a service to optimise advertisements ensuring they are correctly targeted to reach and appeal to the right talent.

Defining the Process

Whether recruitment is partially or fully divested from a central function, it is important that a process is defined and the ATS supporting the process - including the in-built testing and background checks - logically guides the hiring manager through the process. Clearly a one size fits all approach is not going to work, as graduates have to be managed in a different way to, say, logistics or store workers. It is therefore important that a pre-defined recruitment process is flexible enough to cater for all the different role types, including those exceptions such as employee referrals, whilst at the same time rigid enough to ensure that the hiring manager is guided.

The recruitment process can be broken down into two key elements - the Candidate Journey and the Hiring Manager Journey.

Candidate Journey

Having used an ATS to promote the roles on offer, the candidate journey should focus on the engagement with the employee so that throughout the various stages your corporate brand and the overall impression given to the candidate is a strong one.

All communications sent from the system, whether by email, SMS or good old fashioned letters, should be timely and engaging. The ATS should be easy for the candidate to use - many systems now do not require a candidate whereby a candidate to pre-register to get a login and password, and they allow candidates to browse and start an application process on their mobile device and complete it later on their home PC or laptop without having to login to the system.

If the Candidate Journey is well managed, the outcome of this stage will be to pass suitable and qualified candidates to the appropriate manager.

Hiring Journey

Hiring managers can be similarly guided, so that they are not tempted to skip a stage and will be given the appropriate questions to ask for a particular role by using a digital template or checklist against which to score each candidate. These facilities will ensure that the HR strategy with regard to recruitment is adhered to as far as possible. The built-in ATS reporting tools will report on volumes and activities, and the ATS analytics tools can start to provide insight into why one region or manager is more successful than another. It is also important wherever possible, to combine HR data with recruitment data, so that new employees can be closely monitored in the early months of employment. By monitoring early staff turnover figures, the recruitment process can be further optimised and changes made where required.

Sometimes organisations are reluctant to implement ATS systems as they worry about the cost and time involved, but Implementing such a system need not be difficult or expensive. Depending on whether an organisation has a central recruitment function or whether it has, or intends to have, a fully delegated recruitment process, will inform exactly how it should be implemented. The candidate and hiring manager journeys can be set up quickly and then expanded to include new steps where and when appropriate. The outcome of implementing a truly optimised recruitment process will be the hiring of qualified and motivated people who are focussed on delivering your business goals. Your new hires will in turn raise the bar for your existing staff.

So far, so good. You have a good ATS system and the candidate and hiring manager journey are both on track to be defined, clear and consistent.

But how do you ensure that, whilst automating and streamlining the recruitment process, you really identify staff that will be loyal, happy and motivated to help deliver your organisation's aims and objectives?

Candidate Profiling

There is an increasing recognition that the process of profiling candidates as they work themselves through the recruitment process will make a significant contribution to finding high quality employees that will match the requirements of the job as well as the culture of the organisation.

Candidate profiling can be highly engaging for the candidate - while simultaneously acting as a filter for those who are less serious about joining your organisation. Using the profiling and testing process, the number of no-shows at the interview stages also drastically reduces and it's not uncommon for all candidates who make it through the final interview stage to be hired, as opposed to norms of 1 in 8.

Psychometric testing is a good starting point, but in a higher volume recruitment environment - for example retail or financial services - Situational Judgement Testing tends to have a better outcome. This is where the skills and personality attributes of the ideal employee has been benchmarked beforehand, so that candidates are tested and compared with the benchmarked results.

The testing process- whether Situational Judgement Testing or just simple competency testing- together with background screening, should be integrated into the recruitment process. Asynchronous Video Interviewing, whereby candidates are invited to answer at their leisure a few questions into a webcam, also helps spot personalities that are likely to be aligned with the company culture. This improves 'shortlisting productivity' by an estimated tenfold.

Once candidates come successfully through such a series of tests, the likelihood of them being the 'right candidate' is greatly enhanced which is easily measured by improved staff retention. This directly feeds through to the bottom line as having to rehire within a short space of time is very disruptive, costly and detrimental to the delivery of the business strategy.

If you would like more information about selecting a new recruitment system please request Vacancy Filler's 'Guide to selecting a Recruitment System' - send an email to

About Vacancy Filler

Vacancy Filler is unique in that it provides a comprehensive, flexible, integrated, sophisticated and easy-to-use recruitment software solution which streamlines the recruitment process for both candidate and recruiter and helps quality of hire, while offering a low cost of ownership and measurable return on investment.

Quick to implement, it aims to provide 80% of the functionality of more established recruitment software platforms at 20% of the cost.

Vacancy Filler is one of the leading suppliers of comprehensive online recruitment software which enables HR teams, front-line managers and senior managers to:
* Automate and centralise the recruitment process to save time and money
*Recruit and retain top talent while reducing reliance on recruitment agencies
*Improve candidate experience and build employer brand
*Align recruitment activity with the organisation's top goals and priorities

Telephone: 0844 800 9376

HRM Guide makes minimal use of cookies, including some placed to facilitate features such as Google Search. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to the use of cookies. Learn more here

HRM Guide Updates
Custom Search
  Contact  HRM Guide Privacy Policy
Copyright © 1997-2024 Alan Price and HRM Guide contributors. All rights reserved.