As a Human Resources professional, I once found myself having to sift through a pile of over 1,000 resumes for a single selection process. Considering that my goal is normally to fill one single vacancy, it seems sensible to assume that dozens of candidates will match the profile I am looking for and that the recruitment process will therefore be "piece of cake". However, experience shows that things are not as easy as they seem.
Not all that glitters is a good candidate
Personnel selection has undergone deep changes in the last few years in favor of candidates, who have become the central focus of recruitment processes. Candidates apply for several job offers simultaneously now more than ever. However, their interest in each offer may vary. Moreover, out of the 250 applications received in average by an organization in response to a job offer, only 2% of the candidates are actually interviewed (ERE Media, 2013). This all points to the need to optimize our recruitment process. Here are some of the keys:
Maximize your reach
The greater the number of potential candidates you have access to, the higher the stakes you'll find the perfect candidate. In order to maximize your reach, follow these three steps:
Build up a network of contacts to spread the word about your recruitment process and to have access to more passive candidates. Top connectors (people who have significantly more contacts than most users on portals such as LinkedIn) are essential to the process, as they allow you to reach a considerably higher number of people.
Don't stick to one single channel. Being present in more than one channel guarantees not only profile diversity but also broader reach. Our recommendation here is to seek help from the Marketing Department to optimize our job offer's position on social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.).
Implement a referral program or encourage employees in the company to get involved in the process and send you any applications.
Strive for commitment
Having many candidates interested in your offer is not enough, you must go the extra mile. What can you do to make sure your candidates are really committed to your process?
Foster candidate engagement. Build a bond with your candidates and maintain it in the long term –even with those who end up not joining the company. To do this, convey adequately the company culture, customize the process as much as possible, and be transparent in terms of expectations, development, etc. And most importantly, explain the advantages of working at your company to the candidates before you focus on the long list of requirements they must meet.
Don't rush to close the process. If possible, spend all the time necessary to complete an efficient recruitment process. According to LinkedIn's Recruiting Trends report (2017), it takes over a month to hire a candidate for 67% out of the 4.000 professionals surveyed. The time you spend in selection will be time well spent.
If you bear in mind these tips, you'll realize the quality of your processes will improve significantly. You will be able to attract talent to the organization, and your company will be made up of more motivated and committed people. More often than not it is difficult to juggle the high pace of daily work and the thoroughness required by a quality selection process. However, you can always find a company to help you in the first phases of the process so that you can focus only on making the decision.
Lastly, don't forget that "The smartest business decision you can make is to hire qualified people. Bringing the right people on board saves you thousands, and your business will run smoothly and efficiently".(Brian Tracy)
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