The hiring process is broken and we know that.
- 72% of hiring managers believe they are giving candidates clear job descriptions
- 36% of candidates say that is what they experience
- 55% of candidates report frustration with the recruitment process
- 71% of employers have discovered misstatements in resumes
- 40% of them even found a required skill (reported in CV) was nonexistent
Stats were gathered by TEKsystems surveying 13,000 job candidates and over 1,400 employers.
The recruitment process is becoming more and more complicated and there’s no tool that fits all needs.
I learned that ~14 years ago and I was overwhelmed to learn how tedious and complicated recruitment is.
It covers all industries and types of roles, some on-site and others remote, for various roles across different locations.
The process itself includes a ton of separate steps:
- Writing the job description
- Publishing across job boards
- Promoting to networks
- Collecting and compiling applications
- Filtering and organizing
- A process tracking system (for applicants) and the status of the conversations
- Collaboration software for reviewing applications together before interviews
- Scheduling meetings or online phone vetting calls
- On-site interviews
- Test assignments
- Offers and negotiations
- Hiring terms finalization
I am probably missing some steps. But this explains why a single tool doesn’t get the job done.
Ideal.com, however, published a really useful post on the 36 top recruiting software tools of 2021
Of these steps mentioned above, we will narrow down the recruitment process into 5 major aspects that are often part of the recruitment process.
- Finding Talent
- Job Posting
- Scheduling Interviews
- Applicant Screening
- Vetting Potential Hires
I will also be sharing with you tips on how you can optimize each of these major aspects.
These tips specifically aim to guide you in improving your process of finding the right talent, preparing a suitable job post, organizing your interview schedule, and vetting potential hires. Plus, let’s check how recruitment marketing can optimize your recruitment process further.
1. Finding Talent
Finding talent is generally accomplished in two ways:
- Submitting jobs on Monster, Indeed, other job sites, and potentially promoting jobs on LinkedIn or Facebook
- Looking candidates up on platforms like LinkedIn.
Of course, there are other approaches, including job posting via social networks, working with an HR assistant, sifting through relevant industry networks, and tapping the help of recruitment firms.
I have listed down below 5 common ways by which you can find talent in your industry.
LinkedIn is the most effective place to look up talent after reviewing their career history, endorsements, and even hints that someone may be looking for a job.
I receive about 80 applications from 2nd or 3rd level contacts on LinkedIn every month.
As long as the applicant is applying for a real job or their skill set is aligned with what we need, I’m perfectly comfortable to discuss potential job opportunities or forward them to HR.
As a disclaimer, it’s not uncommon to receive random applications that look like this:
- “I am desperately looking for a job and hope you can help me.”
- “I’m a construction worker but want to work online from now on.”
- Recycled spam letters (sometimes even including a wrong name addressing someone else in the message)
Flag or ignore those types of applications as they will eventually show up as a wrong fit.
But, touching base for potential job opportunities with a somewhat relevant profile is fine.
Social networks like Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter are rarely a suitable place even though certain industries may be active on Twitter and directly announce they are open for a job.
Facebook is still perceived as a personal network for friends. Companies or recruiters may look up a candidate’s profile once they receive a CV but searching on Facebook won’t be as effective.
However, there are pages (or groups) where you can post job announcements and leverage the number of their members.
Job groups on Facebook may do the work, but most companies only submit job descriptions and not really reaching out to people directly. The same goes for forums.
Make sure that you post your recruitment team’s complete contact details when posting job announcements via these social networking sites: This will allow your applicants to send a followup and get connected with you.
This can be executed in multiple ways.
A full-time, experienced HR on-site could be instrumental for any team (especially large ones).
However, you can also:
- Start with an HR assistant who’s less experienced but can do the initial reviews, submitting jobs, things like that
- Hire a freelance HR/consultant for specific activities
- Get an HR intern for screening and the initial calls
A virtual assistant may be of help, too!
Certain industries may also benefit from their own networks:
- Companies may search for GitHub profiles in their network and contact developers directly.
- Dribbble or Behance are suitable portfolio sites for designers.
- Content writers who freelance on ProBlogger or relevant writing networks may receive full-time job offers.
Other networks like AngelList or XING are effective in certain verticals, but LinkedIn is the predominant solution if you want to easily narrow down your potential applicants according to the industry you’re in.
Top recruiting firms are supposed to do all of the heavy liftings for you – pitching, organizing career fairs, tapping into their networks and profile databases, phone screening, interviews, etc. You’re supposed to meet the final top 3 or so.
Sure, it’s expensive, and it doesn’t work 100% of the time. But if time is your #1 problem, there you go.
2. Job Posting
In an article by Jobber Academy on how to write the perfect job posting, you will find the following 5 main parts of a job posting:
- Company overview
- Position summary
- List of responsibilities
- List of job requirements
Aside from those main parts mentioned, we have also explored some other ways to boost the success rate of our job posting.
We certainly have seen more applications coming in after announcing a salary range for certain roles in our job posts.
This isn’t quite common for most roles out there. There are two specific benefits to doing this:
- More applications, as mentioned.
- Ensuring that the applicants will fit the salary requirements.
Sadly, this approach comes with various negatives:
- Poor brand perception unless the salary is really high. Nobody wants to be perceived as “cheap”.
- Receiving a larger volume of applications from interns and juniors aiming for this range.
- Missing out on candidates who may fit a different level of seniority or a role.
- Due to the previous two, defining ranges is complicated. Many companies are open to different configurations based on the interviews. It may be worth paying a bit more for a senior and a mid-level than two mid-levels.
- Missing decent talent that ranks a higher paycheck first, regardless of any other factors.
- Payment expectations at interviews are always near the top 10% of the salary range.
Using clichés and an impressive salary number without any company traits simply doesn’t work all the time.
This targets only two groups of people:
- Extremely money-driven ones
- Juniors and inexperienced folks
Nothing wrong with both categories, but this discards a vast percentage of qualified and experienced folks who care about the brand, the product (or type of service), a portfolio of clients, office location, company size, career path, and a bunch of other factors.
3. Scheduling Interviews
Recruitment is considered a crucial activity for many founders, CEOs of smaller companies, and senior managers. If you can delegate that completely to someone on your team, go ahead. Otherwise, you can resort to a few alternatives that will help you schedule interviews and plan your time well.
Browse some of The 17 Best Meeting Scheduler Apps and Tools — such as Assistant.to, Calendly, Boomerang Calendar. You can book some available hours in your calendar and share a schedule link with your applicants, thus reducing the time for meeting planning.
There’s also an AI scheduling bot called x.ai.
x.ai is one alternative of an AI-driven assistant for scheduling meetings. It works in a similar fashion to scheduling platforms, but you can introduce the bot to an email thread and they can schedule the meeting on your behalf. It’s fairly smart and replicates a human’s behavior.
Once you have already picked the right option that works for you, it becomes easier to unblock your weekly planner from unnecessary interviews.
4. Applicant Screening
Another way to unblock unnecessary interviews is by conducting a thorough screening of the applicants. How do you spare your company from the trouble of having to go through every CV?
At this point, we will discuss how to identify the key areas to check when screening applicants.
Focusing on the Job Summary
The job summary could reveal all the details a recruiter needs to make an educated guess on a potential hire. Some studies show that recruiters spend about 6 seconds on a CV before deciding to keep it or throw it away.
I’ve read thousands over the years and the math is right, but the key culprit is finding a troublesome misalignment within the resume itself. Think of obvious typos, a stupid motto that makes no sense, a notable mismatch between the applicant and the job.
Few people take the time (or know-how) to update their summaries and focus on their accomplishments. Among your primary considerations should include the applicants’ strong “wins” working in a company, skills gained, results they can take credit for, and challenges they’ve dealt with successfully.
Give less weight on what the applicant’s former colleagues called them on the job. If the job description was what a mid-level content marketer or a senior developer does in a different firm, that’s a fine substitute. Just make sure there are no obvious misalignments between the former job of the applicant and what you are aiming for.
Screening Via Phone Interviews
Phone interviews are an intermediate step between receiving an application and scheduling an interview.
The best way to schedule an interview is over the phone anyway. So why not maximize the opportunity to collect additional context about the applicant?
Some of the key reasons phone screening work well:
- Forming an initial perception of the applicant. You should never judge by only a quick phone call. Though you’ll be surprised by how much trouble you can save just from conducting a 5-minute call.
- Asking follow-up questions about the CV or the application. If anything is bothering you, this is a great time to ask for context. A required skill or a language that is a “must-have” may be clarified over a call.
- Finding out whether the applicant is using the “shotgun approach” or actually knows what the firm is about.
- Reduce the friction by warming up the applicant before the interview.
- Understand if there are any major obstacles that would be a blocker onward. Some applicants solely work for remote work even when applying for on-site positions, and this may come up over a call.
Phone calls may be misleading at times. You may interrupt someone during a business meeting, at the restroom, while driving or after a night shift. They aren’t working for you yet so they are free to do whatever in the meantime.
I have discarded applicants during phone screening myself. Some are arrogant and it’s not even worth calling them back. Some apply with fake CVs (yes, that’s a thing).
There was an applicant who was still a university student. The initial chat went well and I tried to invite him to our office.
I tried to suggest 8 different times and days to meet his complex agenda and it still wasn’t working out. Eventually, it turned out he was applying for a full-time job at our office while spending 30+ hours at university and traveling out of town almost every weekend.
I still recall how challenging it was to clear out a simple, straightforward detail of arranging an interview. I can’t imagine what working together would have looked like.
You can also reduce the number of on-site interviews by crafting a smart selection process as a combination of a quiz plus a test assignment as a form of a trial test.
Having a measurable way to assess results will save you time conducting on-site interviews.
It takes a while to come up with the right scenarios — and there’s still some communication overhead — but it’s a great way to screen people upfront.
5. Vetting Potential Hires
Validate training certifications.
Not all training certifications are valuable or legit – especially those social media certifications which have become more and more popular among applicants who go through social media training and the like to “boost” their CVs.
I wouldn’t pay attention to a social media certificate as I’ve never seen a comprehensive training that worked well enough.
Case in point, one does not have to undergo comprehensive lectures on how to handle social media accounts. You don’t need to be employed to maintain social accounts.
- Sign-ups are free.
- Content requires creativity.
- Images can be sourced from Unsplash or Canva.
- Followers should be built organically.
- Some networks offer “coupons” for some free ads cache you can experiment with.
What matters is practical experience.
It’s enough that the candidates for a job have a fan page or a community somewhere, a Twitter account, an Instagram profile and start generating content. Experiment with posting times. Gauge attention. Gather feedback. Build a long-term plan.
Covering this in an application, and especially during an interview, would help a lot more than a random online certificate.
Distinguishing The Real Rockstars
Hiring “experts” is usually a recipe for disaster. Most “experts” are prone to the well-known Dunning-Kruger effect observed in people who have a very limited overview of their professional ecosystem.
That’s usually starting professionals, graduates, or other folks exposed to an inner circle of less qualified people who see them as established experts in the field.
Real rockstars don’t proclaim themselves to be experts. They have the numbers to prove their success, the portfolio and testimonials speak for themselves.
I see the title abused all the time, especially in the WordPress industry. I wrote about this a while ago, and we happen to work with plenty of clients who used to work with “experts” before they reached out for help.
If you’re running a business, you know how hard recruitment is.
Gone are the days when companies can just go cherry-picking among hundreds of applicants. Sure, CVs are flying in all the time, but they are predominantly interns or folks looking for a job in a different industry or field of work.
Top brands invest significantly in recruitment marketing.
It pays off in attracting top talent, retaining employees, building awareness, and cutting costs on other channels used in hiring.
I have discussed further in this video below why successful companies believe in recruitment marketing and how you can effectively implement it.
Have you invested in recruitment marketing?
What other challenges have you encountered in your recruitment process?