In this article we concentrate on the role management can play in recruitment and highlight 10 topics that influence recruitment. The goal: to provide best practice recommendations about how managers can help make the recruitment process more productive, successful and efficient.
1. Understanding the recruitment process.
An indicator of understanding of the recruitment process is the manager’s capability to provide necessary resources, realistic expectations in regard to the recruitment process and planning time for recruitment.
To conduct a productive recruitment process, we need to have a realistic search profile.
If we are looking for ‘unicorns’, trying to find the one magical person who has the skills of several specialists, the recruitment can wind up an endlessly protracted process.
We should be ready to pay remuneration at a realistic market level. If there is a disparity between the candidate profile we are looking for and the salary level offered, we might consider whether we can moderate our expectations and hire a candidate with slightly less experience. We can also consider recruiting someone part-time or outsourcing the function.
It is very important that managers plan and find time in their calendar to meet candidates.
If the manager has planned a longer holiday, posting or training, this information is very important for planning the recruitment process, so that selected candidates are not suddenly placed on hold.
It is important for the manager understand the recruitment process as a whole and the factors that impact it.
That is the only way to avoid errors from lack of information and focus on achieving the best result.
2. Being aware of the cost of recruitment.
Recruitment is time-consuming which makes it expensive, incurring direct and indirect costs.
The direct costs of recruitment are easy to measure – we know how much we pay for running a wanted ad, and maybe we will also buy an ad on some social media channel to complement it. A large share of the costs is in the form of hours of work – the time spent on recruitment. We often don’t realize the number of hours of work or visualize them in monetary terms, much as with the costs related to unfilled positions or primary job duties that are not performed during the work that is left undone during the recruitment process.
Only when we have thought about it and become aware of something does the nature of anything become clear, and we tend to be more conscientious about expenses that we have tallied and been aware of.
The indirect costs of recruitment include expenditures made on training personnel; rent of recruitment software and additional expenses incurred as a result of the main duties, which often pile up as overtime for someone, contractual penalties for contracts not performed on time or revenue forgone or costs of remedying quality problems caused by haste or understaffing. Indirect costs of recruitment can also be considered to include time when the new employees are trained and are not yet completely up to speed in their position.
How many man-hours are spent on ordinary recruitment at your company? What is the price of recruitment measured in money?
3. Focus on the 20% of activities that produce 80% of the outcome.
The input for recruitment comes from the management and starts from analysis. The word analysis often sounds boring and annoying but the rule is that 80% of the result is derived from 20% of activities. Management has to be aware of and focus in the 20% of activities where the contribution is important and which impacts 80% of the outcome.
4. Everything starts from analysis of the job role.
The recruitment manager must first think through the job role and put together a job description. The accuracy of the analysis dictates the accuracy of the targeting, whether we will start looking for someone to hire, what their duties are and, consequently, what kind of person we want, what sorts of abilities sand knowledge they should have to be successful in their work.
Work tasks in today’s organizations often change and morph quickly. Every new recruitment makes it possible to customize the search based on the changing job roles and find a person with new abilities who is a better fit for the position.
5. Recruitment influences the company’s image and reputation
There are some job postings that always draw responses while at other companies it is hard to persuade even candidates found by headhunting to accept the position.
Managers should be aware of the company’s image, and whether they are considered trustworthy, stable and an attractive employer. What do people say and think about the company, what do current employees say about the company, what do former employees say?
A company with a strong brand will be sure to have more candidates, but companies should also have an attractive, well-rounded value offer that includes everything the employer has to offer the employee. The candidate decisions are also impacted by the work environment, development possibilities, organisational culture, flexibility, even the location. In addition, recruiters should be aware of their position in respect to competitors and other factors that help the company stand out from the competition.
Managers have an opportunity to impact all of the processes related to image-building to increases the company’s appeal.
6. Preparing for and conducting the interview
Both the candidate and the manager have to do their homework for the interview, i.e. neither party should take the process too lightly. Take time, put the phone on silent, read the CV and cover letter before the start of the interview and prepare the needed questions for the interview as well.
It is important to treat all candidates with respect, avoid preconceived notions and not ask questions that are not related to work and inappropriate. The topic of remuneration must also be discussed and in providing feedback, keep promises and stock to schedule without undue delays in feedback:
If the interview turns up an important factor that makes the candidate unqualified for the position, respect also entails explaining this in a transparent way so that the parties don’t waste each other’s time. Neutral and appropriate feedback gives the candidate information on possibilities for self-development.
7. The candidate’s experience
The candidate’s experience starts with a streamlined and efficient candidate process, but it is influenced by smooth communication in the course of recruitment, process transparency, emotions the candidate gets from the whole process and, for the selected candidate, new-employee onboarding. Those who get a good experience of being a candidate will be ready to try again even if they are rejected, and recommend that their friends apply, too.
8. The decision
The manager’s function is to decide. If the criteria are laid down precisely in place at the start of the recruitment process, candidates can easily be compared objectively, leaving aside “sixth sense” and “gut feeling”.
Good candidates do not stay available for long. If the decision is delayed, the recruitment may have to be started all over again, as candidate does not understand why there is no progress and they will accept another position or bow out.
9. The precondition of successful recruitment is cooperation
Just like business processes are the managers’ forte, recruiters are experts in their own work. The best results are always achieved in cooperation.
Recruitment does not end on the day that the candidate is hired but once their probationary period and onboarding are over. But who is responsible for the onboarding process? Is onboarding the human resource department’s task?
The human resources department is the one who makes sure the onboarding process runs smoothly and is implemented in the company. The HR department can assist and help prepare for the first day at work and orientation, but managers are responsible for mentoring, assigning everyday tasks and supporting onboarding in the team.
It is important to establish clarity of roles, because different departments and executives may be involved in the onboarding and every one of them has a different role and task for supporting the new employee. Assigning a mentor, face-to-face conversations and regular feedback is beneficial, and certainly time must be devoted to supporting new-employee onboarding.
+1 Recruiting metrics
Just as sales or customer service relies on metrics for assessing quality of the work, managers should also be aware of recruiting metrics.
A few examples of the metrics: for example, what is the average number of days from opening the position to hire (time to fill)? or
What is the number of days from first contact with candidate to acceptance of job offer (time to hire)?
The hiring expenses can be calculated by dividing the total expenses on recruitment by the number of people hired during a given period (cost per hire).
Much more than one filled position can be gained or lost in each recruitment.