HR Strategy

Better Process, Better People: How Collaborative Recruiting Delivers Higher-Quality Talent

When more stakeholders engage in tech-savvy recruitment, the result is better quality and more satisfied talent.

In today’s complex talent market, employers all over the world are finding it hard to attract, hire and onboard critical talent successfully. Yet while many firms point at external factors as the cause of their woes, the real problems of talent acquisition can often more accurately be attributed to internal recruitment process issues.

According to Allegis Group’s 2017 Global Talent Advisory Survey, 33 per cent of companies feel their own poor recruitment processes are holding them back from getting the talent they need. Candidates feel even more strongly, with 59 per cent of modern job seekers reporting dissatisfaction with recruitment processes.

Best-in-class companies, on the other hand, stand out as more satisfied with their own recruitment. Their talent is happier, too. The key difference? Whether or not key stakeholders were collaboratively engaged in the talent search and recruitment process. The more stakeholders engaged, the better the outcomes ... lower costs to hire, shorter times to hire, and better “fit” of the final hire.

These benefits are not out of reach for all companies. Here, three of the top methods for increasing positive collaboration in the talent acquisition process will be examined with the aim of showing how organisations can quickly improve accountability, relationship quality, and the overall user experience.

Method #1: Make Clear Contracts With Each Other
The first step needed to create positive, effective, and collaborative recruitment processes is for each of the key stakeholders involved in talent acquisition to clearly define their roles and responsibilities. If possible, get these roles and responsibilities in writing in the form of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for everyone from the core recruitment team to the future manager and coworkers of the eventual hire.

For many organisations, this is novel territory. Yet moving successfully from a desire to hire someone to having a new hire in house requires everyone to play a part. A formalized, documented recruitment process is three times more likely than an ad hoc system to yield the desired results.

In fact, simply by having an honest, open conversation about what each stakeholder is supposed to be doing at every point in the process, even if formal SLAs are not created, can shine a spotlight on process breakdowns and dramatically improve stakeholder accountability, hiring efficiencies, and satisfaction across all participants (including the new hire).

Method #2: Leverage the Tech to Lessen the Load
High-quality recruitment and talent acquisition can be extremely labour intensive. It is not just about the sheer number of hours needed to handle an initial influx of resumes or manage scheduling for interviews. Beyond these administrative and gatekeeping tasks, there is also an enormous amount of mental bandwidth in play for multiple stakeholders.

Technology is supposed to help with this, but in many organisations it is not being used to its full potential. Firms have a tendency to treat applicant tracking system (ATS) data as a system of record rather than a place where new improvements in artificial intelligence could lessen the workload. Furthermore, a bias toward legacy systems and practices for communication and information sharing can leave many firms looking outdated to candidates whilst simultaneously handicapping their own internal efficiencies.

How can things be better? Leaning into the full potential of existing systems helps immensely. ATS programmeming has evolved to the point where candidates can be instantly screened by multiple metrics that go far beyond keywords. Even in setting up job listings, ATS analytics can indicate where postings exhibit gender or racial bias and suggest more inclusive language, helping frontline recruiters and team managers revise immediately to generate a more diverse pool of candidates.

Apps and other mobile technology can also shift impressions and candidate experiences. Scheduling interviews, for example, needn’t be done via email or phone. Apps like Calendly or Brazen allow candidates to schedule themselves into open time slots and also provide automated reminders to stakeholders. According to CB Insights, even small shifts like this can significantly reduce the administrative burden of hiring. It also makes the organisation look like a modern and up-to-date workspace, which is a critical metric Millennial and Gen Z candidates consider as they evaluate their options for employment.

Method #3: Listen, Implement, Evaluate, Repeat
Last but not last, organisations should never consider talent acquisition or recruitment processes to be carved in stone. Instead, periodically evaluate the structure, participants and outcomes to see if improvements are possible.

Best-in-class companies spend 63 per cent more time evaluating and adjusting their talent acquisition processes than other firms, according to research from Allegris Group and Austin, Texas-based Proactive Talent Strategies. This allows them to quickly adjust when there is a part of the process that no longer works for the organisation, either because a system has changed, a new law has come into effect, or former key stakeholders have moved on from the group.

In addition to maintaining internal efficiencies and effectiveness, ongoing collaborative conversations about how well certain processes are working (or not) lowers candidate frustration and boosts team satisfaction with recruitment overall. It also helps build a culture of responsiveness and sensitivity around talent acquisition, so that all key stakeholders feel heard and engaged with both the process and the results.

Companies do not have to settle for frustrating, underperforming talent acquisition systems. By having clear conversations about roles and responsibilities, leaning into available tech resources, and evaluating recruitment processes on a regular basis, firms can transform talent acquisition into an effective, enjoyable collaboration among key stakeholders.

Not only will this help get the right people in the door, it also helps ensure that prospective new hires feel, from the very beginning, that they are making a smart choice by connecting with a modern, well-organised firm.