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How to improve your recruiting process

Improving your recruiting process involves crafting clear job ads, enhancing candidate sourcing, building talent pipelines, increasing recruitment efficiency, effectively evaluating candidates, and enhancing candidate experience. Each step contributes to a more efficient, productive, and pleasant recruitment process for both candidates and hiring teams.

Nikoletta Bika
Nikoletta Bika

Nikoletta holds an MSc in HR management and has written extensively about all things HR and recruiting.

Refined recruitment processes are efficient, productive and pleasant for both candidates and hiring teams. Here are a few ways to improve your recruiting process:

Craft clear and attractive job ads

Effective job ads help you evaluate candidates on job-related criteria. Work with your company’s hiring managers to create job descriptions that:

  • Provide useful and specific details about open roles. When listing job duties, mention projects your new hire may undertake or teams they will work with. Distinguish between “must-have” and “nice-to-have” requirements so as not to discourage candidates who could learn secondary skills on the job. As a general rule, keep your list of “must-haves” to around 6 bullet points.
  • Choose straightforward job titles. Be clear about roles you’re hiring for. Avoid using words like “rockstar” and suspect or clickbait titles and text (e.g. “Great opportunity for recent graduates!”)
  • Promote your company. Describe what makes your company unique to give candidates compelling reasons to apply. Be specific: “We opened three new branches recently” is more precise than “We are growing fast.” Also, outline benefits and perks your company offers.
  • Use clear and inclusive language. Avoid jargon and complicated sentences and speak directly to candidates (e.g. use “you” instead of “the ideal candidate.”) Avoid discriminatory language (e.g. “salesman”, “young and energetic.”) And if your company actively supports diversity, let candidates know.

Boost your candidate sourcing

Most people who are employed still want to hear about new job opportunities. Discover passive candidates with these sourcing techniques to increase your chances of making great hires:

  • Source on social media. Follow conversations and people on popular social media like Twitter and more niche platforms like Reddit. Look for people with interest and expertise relevant to positions you’re hiring for (e.g. if you’re hiring for a data scientist, look into threads or conversations on big data or machine learning on StackOverflow or GitHub.)

(To source EU candidates, please refer to guidance on using social media for recruiting and collecting candidate information as per the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR.)

  • Attend events. Expand your sourcing by going to industry events, conferences and meetups that professionals you’re hiring for might attend (e.g. a UX Meetup to network with UX designers.)
  • Use Boolean search. Boolean search helps you discover candidate resumes. Use Boolean strings on Google to find profiles on social media.
  • Get referrals. Referrals are often a good way to find high-quality hires. Create and promote a referral program with incentives. Referral software can also help you use gamification methods to drive more referrals.
  • Invest in sourcing tools. Sourcing tools help you find qualified candidates for your open roles fast. For example, People Search builds complete profiles, often including an email address, resume and other social networks where your prospect is active.
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Build talent pipelines

Talent pipelines are groups of candidates who can fill future roles. By sourcing candidates before roles open, you have ample time to engage them early so you can reduce your time-to-hire when a suitable role opens up.

Here are four main steps to building talent pipelines:

  • Determine what roles need a pipeline (usually roles with high turnover or roles that are hard-to-fill.)
  • Look to past candidates, former employees and interns to build your pipeline.
  • Source passive candidates by combining various sourcing techniques (e.g. Boolean search, events.)
  • Reach out to candidates to engage them and stay in touch until you have an open role for them.

RelatedRecruitment process effectiveness metrics FAQ

Improve your recruitment efficiency

Here are a few ways to increase your efficiency as a recruiter:

  • Build checklists for standard processes. Checklists help you organize your hiring. Use them to prepare for interviews and screening calls to ensure you have all the information you need before speaking with candidates.
  • Use email templates. Personalized emails are important, but you may not always know where to start. Choose templates to ask for referrals or invite candidates to interviews. Update your recruiting email templates regularly so they rarely become stale.
  • Invest in recruiting software. Video recruiting software (e.g. HireVue, JobmaSpark Hire) saves you time and money when you’re interviewing remote candidates. Applicant tracking systems can also help you manage your hiring stages, keep candidate profiles in a searchable database and collaborate with your team.
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Evaluate candidates effectively

An improved recruitment process revolves around screening methods that help you select the most qualified candidates. Here are a few of these methods:

  • Review work samples and assignments. Evaluate work samples from candidates’ portfolios or ask candidates to complete assignments as part of your hiring process (e.g. an editing exercise for Editor candidates.) If you’re hiring developers, consider using a tech recruiting platform (e.g. Codility) that supports coding challenges and online technical interviews.
  • Try tests. Ask candidates to take standardized tests. This approach can help you reduce the number of candidates you interview, thus saving hiring managers’ time. Tests aren’t perfect, so be sure to combine them with other assessment methods (like work samples) and analyze results before you disqualify candidates.
  • Structure (or semi-structure) your interviews. Unstructured interviews can’t predict job performance consistently. To add structure to your interviews, prepare your questions beforehand and tie them to job requirements (e.g. prepare management interview questions to ask candidates interviewing for senior positions.) It’s a good idea to use the same questions for each candidate and score those questions using the same scale. Your ATS’s interview scorecards can be useful for structuring interviews this way.

In addition to these methods, invest in training for your hiring teams. Interview training helps teams evaluate candidates better, which improves the quality of your hires.

Enhance candidate experience

Every interaction with candidates shapes their impression of your company. A positive candidate experience is good for your employer brand and helps you build a healthy pipeline. Here are a few factors that affect candidate experience:

  • Shorten your application process. Most candidates quit lengthy application processes. Applications that can be filled out in less than five minutes attract more applicants. Ask candidates to upload their resume and cover letter and complete a few qualifying questions. Stick to simple and relevant questions and avoid asking for information you can find on resumes or online profiles.
  • Update your careers page. Both active and passive candidates visit your careers page to learn more about your company. When re-designing your careers page, aim to:
    • Be informative. Use employee stories or quotes and describe your company benefits.
    • Be user-friendly. Include images and videos to personalize your page. If possible, consult a designer to make your page easy to navigate and nice to look at.
    • Be genuine. Present what makes your company a great place to work and avoid overused or empty phrases like “fast-paced environment” and “core values.”
  • Keep candidates in the loop. Candidates want to be updated throughout your hiring process. Set reminders to follow up with candidates you screened or interviewed. Your ATS’s built-in email templates can help facilitate communication at every hiring stage. It’s also a good practice to send rejection emails to disqualified candidates and offer to provide interview feedback.

Improving your company’s hiring is an ongoing process. Track useful metrics to assess your improvements and identify ways to revamp your recruiting.

Don’t miss: The best interview questions to ask candidates

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