A vital part of building a business, the recruitment process can be resource hungry and time consuming. Much more than posting an advert on a job site, taking a little extra care and attention can make all the difference when securing a long-term hire and capturing a passionate employee who helps take your business to the next level.

So, what exactly makes recruitment such an essential process and what tools are available to help optimise your approach?

What is recruitment?

Including a balance of tact, skill, analysis, and planning; finding the right employer in the modern marketplace can be extremely involved and challenging.

While the process may differ from business to business, there are several common steps that need to be followed in order to enjoy a manageable, replicable, and productive process. These include-

Internal Review: Time is spent on reviewing the role that is being recruited for, contextualised against the events that led to a need for hiring. This can be picking up a new employee with the necessary skillset, expanding a team in order to complete a project, as part of an ongoing growth strategy and more. Once the specifics have been identified, the relevant parties work on-

Crafting the Materials: This involves creating the package that will be circulated to attract a professional to take up the role. This requires the creation of – at a minimum – the job spec, the plan for making the vacancy known, the internal process to vet and interview the client, and any external providers you will work with once you have drawn up the package. Once complete, then it is time to take part in-

Outreach and Engagement: This executes your plan and, ideally, places the materials in the hands of your applicants or the third-party that will complete the task on your behalf. Once the materials have gone live, there will be a window of time during which applications will be tendered. After the first applications start hitting your inbox, it is time for-

Review: Getting ahead of this process is vitally important and allows you to start screening out unsuitable applicants or earmarking individuals for interview. This can involve preliminary rounds of phone interviews and conversations to sound out a candidate and get a sense of their personality, soft skills and ensuring that their credentials are correct. This can proceed over several rounds and involve in person interviews, aptitude tests, and reviews. But once you have narrowed the application pool down, it’s time for-

Due Diligence: It is time to carry out a full background check and review, with previous validation ideally carried out during the interview process. If there are irregularities with their records or issues emerge, it is important to pick them up with the potential hire as quickly as possible. Once the checks are passed, it is time to make a formal offer to the applicant

Hiring: A formal offer is made to the client who can accept or reject the tender. If accepted, the individual and your in-house team carry out the onboarding process, add them to the payroll, and set them up internally with their key responsibilities – starting a long-running review process to ensure they are embedding correctly and managing to carry out their essential tasks.

All in all, the process is not only exhaustive and time/resource intensive, but there is colossal room for error. And many a company has completed the key steps under their own steam only to pick up a new hire that lacks the skills or ability to carry out their roles and proves to be expensive or time-consuming to replace.

Why is it so important to get right?

While it may seem like recruitment involves a conveyor belt of applicants, the truth is far more complex. More art than science, recruiting correctly requires an understanding of the internal configuration of your company and an awareness of the professionals operating within your sector.

Failing to master your recruitment process can often invite more problems than it solves. Large volumes of applicants can make your hiring actions difficult, resulting in additional resource expenditure and ongoing problems. This can also stymie long-standing plans within the business when it comes to scaling, strategic decisions, or even finishing out key projects.

Failing to nail down an approach results in a lack of consistency, making each recruitment drive a fresh problem rather than building on previous lessons learnt. And taking a ramshackle approach can result in bad PR for your business. Don’t forget that applicants talk and being pushed around, poorly communicated with, or waiting weeks for a decision can lead to your business being badmouthed online – creating another issue that must be tackled.

It is also worth remembering that, even with the most organised and professional team, recruitment is extremely difficult. Some commonly occurring problems include-

Finding Qualified Individuals: Any individual that has undertaken staffing drives knows that a good hire these days is hard to find. The most qualified or successful hires are quickly snapped up by larger companies, with businesses often being restricted by budgetary requirements, geographic location, technical configurations and more. Locating, courting, and onboarding the right individual is immensely difficult and – all too often – recruiting involves an element of compromise.

Speed and Efficiency: Taking the time to review and correctly vet each client can be close to impossible. This makes taking additional care at the start of the process to correctly tailor the position to fit a specific type of professional or take constant steps to refine your pool. This can often result in a ballooning budget or drawing out recruitment to match your internal capacity – often resulting in the most qualified individuals getting cold feet and going with a faster moving competitor.

Legal Action: While every business may be different, it’s important to ensure that you are making the right hire and following the letter of the law when it comes to seeing out the process. The hiring process is subject to significant legal scrutiny and – if an applicant feels they have been poorly treated or discriminated against – they have strong ground to pursue legal action.

How can technology help?

While there is no substitute for working alongside a professional advisor or securing a seasoned professional to lead the recruitment drive, using a software platform can add significant value to the process. Whether you are carrying out a one-off search or a continued drive, some key benefits include, but are not limited to-

Oversight: Choosing a recruitment system can help you retain full visibility over your process. This can be through functionality such as dedicated dashboards and detailed documentation covering the process and retaining notes on interviewees. This allows for the crunching of data for end to end analysis and improvement or ensuring that no client is overlooked.

Collaboration: With rare exception, recruitment drives will not be carried out by lone individuals. Cloud based collaboration software allows employees to communicate more effectively and share feedback on promising candidates. This is particularly handy for businesses with separate offices in different countries or time-zones, allowing for quality communication and ironing out mistakes.

Optimisation: Deploying a platform or CRM system can help ensure that your teams put their best foot forward when dealing with candidates. This can be as simple as responding to emails or questionnaires, templating email alerts, and streamlining the process of following up with candidates regarding their success.

Error Reduction: Working with a dedicated platform allows you to create and enforce a pipeline for engaging with candidates that reduces issues or errors when it matters most. This can be segmented or tiered as necessary, allowing employees high autonomy when dealing with the recruitment process while ensuring that every box is ticked. This also allows for database hygiene and allows you to keep records of previous interviewees that can potentially be used in future drives.

Targeted Care: If your recruitment processes are running into the same obstacles again and again, a tailored system can help refine your approach and ensure that key pain points are tackled. This can help eliminate unnecessary process steps, reinforce best practice, or incorporate key actions and functionality that you wish you had.

What next?

If you want to learn more about streamlining your recruitment process, our team at Practical Software is here to help. With many years’ professional experience, we understand the importance of providing that essential edge that helps your business secure the dream employees that you want…and the essential hires you never knew you needed.

You can check out the functionality of our dedicated software packages from here or learn more about how we work with our clients from here. Or if you have any questions about your unique business needs or how to tackle problems you keep encountering again and again, you can contact us today and let our in-house team know exactly what you need to get your processes totally fit-for-purpose.