How effective is your recruitment process?

December 01, 2022

As the war for talent continues, a key consideration for any organisation should be how efficient their recruitment process is. Whilst this may seem a simple consideration, many organisations lose out on talent due to lengthy applications processes, lack of consistency in the way that candidates are interviewed, and slow decisions that result in candidates dropping out of the process.

The talent pool that is available to you as an organisations is also available to a wide range of other businesses and candidates have a growing expectation of how good an organisation’s hiring process should be. If candidates are made to wait for hiring decisions to be made or asked to jump through unnecessary hoops, then they tend to be snapped up or drop out of the process. Also, in our experience, slower decisions do not improve quality and can cost your organisation more money in the long run.

Here are some of the things you should consider when reviewing your recruitment process.

Take the time:

Before you actively go to a market with your requirements or brief an agency, it is important that you take the time to determine;

•    What you are looking for in a candidate (skills and profile)
•    How you are going to sell the opportunity
•    What your interview process looks like
•    Who will be involved in the process
•    How many stages there will be

Some organisations don’t take the time to agree this upfront and it can then feel disjointed and unorganised for the candidate. It is important to do this before you start the recruitment process to avoid unnecessary delays and risking candidates dropping out of the process.

It is also important to think about why a candidate should join you. Ask yourself what is in it for them, what is it like to work for you and what does the role look like day to day? The candidate may also want to know about your values, your vision as an organisation and any other differentiators that set you apart from your competitors.

The 80% fit:

At Hunter Merrifield, we always talk about finding the 80% fit. This means finding a candidate that meets 80% of the criteria of any role, leaving 20% so that the candidate has room to learn and grow. This means as an organisation you can offer an exciting opportunity to the candidate, and you are more likely to retain them long term.

For instance, you may have a candidate who has the attitude and skills that you are looking for but does not have the industry experience that you were initially after. This would mean that the candidate may not hit 100% of your criteria but if they have done their research and have a willingness to learn, then they may be the perfect fit long term.

It’s all about the process:

The cost of a bad hire can differ depending on the organisation, but the investment can be significant when you consider the cost of advertising, recruitment fees, onboarding, training, and continued investment in that individual.

It is important to agree upfront what your interview process looks like, who will be involved and how many stages there will be. Some organisations don’t take the time to agree this upfront and it can then feel disjointed and unorganised for the candidate.

Most candidates expect to have a fast and straightforward application experience. Therefore, the first impression that you give at the point of application is sometimes the most important. This will in turn widen the available talent pool from application to interview stage.

If you are struggling to coordinate the interviewing in person, then remember that candidates are now familiar with remote interviewing and even if you are keen to meet them in person, the initial stages can be done over a video call.

Many organisations have a recruitment process that may be different for each hiring manager or that may have evolved over time and may in turn be more complicated that it needs to be. A high proportion of candidates will abandon a job application if it is too lengthy or complicated and the same applies to an interview process, so making sure your process is detailed upfront and is as simple as possible.

Using an Agency:

Considering a recruitment partner can be an effective way to not only streamline and coordinate the application process, but they can also be on hand to advise you throughout the recruitment process. They can consult with you on what works, what you may need to consider changing and are able to collect live feedback from candidates, which means we can act quickly if a candidate in considering dropping out the process.

At Merrifield Consultants, we actively consult our clients on their recruitment process and take the time to discuss the availability of talent, market conditions and any challenges that they may face. We understand the added complexities of the current recruitment climate and pride ourselves on being a strategic partner to employers across a wide range of specialisms.

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