Jamie Carlisle: Is it time for a recruitment revamp?

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Our recent Revamping Recruitment in the UK research found that over half of line managers have seen HR departments become less involved in the recruitment process over the last two years. While it’s important for line managers to be in the driving seat, the HR team should continue to play a big role in helping the business find the right candidates. In fact, HR professionals need to engage with the recruitment process early on to ensure any information about the business that is passed on to recruiters is accurate.

Worryingly, our research also found that more than half (52%) of all hires in the last two years have failed to completely meet the original recruitment specification. So where is the recruitment process not working and how can HRs, line managers and recruiters work together to get the right person for the job first time around?

Creating a quality shortlist

When it comes to looking for new hires, much of the trust is put into recruitment agencies who are of course essential in the hiring process, but many line managers feel like they aren’t being offered the whole spectrum of available talent from these consultants. In fact, over half of businesses we surveyed (53%) felt this way and that is problematic. Without visibility of the right candidates, line managers are left searching for people with the necessary skills and attitudes.

Getting the right person into a role starts with having the right shortlist of candidates. This is a key area in which the recruitment model needs to evolve, and technology can play a big part here. HRs need to embrace data-led hiring tools with powerful search algorithms that ensure search results are constantly perfected to give companies access to the best, most recent and relevant shortlist of verified candidates. Shortlists can then be ranked by order of relevance and a feedback mechanism allows users to indicate whether they like the search results or require further refinement. Without an up-to-date shortlist of quality candidates, organisations could find themselves making the wrong hire, which can potentially cause bigger frustrations further down the line.

To help the business get it right the first time, it’s important that HRs take the lead in finding hiring tools that can streamline the process. Frustrated with existing recruitment processes, many line managers have been taking technology into their own hands and looking at various online CV libraries and networking sites to find candidates themselves. This can be successful on occasion but more often than not it’s a further drain on managers’ time, creates inconsistencies with how hires are being made across an organisation and cuts HR out of the loop.

Instead, HR professionals should explore how technology can bring HRs, line managers and recruiters together in one place to source, review and shortlist potential candidates. If HRs introduce the use of such collaborative platforms in their organisation they will be able to work with line managers to find the right talent and as a result plug skills gaps before they begin to drain the business. For example, we have broken ahead of the curve by working with a team of data scientists for two years now to develop our product and help refine our tool’s search algorithms which analyse over two trillion data points to match the most suitable candidates to employer vacancies.

Helping line managers to use such tools to pick and choose the right people for the job will ultimately put the organisation in a better place to create a simpler, more effective and ultimately, quicker recruitment process. HRs also bring structure and standardisation to the hiring process and can make sure that all core competencies and soft skills are covered off in the candidate search, helping line managers make the right hire and avoiding a situation where line managers hire a ‘mini-me’.

Reducing time to hire

According to our survey, finding staff with the relevant skills to match the business’ needs and managing an understaffed team are some of the biggest pain-points for managers. It’s no surprise then that two-thirds of those surveyed said that they find recruiting new staff a hassle and in almost half of cases (48 per cent), it can take over two months to make a hire. Line managers and HR professionals can spend weeks going back and forth with a recruiter to sort out the brief, review the shortlist, refine the brief, review the shortlist again, review CVs, meet the candidates and then potentially start the process all over again if the right person isn’t found. With the existing war for talent and business demands, this simply can’t continue. The current time that it takes to hire must be drastically reduced.

For every day that a vacancy goes unfilled, more and more pressure is put on the rest of the team to manage that workload and if the hiring process takes months, it will take its toll on the team. If, with the help and advice of the HR department, line managers were able to search through potential employees’ CVs and identify candidates they deem fit for purpose, the whole hiring cycle would be a lot quicker and more efficient.

Ensure candidates’ skills meet the business’ needs

This is where the HR team’s knowledge and expertise comes into its own. With their in- depth understanding of the wider organisation’s needs and their experience in recruitment, HR professionals are well placed to support line managers in picking and choosing the right people for the job. This will put businesses in a better position to create a simpler, more effective and ultimately quicker recruitment process and ensure that the right people are hired the first time round.

A collaborative online platform for employers and recruiters also works well due to the communication features, which include a messaging function that enables employers to send messages to recruiters such as ‘Please show me candidates with these additional qualifications/skills.’ A Facebook-style message log enables employers to view all the messages they have sent and received and they can view a ‘recruiters’ tab to track recruiters’ progress with their candidate request. Communication between HRs, line managers and recruiters is vital in finding the right candidates with the skills to meet the business’ needs.

The recruitment revamp

It’s the lack of access to good candidates that’s resulting in bad hires, so employers need to be given opportunities to pick and choose the best ones quickly and easily, such as through collaborative online platforms. When it comes to recruitment, it’s inevitable that sometimes judgements will be wrong, but HRs need to help employers work more effectively with recruitment agencies so that they have the best chance of making a good hire.

Jamie Carlisle, Founder & CEO of Talent Party

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  1. As mentioned in the post, not only do the recruitment agencies have to be professional, but they, along with the candidate and even the companies have to find collateral and co-ordinating path for a fruitful result from all ends.

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