Overcoming Recruitment Challenges in Today’s Competitive Hiring Environment
With unemployment at record lows and 45% of employers worldwide struggling to fill skilled positions, recruiters face increased competition to source, screen, and place top talent. Skilled professionals disappear from the job market in under 10 days, pressuring everyone from novice recruiters to seasoned staffing executives to reevaluate their processes and strategies. How do successful companies outperform their competitors in this environment?
Though some grassroots efforts might create marginal improvements in placement speed and proficiency, a meaningful step change in performance requires bold strategic thinking and top-down implementation of aggressive action plans. This centralized approach is crucial to decreasing recruitment challenges and empowering recruiters when sourcing, screening, and selecting top talent. Here are the tools and techniques we’ve seen forward-thinking organizations implement to eliminate barriers to their recruiters’ success through the entire recruiting lifecycle.
1.) Offload Sourcing and Basic Screening from Your Recruiters’ Daily Activities
As we mentioned above, full employment has reshaped market demand, elevating the intensity of competition among far-flung companies for a very limited supply of top professionals. Under these conditions, recruiters rely upon their own ability to find promising candidates before their peers – even if that advantage is less than 24 hours. Given the intense competition for top-tier talent, any head start, combined with the people-centric approach typical of exceptional recruiters, will yield a greater interview-to-hire rate.
Reducing the time spent at the top of the recruiting funnel on sourcing and basic screening activities enables recruiters to focus their attentions on higher conversion activities like relationship building, candidate interview preparation, and offer negotiation. The faster a recruiter can engage a qualified candidate in a detailed discussion of the job opportunity and their relevant qualifications, the more likely the candidate is to be available and interested in the job. When recruiters are sidetracked by lower conversion (but nonetheless pivotal) activities like sourcing and basic screening, their effectiveness in selling candidates on roles and getting those candidates in front of hiring managers is reduced.
In an effort to maintain a rapid tempo in the hiring process, many successful companies are choosing to delegate sourcing and screening tasks to more cost effective resources, typically a combination of new technologies and newly defined in-house or outsourced roles. This allows recruiters to connect with high quality professionals faster while still directing their primary focus towards securing the hire. This approach also enables recruiters to focus on what they love about recruiting: making real connections with people instead of scouring job boards, formatting resumes, and plodding through other tedious realities of the industry.
2.) Provide a Best-in-Class Candidate Experience
Most candidates will not tolerate any speed bumps in the application process. Often, when you introduce a new sourcing role and/or technology to help funnel high quality professionals into your talent pipeline, there can be user acceptance challenges. For example, a confusing application portal or multistep application process can increase candidate falloff, encouraging candidates to apply with companies that require the least amount of hoop jumping. With all the hard work recruiters put into building connections and relationships with top talent, candidate falloff can be especially frustrating. Fortunately, these types of recruitment challenges are rectifiable if your organization remains receptive to candidate feedback and makes time for proactive evaluation.
In these instances, the candidate experience is central to the solution. An effective recruitment process should be designed to encourage continuous improvement. By formalizing the candidate feedback process, companies inform their ongoing process improvements and quicken their ability to identify issues within their own procedures. Another powerful strategy is to test your own application process. Is your portal mobile friendly? Are candidates repeatedly providing their information across different stages? Could multiple steps be condensed down to one or two? Constantly asking these types of questions puts you in the shoes of the applicant and keeps you ahead of the curve when it comes to delivering a world-class candidate experience.
3.) Supply Your Recruiting Team with Analytics and Insight to Perform at Their Best
As McKinsey & Company put it, we are now in a data-driven world where “analytics can upend entire industries”, and the recruiting industry is no exception. Recruiters empowered by the right blend of data-driven analysis and insight are better positioned to find appropriate candidates, and thus improve their placement and retention rates. However, a 2018 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends survey found that though 85% of global organizations expressed the importance of people data, only 42% said they were ready to fully capture and implement that data within their HR strategies. It’s no surprise that recruiters without the right reporting tools and analytical insights will swiftly fall behind their competitors.
The good news is that a growing number of applicant tracking systems include advanced reporting features that provide staffing firms with more data-driven insights. With these tools, recruiters and managers are able to build a targeted recruitment process that effectively gauges employee performance and even simplifies the search for an individual client’s ideal candidate profile. Moreover, the analytical capabilities of your outsourced recruiting services provider are equally important. For example, PSG Global Solutions’ Compass platform enables our client partners to better conduct root cause analysis and more precisely direct our offshore recruiters to achieve higher performance in their sourcing and screening activities. This results in a much higher probability that your recruiters are starting with high quality candidates.
4.) Automate or Outsource Tedious Manual Tasks Slowing Down Your Recruiters
Time is especially valuable for recruiters because of how quickly top candidates vanish in the job market. In fact, one of the biggest recruitment challenges that onshore recruiters have historically faced is the need to complete a laundry list of low conversion activities before they can find and place the right candidate. This places the most important skills in their arsenal – their communication and interpersonal skills – on the bench as they sweat through more routine tasks to source, screen, submit, and onboard top talent. Thankfully, the materialization of more accessible automation platforms has helped recruiters to transform that underutilized time into higher conversion time.
In just a short time, high-powered recruitment automation platforms have considerably advanced recruiters’ capabilities. Some of the newer products that have proven results include:
- Recruitment marketing analytics and automation tools
- Job parsing and semantic search tools
- ATS integration tools
- Automated candidate engagement tools (text, email and voice)
- Automated scheduling
We provide many of these tools to our own sourcing and screening resources through our Compass platform. This enables us to more effectively source, screen and schedule candidates for in depth interviews with your onshore recruiters.
Of course, not every tedious administrative task can be automated. For these types of tasks, an offshore solution usually makes the most sense. Think resume formatting, uploading candidate information into your ATS, or conducting background checks. In addition to providing sourcing and screening support, we provide these more administrative services to many of our top clients who have realized it doesn’t make sense to have their best employees tied up with these activities. Our clients are then able to manage a combined, coordinated, and extremely cost effective offshore operations team, tailored to support their systems and processes.
An offshore recruitment team is an excellent choice to source, screen, and select talent. The question is whether or not you should build your own offshore program or work with an established vendor. Get the answer by reading our complimentary guide “Build or Buy: How to Answer the Offshore Question.”