Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers! Have a question you’d like to ask? Leave it in the comments, and you might just see it in the next installment of Recruiter Q&A!
Today’s Question: If you could change one thing about the way recruiting is done, what would it be and why?
1. Trash Those Boring Job Ads
Stop using job descriptions because they are boring, boring, boring! Even worse, most look the same. Catch your ideal candidate’s eye. Stand out from the crowd. Make ‘em go, “Whoa!” Dare to be innovative, interesting, and creative. Write for real people about what the job truly is and what it would be like to do that job.
One of the best ways to attract the right people and reduce the number of unqualified candidates is to write a great job posting. In a world where time is money, most of us lack the time and resources to wade through a sea of resumes to filter out the spammers and get to a manageable number of highly qualified candidates.
— Rebecca Barnes-Hogg, YOLO Insights
2. Stop With the Contingent Fees
Stop paying agencies on a contingent basis and start paying them on a retained or hourly basis commensurate with the work they do. As an industry, recruiters needs to begin demanding payment up front for their services – and they need to start giving hiring managers a reason to go along. This will force the bad recruiters out of the industry and allow the best recruiters to be rewarded fairly. It will also force hiring managers to properly engage in the hiring process. If your client has no skin in the game, why should they put any effort into properly evaluating their candidates, compensation plan, or any other aspect of the selection process?
— Fletcher Wimbush, The Hire Talent
3. Get More Verification Up Front
The biggest issue that I face when dealing with applicants and job advertisements is the number of unsuitable candidates. Specifics, criteria, and instructions get ignored by a large percentage of applicants. The temptation, then, is to rely on applicant tracking software, which can easily miss perfect-fit candidates.
I would like to see some kind of basic verification service and certification body or company. For example, if a job requires a particular set of certificates, an applicant could get them authenticated and submitted with a third-party “seal of approval.” A perfect solution would involve the inputting of an authentication number along with the application. A software API would then cross-reference to see which candidates put in a bogus number.
— Jason Lavis, Out of the Box Innovations
4. Everyone Should Know Where They Stand
If I could change one thing about recruiting, it would be making sure that every candidate hears back and knows their status, especially when they weren’t a fit. Letting people know where they stand and why is one of the places where recruiting fails most consistently. Think about how you felt the last time you had a great interview or found the perfect job … only to hear nothing back. Ever. I’d love to fix that.
— Dave Mekelburg, Wade & Wendy
5. Change the Metrics
Most applicant tracking systems keep track of inputs and outputs rather than results. For example, key performance indicators (KPIs) commonly used by recruiters include things like number of open requisitions, number of applications, number of interviews, and time to hire. These metrics are administrative; they don’t really show whether the human resources or recruiting faculty is doing a good job.
Additionally, most recruitment systems don’t track business metrics like time to performance, departmental increased sales, or improved customer service scores. If a bad hire takes a long time to learn the systems, gives poor customer service, or causes team productivity to go down, shouldn’t you measure that?
Imagine you could establish performance baselines to correlate new hire productivity, customer service ratings, departmental teamwork scores – business-oriented KPIs – with the HR pro or recruiter responsible for hiring that person. Good recruiters would know if they were bringing in new hires that improve the business; they could demonstrate that their candidates learn faster, provide better customer service, improve team output, earn repeat business, or get promoted faster. Consequently, those recruiters could be properly evaluated and compensated based on their results, not just based on the number of people in their pipeline.
— Laura Handrick, Fit Small Business
6. Focus on the Person, Not the Position
Most recruiters make the mistake of focusing too much on skills and requirements rather than on what’s best for the candidate sitting in front of them. By focusing more on the person than the position, recruiters can improve the candidate experience, which leads to better hires. Instead of having a finite list of requirements (e.g., “five years minimum experience”), recruiters should create new lists of expectations in order of importance. Outline what talents, experiences, and skills are more important for each position, and evaluate candidates based on that.
— Vinayak Ranade, Drafted
7. Invest in Positive Interview Experiences
The tone of the interview should always be conversational, with the goal of mutual discovery. The candidate should never feel like they are being talked down to. Hiring managers and recruiters need to keep things candid, courteous, and considerate. Candidates should be given a comfortable environment to ask questions throughout the interview.
There is no downside to providing a candidate with a great interview experience. Even if you end up passing on the candidate, a positive interview experience will create an everlasting impression about the brand and the appeal of your team.
— Jordan Wan, CloserIQ