Are Your Recruiting Gears Getting Stuck or Do They Flow?
How effective is your recruiting process? In my experience working within the Talent Acquistion process for over 20 years, in most industries and capacities, there is not too much in this sector under the human resources umbrella I have not seen, experienced or worked on. I have had my hands in all aspects of the recruiting process from design, training, completing it, analyzing how improvement is measured in results and outcomes for attracting, hiring, onboarding, vetting vendors, utilizing a proficient aligned RFP process, building the technology and vetting the vendors to reviewing metrics, process improvement, innovation and retaining talent that aligns with an organizational mission and vision to building a successful talent attraction brand.
Early on in my career I was fortunate enough to learn under some of the most effective, efficient and highly experienced professionals and in the highest performing consulting organizations that never lacked for work, yet always had the talent to complete the work and generate new business by the relationships. Anyone who has done recruiting long enough knows that success is all about the connections. Building connections is a process, and prior to the creation of online applications, posting sites and other technology currently available success was built on the process and ability build connections. The process was always very consistent and had to flow once this was created for an organization based on their needs and the way they interviewed a workflow was then created. The workflows flowed like the gears in the picture, it is a process where those who are part of it need to work together. Working together based on all being provided the same consistent process built into a workflow, each person has a part to play and only by communication and proper training can everyone work together effectively and efficiently to generate the desired outcomes. The process is created by Talent Acquistion, the workflow is built by including the input of the recruiter, the hiring manager and human resources. The gears will not be able to continue to turn if something or someone does not participate as part of the team following the workflow process. I know that because I learned this information early on in my career, I was trained on a building a consistent and compliant process, building the team, training the participants who are typically (Recruiters, Hiring Managers and Human Resources) to utilize the consistent process and interview process following the workflow. Everyone has a role, knows what their role is and everyone communicates together to hire the candidate, close the requisition, onboard the candidate and prepare them by training and supporting them in the first year. The team works together to generate the best outcomes or results. The process is driven and managed by Talent Acquisition. When the outcomes do not generate the results needed, it is easy to determine where the gears are getting stuck by the metrics. If you do not have a consistent process, workflow, training, interview and onboarding process the metrics become skewed and the gears remain stuck you cannot measure different process outcomes.
It is very important to keep this information in mind because consistency is key to efficiency and effectiveness. A lack of consistency, communication and a strong workflow hampers the ability of the team to work together and jams the gears. I like to say that it is partnership for the workflow to operate correctly. The team drives the workflow through the process, when we look at recruiting some of the strongest recruiters operate with a process driven cognitive thought process, the hiring team has a big picture cognitive thought process and lastly human resources has a task driven cognitive thought process. When we look at how the team thinks, the part of the process where they are involved operate well together when they are utilizing a primary thought process in alignment with their role. The recruiters will follow the process to attract, by sourcing, posting or reviewing candidates, scheduling screens and partnering with the hiring managers to schedule and assist with interviewing, assuring the candidates are communicated with and have the information, offer letters and then following up with the candidates. The human resources and administrative team come into the process at the end to coordinate and communicate tasks to be completed with onboarding and preparing for the first few months with the hiring teams. The workflow shows this as where everyone plays their part and completes it to assure that the gears all work together continuously to flow.
The process outcomes can only be measured properly when the entire team understands the process and their role through proper training to complete their functions and hand off to their partners to generate the same experience for the results to be completed. We cannot determine the backup in the gears when everyone is doing something different, the metrics will not be consistent to show the issues for process improvement, communication ends up lacking and the partnership weakens. Ultimately the candidates feel the results when they receive inconsistent communication, follow up, information and a disconnect occurs in the process. Human resources cannot be the most effective department to drive outcomes in talent acquisition process and results for many reasons, primarily because many of their functions are task driven and generalized to support the other functions of their role in the business, this is different than process driven, and it ends up as a disconnect or inefficiency which slows or stops the recruiting process. This is one reason why Talent Acquisition is a specialty as it takes a different thought process to drive it and measure it effectively and efficiently, it is not task or function driven. Recruiting needs to flow on a process, recruiters use their skills for connecting and conversing with the candidates to complete the consistent process built on the workflow and doing this on an ongoing basis. A factor that also disconnects the recruiting process, is hiring recruiters who do not have education, knowledge or understanding and training on basic human resources compliance it leaves the company open for liability if they ask the wrong questions or do not know how to manage to redirect candidates when they talk about family, medical issues, etc. When training is not provided to recruiters or they do not come from a background of compliance and process outcomes, it stops the process and creates a risk to the organization. The outcomes of a recruiting process that does not utilize a workflow, consistency, training or requiring basic compliance knowledge and understanding of proper interview skills training and communication will always jam the gears, slow or stop the process and result in less efficiency to hire the candidates most aligned with the organization's mission, vision, process or have the required skills and will result if high turnover, poor recruitment branding, poor metrics to determine when process improvement is required and where. There are little to no checks and balances in the process. True highly effective recruiting process is driven by highly trained and confident communicators that have honest conversations with candidates to connect, build trust, pipeline candidates, partner with the hiring team, provide guidance on interview skills training, compliance issues and highly effective interview process like the STAR method and implementing behavioral questions so that candidates will actually provide examples of their experience that they have done the job and utilize resources.
In closing when the gears do not flow, the process is jammed by not being effectively, consistently and efficiently driven by talent acquisition to partner with hiring and human resources teams and it ends up in a higher amount of budget spending too. It also has an impact on the company's bottom line when positions are open, additional resources are needed but not tested for effectiveness to the current process, retention is poor, communication is poor or inconsistent and does not utilize various forms such as verbal, technology and in person lacking variety, everything effects recruiting brand which effects the company brand and how it is growing business. It does not matter how many resources or dollars you throw at the recruiter or recruiting process; it all comes full circle with the workflow and how everyone works together to partner preventing the gears from jamming. The outcomes are the metrics, and they cannot be measured without consistency. I started writing this about recruiting optimization prior to technology, however when you add technology the process this can hamper the inefficient workflow even more and cost more money. I can say that I have seen this in many organizations, environments of all size and industry from personal experience working inside organizations as a consultant in many capacities as i was brought in to assist with driving better results and saving money in Talent Acquistion. I can speak to share my stories at the many organizations, I have provided results improvement and grown business. When the workflow process is not followed, the results are not consistent, and the gears are constantly getting stuck. Process outcomes are based on results in the numbers, the improvement comes in the numbers, just as they do in a budgeting process and the accuracy depends on making sure the team works together and uses a checks and balances approach driven by the leaders in this function. It also comes with consistently looking at process improvement through workflow and innovation. Technology has not changed the workflow; it has just made it look different an application in paper and online is still an application and the basics are still there just like with math. Talent acquisition is process driven and the more task related items that are added to it the slow it down by inefficient and ineffective process of the workflow outcomes and the results. This is why it is partnered with human resources to complete the onboarding tasks and checklists for a smooth candidate first day experience, yet Talent Acquisition is a specialty of its own.