Directions to a More Efficient Recruiting Process

For years, the road map was the best possible navigational tool a driver could use. “What could be better than the intricate detail and astounding accuracy of a map, printed on a large piece of folded paper that fit neatly in a glove box?” Maps were terrific until you had to read one yourself while driving and until you tried to fold one back up again.

In came GPS and out the window maps went. They were remarkable tools until technology enabled us to create something better. Similarly, the traditional recruiting process, with its compliance-driven multi-step applications, was once appropriate for the times and effective for its purposes, but it is no more. Now, using these methods is like trying to win The Amazing Race without a navigation system.

Traditionally, ATS put up gates and imposed timelines that turned off talent and did nothing to discover applicants’ skills and abilities. Recruitment teams were myopically focused on filling open positions and mired in resume key word searches that had as much chance of finding the next superstar as throwing a dart at a LinkedIn screen. Candidates were evaluated solely against the requirements of one role, and the strongest talent was often driven away—if they were ever identified at all.

The traditional recruitment process was slow, inefficient, and impersonal.

The new talent acquisition process delivers everything employers and candidates need:

Step 1: Engage

A deliberately worded ad is created using data about the company, position, and talent pool and finely tuned to attract the most highly qualified candidates. Applicants who closely fit the profile are segmented from others, which include talent to be considered for other current and future roles. Based on this segmentation, appropriate communications are immediately sent to convey the company’s intent for mutual communication and discovery.

This step models the responsive and respectful beginnings of real-world relationships between equal parties. The goal is for both parties to establish mutual interest and a willingness to learn more about one another. Incidentally, this step doesn’t merely set a precedent for the talent acquisition process; it is the first demonstration of a commitment to engagement that will continue throughout the relationship. Engagement is vital to talent retention as well as acquisition.

Step 2: Seek to Understand

One of the crucial steps in cementing any personal or business relationships is this step, in which both parties convey ideas, values, and expectations. The employer initiates the give-and-take by sharing information about the company, the department, and the role. Insights are provided to help candidates understand the dynamics of the position as it relates to organizational objectives.

Many employers wisely use this step to communicate information about the company culture and values. Resources may be provided, including web pages, videos on a YouTube channel, or links to social media platforms. Organizations also share information about the new employee onboarding process, professional development opportunities, mentoring programs, and company benefits. To avoid attrition of top talent at this stage, companies must convey how they deliver on the six core facets of a positive employee experience: belonging, purpose, achievement, happiness, and vigor. (Learn More – Download our FREE Report). 

In this step, the employer also asks about the candidate. A survey or an open-ended response mechanism (email, or even a smartphone video) enables the applicant to convey his or her own ideas, values, and expectations in the relationship. For top talent, knowing that a company wants to learn about them as individuals can be a decisive factor in whether or not the relationship proceeds.

Step 3: Stay Engaged

Given the responses obtained in step 2, the company now has the data to further segment candidates and send highly targeted and engaging communications to each group. This step may involve multiple back-and-forth responses, as the company determines which candidates are most interested and responsive. Multiple engagement devices enable continued learning about candidates’ backgrounds and skills, as well as their communication capabilities.

Using advanced analytics available in a talent management platform, employers are able to assess a variety of skills in this stage. Communications and leadership capabilities, as well as specifically defined skills for a role can be assessed. This enables employers to rank candidates as they move through the recruitment process.

During this process, companies continue to identify strong talent that may be a better fit for other roles, either currently open or for possible future positions. These candidates are segmented out for communications appropriate to these objectives.

Step 4: Invite

In this step, the preferred candidates are invited to take the next step in the process, which is often an initial phone screen. In some cases, employers ask candidates to complete a comprehensive online skills assessment. The phone screen or assessment will be used to ensure that remaining candidates have the requisite skills and experience to move on in the process. A talent management platform enables the employer to take notes, make objective comparisons, and even factor in the enthusiasm of its candidates.

Step 5: In-Person Interviews

The team discusses and evaluates the top candidates and makes a collective decision on the pool for in-person interviews. The amount of material the team has to deliberate on typically results in a much stronger set of final candidates. This information is also instrumental in personalizing the interviews, making the candidates feel individually appreciated, and avoiding employer rejection after a job offer is made.  

This recruitment process has become the new standard, and one that is increasingly expected by the strongest talent. To win their services, our recruiting experience must exemplify a thoroughly modern and superior overall talent experience.


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Alan Margulis