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Your Engagement Strategy Starts with the Recruiting Cycle

Care taken during your recruiting cycle pays off in higher retention and better engagement rates down the line.

Recruiting processes can stagnate over time. When hiring, many companies pull up old job descriptions, throw in the kitchen sink, and post a one-size-fits-all advertisement on job boards to see what they can find.

Recruiting software cuts the field of candidates to maybe a top five or ten people for phone or video interviews. Then, perhaps, there will be a physical interview of your top three. You hire, onboard, and wait for the next vacancy. It’s business as usual, right?

If this is similar to your recruiting process, a couple of points to consider include:

Without a unique job description, chances are poor the perfect candidate will apply.
Are the best candidates even being sourced? Job boards play an important role, but good candidates for difficult-to-fill positions do not generally arrive from a job board.
Applicant tracking systems and effective recruiting software can handle a lot of the load in parsing resumes. But the system may be set up to miss the applicants you would most like to meet.
With phone, video, and physical interviews, do you follow standardized rubrics to ensure all candidates hear the same information and have the opportunity to respond to the same question? Do you know if this process is the best one for your company needs?

Is your recruiting process broken?

Better than band-aids, try engagement

Whether you are the hiring manager, or you use a recruiter, you can improve your odds of making a good hire by engaging in the details at the outset—instead of initiating the recruiting cycle for the same position a year from now.

You cannot hire the candidate you want unless they apply for the job and are impressed enough with what they see to accept your offer. Improve your chances by taking some steps to improve your process, including:

Make sure that you, or your recruiter, understand the history, legacy, products and services, and present and desired future state of your company. Unless someone has a real handle on the organization, finding the right fit for any job is tough.

Take a second or third look at that job description. Unless you put the work into describing what you are looking for, why would a great candidate take the time to reply? Is the job description a marketing piece by itself? Does it sell your brand or does it include an unnecessarily broad skillset? Chances are good that a perfectly fine candidate may feel they do not measure up, or drop interest in a company that cannot define its needs. Run the description by the position manager to make sure they are on board before releasing it into the wild.

Consider using a recruiter to access harder to reach talent pools. A good recruiter is already cultivating candidates and may know just who to call, or where to find a good reference. Whether it is niche talent boards, social media, or network contacts, market your position in a focused way to get better returns. Take steps to look closely at resumes that you might otherwise leave to an algorithm. If you miss the stellar candidate in the pile, the chances are really good they will get the job—it just won’t be with your company.

Change up your interview process to include short application projects that give your candidates an idea of your expectations, and give you an idea of their work product. This might be through gamification, a writing sample, or response to sample scenarios.

Enhance onboarding to include instant messaging like Slack, or Chat, to check in with new hires before and after they are onboarded. Familiarize them with company handbooks, policy and procedure, team members, and training opportunities—everything your company has to offer them. Then let them do their best to support your priorities.

These are not novel techniques. But they are the ways and means of engaging during the recruiting cycle to make a better hire and deliver the best outcome for your company.

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