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5 Steps to Improve Your Hiring and Recruitment Process Right Now


A recent survey indicates that 46 percent of companies in the United States are understaffed and want to improve their recruitment process to fill open positions. But without the right tools and hiring process, hiring managers might fill those spots with candidates who aren’t the right fit. A costly mistake.

Here are five ways you can immediately improve your hiring and recruitment process:

Clearly Define Each Role

It used to be much simpler. Businesses placed a help-wanted ad in the newspaper, and candidates arrived with a factual, neatly organized resume; the boss conducted a few interviews and then picked the person who seemed best for the job.

Now the hiring process is much more complex. Improve yours by taking some time to evaluate every step your company goes through in recruiting and hiring new team members, and decide who is responsible for each role.

Some of the most common steps:

  • Creating a job listing on the company website. Many job seekers follow the companies where they’d like to be employed or request job search representatives to send them notifications when a posting becomes available.

  • Posting to job boards. If your organization posts to Indeed or Monster, specify who will write each job description, how much detail they’ll include, and how you’ll measure posting success.
  • Recruiting on LinkedIn. LinkedIn facilitates professional networking, and many employers search profiles to find candidates with the desired qualifications.
  • Social media networking. If your company posts employment opportunities to social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, specify policies for where the person responsible will post jobs, what information postings should contain, and who will handle candidate responses.
  • Evaluating job applications. For each position, develop procedures for your evaluation team. What are the key indicators a candidate should be interviewed or excluded? If team members disagree, who will make the final decision?
  • Interviewing. Develop protocols for what questions you’ll ask during screening interviews, what you’re looking for during the first in-person interview, and how you’ll proceed through follow-ups.
  • Reference-checking. List every task your organization completes before finalizing a hire, including background checks, skills testing, and other verification.

Perfect Your Job Description

Before you start trying to hire the right candidate, you must know exactly what you’re looking for. While you’re only filling one position at a time, the skills, personality, and work habits of your new hire should go beyond internal departmental requirements and align with broader organizational goals and initiatives. On top of that, interviewers on your team will use your job description to create interview questions, evaluate responses, and perform reference checks.

When you’re hiring for a role left vacant by attrition (voluntary or involuntary), don’t just post the same job description you used for hiring the last candidate. First, review it for gaps or needed clarifications.

If you’re hiring for a completely new position, analyze the hiring department’s strategic goals. Find out if any changes on the horizon will impact the hire’s ongoing duties or the role they are being asked to fulfill. List core skills the department needs currently, along with those they may require as the role evolves. A job analysis like this can help identify key candidate attributes, the actions they may need to perform, and other basic qualifications.

Your description should:

  • Make a first impression that represents the values and characteristics most important to your brand.
  • Explicitly state job responsibilities, educational history, and employment background that candidates must have for consideration.
  • Clearly present a unique, compelling employee value proposition aligned to your target audience.
  • Serve as written evidence of specific business needs to avoid or defend allegations of discrimination if rejected candidates bring a claim.
  • Incorporate job keywords, optimized for search engine results.
  • Be related to the performance objectives for which your hire will be evaluated.

Attract the Right Candidates

To have your pick of top talent, your recruiting process should attract a wide range of diverse and highly qualified candidates. Recognize that the process is a two-way street. Candidates are evaluating your organization at the same time you’re evaluating them.

If the job isn’t a good fit for both parties, then both will suffer, so prioritize character and ambition that aligns with the rest of your department and organization. A small, growing company often needs employees with a wide range of skills, willing to take on any tasks they’re asked to complete, and who are able to constantly evolve in their role. A large, established company might be looking for more of a specialist.

Help Google share your job posting. Google offers “Job Search” to advertise opportunities, and it can help make jobs more discoverable.

Start a career blog for your company. Encourage hiring managers and recruiting staff to regularly contribute content related to interviewing strategies, what makes a successful candidate, and mistakes to avoid. When potential employees visit your careers page give them an option to apply. Share job postings on your social media job pages. Invite employees to contribute posts on what it’s like to work for your company. Include videos, photos, and testimonials on your careers page that offer insight into your company culture.

To turn every employee into a recruiter, consider offering referral bonuses. They can network with others in their same position and greatly expand your impact in social media communities.

Speaking of recruiters, you may want to consider using a specialized talent agency. For example, Vitamin T only works on roles in the digital creative and marketing fields. Which means we already have relationships with the best talent in town, enabling you to fill your position more quickly. Whatever kind of role your hiring for, there’s a talent agency ready to help.

Add a Frequently Asked Questions page to your company website. Show that your brand transparently shares information by letting applicants know ahead of time what they can expect throughout the hiring process. Answer the most commonly asked questions for your industry about the best practices for submitting an application, how long candidates can expect before they hear back, what methods you typically use to interact with candidates, among other things.

New hires are as interested in what it’s like to work for a company as they are in the salary. Include information about your paid time off (PTO) policy, training, and other fringe benefits that you think will appeal to your ideal candidate.

Ace the Interview

Recently, Google looked at its interview data to see how many interviews the company typically conducted before choosing a candidate. Researchers found four interviews provided enough information for hiring managers to be 86 percent sure they were choosing the right person. The number might be more or less depending on your industry, but careful recruitment and application-screening processes pay off by removing many of those who may not be a good fit.

The hires you’re looking for will research your organization during the application process and well ahead of their first interview. Show them you’re prepared by being familiar with their resume and qualifications when they walk through your door. Ask one or two questions to evaluate each of the skills and competencies key to the role. If you require tests and other selection tools, communicate with the candidate about your requirements, the time frame for completion, and what they can expect.

Communicate clearly the potential employee’s role, what they can contribute to your company, and what they can expect in return. How you design and present this information impacts candidate decisions if you decide to offer them the role.

Finalize Your Decision

Provide interview feedback to hiring teams immediately so they have the information they need to make a decision. Avoid vague summaries and generalizations about candidates; give specific examples. Using a document like our Team Interview Worksheet will help organize the process.

One of the most difficult parts of the interview process is communicating with applicants you didn’t choose. As soon as you know someone isn’t right for your organization, communicate with them clearly and directly. Develop email templates that can be quickly personalized to let them down easily and, if appropriate, encourage them to apply again in the future. Remember, just because your position wasn’t a two-way fit, doesn’t mean candidates shouldn’t become advocates for your company when they experience a fantastic, thorough process.

Most importantly, communicate with your chosen candidate as quickly as possible to avoid losing them to a competitor. Let them know the next steps in signing a contract and completing the onboarding process. Relax. Enjoy. Rinse. Repeat. Hiring the right individuals takes a significant investment of your organization’s time and resources, but when you build a winning team, the effort is worth it.

Aquent and Vitamin T represent thousands of digital creative freelancers who may just be your next best hire. If you are strapped for time, we can find and vet talent so you get the best creative talent without the big time commitment. Contact us to find out more.

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