As the recruiting landscape rapidly evolves, it’s become essential for companies and marketing professionals to continually scout for new ways to revamp recruitment strategies.
In June 2023 total US employment increased by 209,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate remains low at 3.6%, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This reflects only six million unemployed persons, which changed little in June even as new graduates entered the workforce.
In a market with near record-low unemployment, one of the emerging key drivers for successful hiring is using data to improve efficiency. A carefully-crafted, well-maintained recruitment marketing process casts a wide net to reach candidates within the talent pool. Then, a company can utilize technology to funnel candidates with the right skills and qualifications to support the hiring process. This helps enhance efficiency – which is essential if companies wish to remain competitive.
As the recruiting environment changes, companies must make ongoing efforts to review their recruitment practices and ensure that they’re optimal. This process should begin with identifying the data and metrics being collected to support hiring goals, as these provide insights into how efficient a recruitment strategy is. Overlooking metrics, or failing to collect the proper data, prevents employers from establishing the baseline needed to identify problems and measure the success of solutions.
Proper data analysis also helps organizations review where they’ve been so they can determine where they need to go. It helps them to know where to focus their efforts – so there’s no time wasted on fixing what isn’t broken.
When seeking to improve recruitment efficiency, companies should consider the following:
A great place to start is by auditing the hiring process to learn how it performs from start to finish. In this guide published by Indeed, an audit of the hiring process might be described as “a systematic examination and assessment of a company’s recruitment process, system, and tactics.” This task is best performed by a cross-functional team of stakeholders such as hiring managers, interviewers, and HR specialists. The company’s hiring process can serve as a roadmap as to what needs to be examined.
Since efficiency in acquiring candidates can help accelerate hiring, the speed of the application processes is another key area to review. For example, if applying to an hourly job with no prerequisite skills takes more than a few minutes to complete, candidates will likely drop off in the application process. Conversely, for roles where specific skills are needed to hire, including role-specific screener questions can help hiring teams identify qualified candidates more quickly. In most cases, a needlessly long or confusing application process can make it difficult to convert candidates into applicants.
The conversion rate from job views to applications can also be studied to determine why candidates might drop off and not make it through to an offer. Candidate experience is central to drop-off during the hiring process. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), slow, tedious, or onerous application processes are a major cause of candidate drop-off, and a stunning 92% of job seekers never finish online job applications.
As it becomes clear that speed is intimately connected to the phenomenon of candidate drop-off, a growing number of employers now utilize job board-enabled easy apply options, reducing the drop-off experienced in many long-form ATS applications. This can accelerate the process of candidate acquisition, making the application process more frictionless - but it may also require additional work by recruiters to advance candidates through the screening and hiring processes.
Understanding how many interviews will be needed to fill a specific role is also key to improving efficiency and reducing cost-per-hire. Measures such as these help accelerate the application process (a boon to recruiters and job seekers alike), which helps to foster a better candidate experience and to build a strong employer brand.
Tip: Hiring processes set the tone of what it’s like to work at the company for the long run, so if it’s a cumbersome process or not well defined, candidates might be likely to seek other opportunities elsewhere.
A company may already have a well-established, strong employer brand and a history of job seekers tripping over each other to get hired – but it also bears mentioning that even the best brands can become dated quickly. Given the current recruiting environment, the employer brand needs to match where the company is today, not years ago. Many companies have changed since the beginning of the pandemic, whether the dress code is more relaxed in-office or schedules are more flexible. However, they might neglect to reflect and show that in the touchpoints they have with candidates. Also, the employer brand should reflect what candidates look for in an employer, not necessarily what a company’s leaders might value or think the brand is.
This means a company brand should be a part of the ongoing evaluation of the organization’s hiring process. In cultivating and maintaining a strong company brand, authenticity is paramount. Companies should always strive to be transparent, even if it means acknowledging work they need to do or addressing areas needing improvement. In recent years, transparency has become a major determining factor for job seekers, so taking care of this early on will likely attract top talent and those more aligned with the company culture.
An organization’s technology stack (also referenced as its tech stack, technology infrastructure, or solutions stack) is essential in improving the recruitment process. It is the set of technologies used to support applications to open positions, and the tech stack can include programming languages, analytics, tracking codes, databases, front-end (career sites) and back-end tools (ATS), and sophisticated APIs.
The structure of the tech stack can have major downstream effects; in the recruiting environment, this directly impacts aspects such as the speed, usability, and efficiency of applications with which candidates directly interact. Ideally, a company’s tech stack should be cost-effective, provide a seamless front-end experience for users and scale up easily when necessary.
This issue has gained increasing prominence in recruiting organizations since many companies are seeking to ensure streamlined processes, and because certain platforms or add-ons don’t always integrate well with their current tech stack.
Companies should make changes to the technology they already have to optimize processes. For the long term, they can then start planning integrations to complement the tech stack with add-ons that enhance the recruitment process.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) describes a computer program’s ability to perform high-level cognitive functions that are traditionally associated with human thinking. Recent developments in AI systems support learning, problem-solving, perception, and a limited ability for creativity and social intelligence. Some of the more noteworthy AI applications include self-driving cars, robots, chatbots, and artificially-created imagery. According to a recent survey, approximately 24% of businesses use AI to acquire and onboard top talent.
AI's capabilities will only expand and become more autonomous, providing even greater utility where it is applied. This means that AI isn’t going away, and companies need to determine how best to integrate these technologies and how it can be an asset in recruitment.
As with many forms of emerging technology, there have been concerns that AI is going to put people out of work, but the likelihood is that AI will not replace jobs – since most AI will need human collaboration to ensure optimal output. AI can help, however, in simplifying repetitive tasks and processes – saving professionals time that they can allocate to other things.
While the uses of AI in industries and hiring will no doubt grow as the technology develops, some of the ways AI can improve recruiting efficiency include – but are by no means limited to:
Fast and painless AI-optimized hiring processes can be instrumental in improving recruitment efficiency. They can also set the tone of what it’s like to work at the company in the long run and reinforce the employer brand.
A recent study by Aptitude Research reported that 81% of companies believe recruitment marketing has changed dramatically since the pandemic. A great deal of this change has to do with how recruiters and job seekers communicate with each other.
Candidate nurturing is a method of engaging email, text messaging, advertising, social media, and other forms of communication to build and maintain a relationship with passive talent. The goal is to convert candidates in the talent pool into successful hires. Most of those in the talent pool are passive job seekers, meaning they aren’t actively searching and applying for roles.
If recruitment marketing professionals want to reach this substantial group of candidates, they must focus on proactively building awareness about their employer brand and nurturing relationships with candidates who express interest. Using everything from texts, social media (paid and organic), and email, companies need to ensure they are nurturing those in the talent pipeline into relevant openings throughout the candidate’s journey.
Nurturing can help push those in the talent pipeline along, as it provides helpful external motivation for passive candidates. It can also remind candidates who may have been interested at one point in time that the company is hiring again, as well as fostering top-of-mind awareness on the part of these candidates.
Tip: While nurturing passive candidates can be a standalone strategy, this can be included in the overall audit of the hiring process, as well as aspects of efficiency in the tech stack, since back-end technologies are involved in this process.
In the end, improving efficiency in hiring is all about paying attention and engaging the tools available to companies and recruiters. By focusing on the areas discussed above and candidates’ experiences as they go through the hiring process, recruitment marketers can significantly improve recruitment efficiency and ensure a more pleasant candidate experience for applicants. In turn, this can improve the organization’s reputation as a desirable employer and help attract the best talent.
The team at Recruitics is available to help revamp your recruitment practices to ensure they are efficient and able to find, attract, and convert top talent. We will leverage our real-time data to pivot, innovate, and collaborate to help optimize your strategies for this current market. Reach out today to learn more!