Recruiting is most often a reactive function, responding to the mandates of hiring managers, filling needs that may be misrepresented for looking for unneeded skills. It’s time to challenge our assumptions and reinvent the entire recruiting process. Let’s start by asking what may seem like a dumb question: why does recruiting exist as a function? Is it to hire people? Surely given today’s technology, hiring managers could be trained to find and select the people they need. Is it to screen candidates, schedule interviews? These can be automated. Is it to sell the organization to the candidate? That often happens prior to any recruiter contact through the products and services a firm offers, through fellow employees, through brand and reputation, and through location. What a recruiter adds to this is useful, but probably minimal.
Recruiting needs instead to be the talent partner within the organization providing labor market information, trends analysis of skills in demand, and developing processes and tools to ensure that the most skilled candidates are found and presented. Recruiters should be a strategic guide to managers so that they can make the best decisions about the people they hire.
Over the past 20 years recruiters have been given magical tools starting with applicant tracking systems, then the Internet, job boards, recruiting websites, and an array of social media tools. Yet, it is a sad fact that recruiting is still practiced and perceived the way it was 25 or 30 years ago.
So how can recruiters offer real value and become talent partners? Here are three ways that work:
1. Process Simplification and Automation
The recruiting process is made up of somewhere around 10 sub-processes which include employment branding, communicating with a hiring manager and developing a position description, sourcing, screening, assessment, candidate communication and marketing (CRM), offer negotiation and presentation, closing and in some cases on-boarding.
Each of these sub-processes needs to be examined and assessed for their efficiency and value. Much of what the average recruiters does can either be simplified, eliminated altogether or be done by automated systems. For example, is it really necessary to interview all candidates? Why can’t a recruiter develop and use a screening test of some sort and rely on that alone? Why can’t you develop and use good CRM techniques and processes to improve candidate engagement?
With every step in the recruiting process, recruiters should ask why a step is done at all, what value it adds, and what would the consequences be if it were not done.
They should also ask whether that step could be automated – even partially? As a rule of thumb, if a tool, system, program, or application can do at least 80% of what a recruiter does, than it should be automated.
[bctt tweet=”Through simplification and automation recruiters could find more time to focus on strategic issues”]
2. Workforce Planning
The next step has little to do with traditional recruiting and is usually called workforce planning. It is the skill of building forecasting capability and ensuring that the organization has, or can quickly get, the talent it needs to achieve its business objectives.
It requires some knowledge of demographic, economic and business trends. It also requires a deep knowledge of the talent marketplace and familiarity with the level of education and experience available in the appropriate geography. It means collaborating with the internal training function, senior management, compensation, and human resources in general to agree on which talent is best sought externally, which is best sourced and promoted internally, and which needs to be developed by the company because recruiting them is difficult and expensive. These tradeoffs and discussions have almost never happened in the past, yet they are becoming what differentiate a great recruiting function from an ordinary one.
Predicting who will be needed, what skills will be important or what experience will be best aligned with needs is not usually possible in this world of change. What recruiters can do is combine workforce planning with building a talent community.
3. Building Talent Communities
People in a community share information and often work together to solve problems or come up with new ideas. Communities are organic and alive with conversation and sharing of opinions and thoughts. True recruiting communities include your employees as well as potential candidates talking about the organization, what it does, how it does it, and who does it. This give-and-take process is the best way to personalize the company and provide candidates with information about what it is like to work there (by gavce). It saves recruiters the need to tailor responses or have lots of facts at their fingertips – the employees and perhaps even other candidates will do that.
By being with others of similar interests and through sharing ideas, people come to feel part of the team. Good communities make recruiting much easier because candidates already feel like they know people and relate to them. When candidates actually get hired and start work, they have people to talk with that they already have met on line and have shared with.
When an organization has a talent community, it has a dynamic and ever-changing pool of talent, skill and experience to meet almost any need that might arise.
[bctt tweet=”When an organization has a talent community, it has a dynamic and ever-changing pool of talent…”]
Recruiting is in dire need of change and through simplification, workforce planning and talent communities it could largely reinvent itself and become more useful to the organization.
If you want to keep up with changes in talent management, don’t miss out on this year’s Sourcing Social Talent event in November. Join global leaders in sourcing, including Shannon Pritchett, Chris Hoyt, Bill Boorman and Martin Warren, who will be travelling to Sydney, Melbourne or Auckland to distill the art and science of being a modern day sourcer. Register for the event now.
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