July 27, 2017

Keys to Streamlining the Hiring Process

By Matt Lewis, Partner and Practice Lead, Banking

For many companies, the hiring process can become an unwieldy endeavor: HR professionals and hiring managers frequently discover that processes can be complicated by misunderstandings and miscommunication. In this blog post, I’ll address how to mitigate these costly challenges.

Robust Brand Management

Brand management is a new frontier in HR. By investing resources into crafting a brand identity, companies can elevate their recruiting efforts to unprecedented levels. Companies need to be active on social media and online portals (such as Glassdoor), where job candidates can research a company’s salaries, employee reviews, and work culture. Today, job candidates “interview” companies long before companies interview them; HR teams can streamline the hiring process and bypass the “getting to know each other” phase by crafting a strong, honest branding strategy that lets job seekers know what it’s like to work at their company — allowing them to self-determine whether or not they’ll be a good fit.

But brand management isn’t just about online presence; it also involves the experiences candidates have during the interview process. This is especially crucial for candidates who aren’t chosen for a position, for whatever reason; every interviewee who doesn’t receive an offer remembers their experience, especially if they were treated poorly. And these same people work in your industry and likely have friends and relatives who do too. In other words, if anyone had a bad experience interviewing for a position at your company, you’re at risk for potentially serious reputation backlash. Word of mouth can be a powerful recruiting tool, but it can also be a liability. By hiring a professional recruiter, companies can use HR efforts to build their brand in powerful ways and create positive brand equity throughout the interviewing process.

Involve the Right People Early

Many in-house hiring processes involve all of the right people, but at the wrong times. The conventional approach to hiring candidates entails a series of escalations, where desired job candidates advance through a series of interviews conducted by individuals with increasingly impressed job titles. But professional recruiters know this is recipe for inefficiency: a candidate generates excitement as he or she dazzles interviewers, all the way until the final interview where the ultimate decision maker – typically an executive – doesn’t like a candidate. There are many reasons why job candidates fail their final interview, but it is rarely because they’ve changed as a person between their first interview and their last.

Some candidates fail their last interview because they haven’t met the right people yet. The logic behind traditional hiring practices is that higher-level employees are paid more to do high-level things and make high-level decisions; however, for some reason, being active in the early stages of the interview process — regardless of how important a role is — is not considered a high-level priority. This not only wastes the time of both job candidates and hiring managers, but it results in frustration for all involved that can easily be avoided by inviting higher-ups to participate in the hiring process earlier. Professional recruiters facilitate the communication dynamics within a company and ensure the right people are involved at the right time during the hiring process.

Proactive Time Management

Too often, the hiring process is reactive instead of proactive, and companies being pressed for time is a leading cause of mis-hires. Many jobs unexpectedly become available or new positions are created as a result of a company’s evolving needs; in these situations, it’s understandable that HR professionals must expedite every facet of the search process, from crafting job descriptions to vetting candidates. However, the demands of these efforts often force HR departments into routines where the highest priorities are given to the most immediate needs — but this pipeline of immediate needs is endless. A focus on every day and immediate concerns obscures a company’s ability to see into (and plan for) the future.

Professional recruiters, on the other hand, specialize in forecasting hiring needs and trends in their particular industries. By knowing how specific positions are (and will continue to be) impacted by advances in technology, fluctuations in the economy, and the evolving geographic and work culture preferences of job candidates, professional recruiters can offer proactive, deliberate strategies for every hire. Recruiting professionals are hyper-focused on forecasting methodologies and results instead of costly routine processes. Our business, after all, is to provide value to clients as well as candidates.