The HR Fix

003 Fixing the Recruiting Process

October 15, 2019 Ann Lustig
The HR Fix
003 Fixing the Recruiting Process
Show Notes Transcript

Many recruiting groups share the same challenges and frustrations in today's highly competitive recruiting market.

This episode reviews many of these challenges and discusses some solutions that can be implemented.

For more thoughts, ideas and perspectives on fixing HR...

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Speaker 1:

Hi and welcome to the HR fixed podcast. This week's episode is about recruiting issues because last week I was meeting with an HR group that was talking to me about all the problems that they're having with recruiting. I mean basically they're like any other HR group I talk to these days. Competition is really tough right now and if your recruiting processes and technologies are not up to date and you can't recruit fast enough, then you're going to have a lot of problems hiring people because by the time you get any candidate through your recruiting process, someone else's likely hired them.

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So we were talking about their recruiting process and how they could change to make it more effective and more efficient and I gave them a number of things that they could do to fix the recruiting process and in just a bit I'll share with you some of the solutions I shared with them. And in thinking about their recruiting issues, I'm hearing the same things over and over again from recruiting groups that they're having the same problems and typically for the same reasons.

Speaker 1:

One of the issues I hear regularly about is the hiring managers, because the hiring managers are either in a big hurry to get everything done and have no concept of how long recruiting takes or they're dragging their feet and by the time they get around to having interviews or following up on feedback or anything like that, the candidate can have easily already been hired by another company. And another thing that recruiters struggle with, with hiring managers is that they may have unrealistic expectations in what they're looking for in a candidate. There are still hiring managers out there that will only hire candidates who have gone to a certain school or who have worked in a certain company. And I think they're really shooting themselves in the foot because they're missing on opportunities to have some great employees. And just because somebody worked at a certain company doesn't mean they'll be a great employee at your company. And just because somebody went to a certain school doesn't mean they're a better fit than somebody who didn't go to that school. And the school thing is kind of ridiculous anyway. I mean, I know people that graduated from let's say Penn state and they will only hire people from Penn state or graduated from another school that's arrival of, I don't know, Duke. And they refuse to hire anybody from Duke. These things are crazy. You're missing out on lots of potential candidates and people that could be really good for the company. So another issue that I hear recruiters complain about often is the number of resumes that they get, either too few or too many resumes. So this can happen for a couple of reasons. One of the reasons is your work for one of these companies that has a name brand that everybody wants to work at, like the Googles or the apples of the world. For each open position they have, they can get thousands of resumes. Another reason is their job descriptions just are awful. So if your job description is too generic, you're going to get too many resumes. And if your job description is too specific, you're not going to get enough resumes. There are a lot of things that could go wrong with job descriptions and another thing clearly tied to job descriptions is that they don't always attract a diverse group of candidates. And that could be because of a number of reasons. It could be the wording that's used is more to one group and less appealing to another or it could be because of the number of requirements that are listed. In fact, a recent study found that women will typically only apply for job if they meet 100% of the requirements that are listed on the job description, whereas men will apply for a job if they meet 60% of the requirements on the job description. And that's a big difference. So, the more requirements you list on the job description, the greater the chance you'll have of getting more male applicants and the less chance you'll have of getting female applicants. But even once we get the resumes in and we start to take a look at them and we narrow them down a little bit, recruiters often find that candidates can be very much the same on paper but their skills and abilities can be quite different - and a lot of effort has been put into testing candidates which has helped but we're not 100% there yet in fixing this challenge. Another challenge that recruiters struggle with is bias. Bias still plays a large part in the candidate selection process and bias is such a huge topic because it could be biased for or biased against any group of people and it could be based on something obvious and something not so obvious. And adding someone in or taking someone out of the candidate pool just because you do or do not like a particular attribute which has nothing to do with their experience, education or abilities makes no sense. You want to have the best people for the job and b y she played no part in that.

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Another challenge for recruiters or tests that add little value but take up a lot of the recruiters time. For example, scheduling interviews with many interviewers is a nearly impossible task. I mean, just think about what it takes to set up a meeting with five people or five consecutive people. So the candidate, we'd go from one person to the next and then one person or two people have to reschedule. Then you have to start all over again. This can be a nightmare. And speaking of things that take up a lot of time, there's not enough time to answer all of the candidates questions and they have a lot of questions. But out of everything here, I would think that the biggest complaints that recruiters have right now, about the recruiting process, is one, job descriptions are often very ineffective. And I'm going to talk about that in a bit. And number two, the recruiting process hasn't been updated in years. Okay, so those are the problems. But so what, now what? It's great to talk about the problems that exist and we all know that they exist, but we've really got to figure out how to handle them and what action steps we need to take next. So when I met with this group last week, we came up with a list of things that need to change in the recruiting process. And here are some of the things on the list that may help you as well. The first thing we looked at is who is actually involved in the recruiting process? And I heard a lot of stories about hiring managers and the biggest thing with hiring managers is that you need to set their expectations because they need to understand how long things take.

Speaker 1:

It's unrealistic for things to take too short a time. And at the same time it's unrealistic for them to drag their feet because can lose candidates. And one of the great ways to set their expectations is to create a recruiting guide. And this can be done in a number of ways, but one of the easiest ways to do this is to post something online. So you put together an explanation of the recruiting process, what everybody's responsibilities are, how long things will take, or at least approximately what they can expect. Another thing we spoke about in terms of people is to bring in somebody with a marketing background, a marketing education, marketing skills, any kind of marketing orientation, because if you think about it, HR and especially the recruiting process, is the first impression that any candidate gets of the company and it's very good to have a marketing hat on when presenting the company and having somebody with marketing skills can actually evaluate how the recruiting process is presenting the company to the candidates and improve on that. Another thing we took a look at is the recruiting process itself and part of that was we took a good look at job descriptions, how the created, how they're reviewed, who creates them, who reviews them, how often they're reviewed, things like that. I really don't think we should wait for an opening to review a job description. That happens a lot. What we should be doing is every time we review an employee, we should review the job description because the jobs change and evolve and the job description should be up to date.

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And it's really important to optimize these job descriptions because if you think about it, job descriptions are the very core of the recruiting process and there are so many things that can go wrong with job descriptions. You can have titles that are inflated and don't match the level of responsibility. You can have job descriptions that are too vague or too specific. There could be too many requirements or unrealistic requirements. There could be wording that subliminally attracts certain groups of people. Maybe there can be too many acronyms or there could be inflated language that makes the responsibilities seem more than it is. It could be very poorly written or it could have negative wording or too much wording or not enough white space. There are lots of things that can go wrong and that's why it's so important to have a review process and also have people reviewing it that understand how it should look. Again, this is a place where we can have somebody with a marketing background to review the job description to make sure that they will actually attract candidates. And aside from reviewing the people involved in recruiting and the recruiting process itself, there's technology that can help with recruiting as well. So one of the technology solutions that can actually be used for job descriptions is a solution that will score the job description for effectiveness. It'll take a look at wording, it'll take a look at acronym usage, gender neutrality of wording, things like that and then we'll make suggestions for improving the job description and review it again. And this can continue until the job description becomes very effective in attracting the candidates that you want to attract in order to fill the positions that you want to fill quickly and effectively. But not everything is about job descriptions. Sometimes you get so many resumes in and there's nobody to really filter them effectively - you need to have follow- up questions, you want to dig a little bit deeper and there's just not enough people or time to follow up on all the resumes that you want to follow up on. And this is where chatbots can really help. Simply said, chatbots are computer programs that can use artificial intelligence to simulate human conversation so they can actually reach out to the candidate, ask followup questions based on their resume, and then follow up on the answers they get from the candidates with additional questions.

Speaker 1:

And this can save recruiters a lot of time. Chatbots can also be used for things like scheduling. If you're scheduling with let's say five people and they have crazy schedules and they all commit to a certain date and times and then all of a sudden wonder, two of them has to change, it can be a nightmare. But if you're using a chat bot instead of you having to go in and find the next available time when everyone can meet, the chat bot will actually go in, look at everybody's calendars and reschedule it for more convenient time for everybody. Scheduling and rescheduling interviews and meetings can take up a lot of valuable time and the chat bot can take away these mundane, routine, monotonous tasks, allowing people in the recruiting group to actually focus on recruiting.

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There's also technology out there that can help eliminate bias in the recruiting process. What it does is it strips out all the demographics about the candidate and then puts the candidates resume into a workflow that only focuses on the candidates experience, education and skills. And then the name and any other identifying factors a re not really reattached to the resume until it's time to start with the interview process. And that's just some ways that technology can help with the interview process. And what's most important is to do the research and find the solutions to the exact problems in your recruiting group. Because sometimes people are tempted to go for the next greatest shiny new product or the brand new technology that seems really cool, but it's not necessarily g oing t o resolve your recruiting issues. So make sure you're doing things and you're purchasing technology that helps you to resolve your recruiting issues. So just to recap, focus on the people that are involved in the recruiting process and see where you need to have more people or different types of roles. Take a look at the process itself and see where the process can be optimized and things can change. And then finally, take a look at different technology solutions that can actually help resolve your recruiting issues. So that's it for today, and thank you for listening to this latest episode of the HR fix podcast. As always, I'm happy to hear your comments, thoughts, and feedback. Feel free to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my latest blog and news on AnnLustig.com And remember focused on the future and take action today.