We’ve been using technology for recruitment for years. Gone are the days of newspaper adverts for job posting, with online recruitment and tools such as LinkedIn paving the way for sourcing the best candidates and accepting applications.
However, behind the scenes there is still a huge amount of administrative work that takes place in order to hire a new role within your organisation. Not only are there approvals, application acceptances and reviewing, interview prep and planning but you also need to be thinking about forward and strategic planning, onboarding, distributing contracts and so much more.
You may already have an HR solution in place that helps speed up the administration of your human resources function, such as managing timesheets and expenses, but how can you apply these rules – self-service, reporting and automation to name a few – to your recruitment processes? And what’s the benefit of doing so?
We're going to look at how exactly recruitment software can help to streamline HR's processes when it comes to finding, hiring and onboarding new talent and the benefits that this offers an organisation as a whole.
Identifying a recruitment need
There could be many reasons to identify a recruitment need, such as a new leaver, business growth, creation of a new role and more. Using your HR software to help do this can pre-empt any gaps in your workforce and make the entire process much simpler.
To begin with, you can use reports to identify any trends among your people. For example, if you use Bradford Score, you can build reports to forecast when you think there may be a gap within a team, or if there is an ongoing business growth curve using your people reports to identify peaks and troughs within your workforce can help you to prepare for growth and ensure you have the right people in place.
Once a vacancy has been identified, many organisations have quite onerous processes to create, approve and release a role.
Using your HR solution, the departmental managers should be able to create required job vacancy and submit for approval. All of this can be done online, removing the requirement for duplicate data entry and long email conversations. With a modern HR application that incorporates recruitment functionality, this process should take a matter of minutes.
With creation, approvals and postings all in the same place and as part of your HR software, you can report effectively on any upcoming vacancies and submit appropriate financial people analytics report to your CFO.
Creating the job role / publishing
Once approved and ready to go, most organisations find a variety of places to publish vacancies. While there is importance in this, inputting information into a variety of sources including your website, social media, job boards etc., can be tedious and time consuming.
Use your HR software to create the post automatically and publish it to your website. That way, you can simply share the link and ensure that all applicant tracking takes place online, in a place that you can track and monitor well.
As soon as a vacancy is ‘published’ on your solution, it should be live on your website careers page. Zero admin time and no need to get the marketing department involved, which can often slow down your recruitment process.
What happens when an applicant submits their CV or an application? Do they get emailed through to you? Do you need to print them out, discard the one’s that aren’t suitable and email them all individually?
If you’ve got a great recruitment solution in place, lots of this can be automated. To begin with, all applications will be in the same place. You can compare them based on specific questions you ask, and you can rank them appropriately.
Is someone not suitable? Simply update the system with any relevant notes and set up an automated email to thank applicants but letting them know that they were unsuccessful.
You can use online chat on each application to highlight any key facts to other reviewers, and you can schedule interviews and track an entire application throughout. Not only that, but anyone with the correct level of access for that post will be able to instantly see where recruitment for the role is, and any target dates such as booked interviews, reducing the amount of progress based questions going to the recruiter.
Which leads us on to multi-channel syncing. In the marketing world it’s a well-known fact that multi-channel approaches increase engagement, and the same rules apply internally. Everyone wants information differently, so making it as easy as possible for each individual will increase engagement and improve the overall experience.
One colleague might want a diary invite, or an email. Another might like to find out something for themselves, and third could want the ‘best bits’ highlighted to them. Using your HR software for recruitment means you can do all of this, and most of it can be automated.
When you book an interview with someone using your solution, your recruitment software should sync this with both your Outlook diary and those of any relevant colleagues who need to attend the interview.
If the manager is controlling the application process, it works the same for them. They can bring HR in as and when they need them – meaning you can leave the process in their hands.
You can set automated emails, weekly recruitment report updates and share documents such as CV’s, psychometric test results and security checks, all within the solution. Colleagues can leave notes and suggestions on each application, and you can control GDPR tightly by avoiding a plethora of printed CV’s and multiple emails.
Artificial intelligence is becoming more and more prominent within HR software. If you’ve ever been to an HR exhibition or conference, you have no doubt heard about all the ways AI can support you within your department – and recruitment is certainly no different.
Some examples include helping to identify future recruitment needs, reporting and chatbots.
Looking to the future your solution could pre-empt business and head count growth, alerting you to potential roles you may need to consider in the next financial year.
Once the application process has begun, it can assist by identifying the suitability of a candidate. Perhaps there’s a certain set of skills or experience that previous high performing employees have had – wouldn’t it be great if your HR software could highlight those to you by scoring applications based on your requirements?
You can use AI to improve reporting functions, identify how long it will take to recruit for a specific role, or which vacancies aren’t bringing in the right type of candidates. Then, you can introduce sentiment analysis to adjust job specifications in case of biased or off-putting language, allowing you to improve and amend descriptions to increase the calibre of applicants.
And let’s not forget the infamous chatbots. There are so many ways that these could be incorporated – you could use SMS chat bots to talk directly to applicants, automating much of the recruitment process and keeping in touch with them throughout. You could use them to help direct people to the right role, which could be extremely helpful if you have a high level of recruitment. Or, you could use them to talk directly to the recruiting manager, letting them know when high scoring candidates have applied for roles.
Once your solution has the historical data it needs, and the right AI technology behind it, there’s really no limit to what you can achieve.
Reporting / Success / Analytics
You’ll likely have a set of KPI’s and ROI that you need to achieve around recruitment and using your HR software you should be able to report quickly and efficiently on all of these. AI can certainly help with this, but it’s not necessary to get most of the answers you need.
Some of the questions you might be asking could be ‘Is there a trend in our hiring and length of stay’, ‘Are there any trends in high performing employees and the way they were onboarded?’ or ‘How successful is our recruitment process, overall?’.
Whatever metrics you are working towards, there are clever and innovative ways that you can report on these within your solution, creating dashboards for senior management, or for individual managers if recruitment requirements are high.
You may also have internal SLAs around recruitment, and your reporting function should be able to support that. For example, if you need to respond to everyone within five days of a first interview, you can run a report for anyone who have been at ‘Interview One Complete, Feedback Not Issued’ for longer than that.
These parameters can be set up around your internal requirements, to make sure you’re hitting your SLAs every time.
Once you’ve selected the perfect person for the role, you want to be sure that they’re engaged and ready to start on their first day. 50% of recruiters have seen an increase in ‘ghosting’ with new jobs, where people don’t show up for their first day, and keeping them engaged throughout any notice period will help reduce the risk of this happening to you.
You can do this through a thorough onboarding process, which should be quick and easy when it is part of your HR software. For example, when you press hire, your solution should issue the contract documents, create them as an employee on the solution and set them up on payroll.
Your new hire will be able to access their self-service area straight away, giving them the ability to upload any relevant documents, such as ID or drivers license details, and you can share policies and employee guidelines from the word go.
Do you have pre-employment learning that would benefit them, or any tasks or reading that you need them to complete? All of this can be set automatically for the job role, or you can tailor it for each employee, giving your new hire all of the tools they need from the moment they accept the position, and creating early engagement to continue the enthusiasm generated throughout the recruitment process.
After all, the secret to a successful long-term employee relationship is outstanding onboarding.