How to make your recruitment more efficient

According to Glassdoor, the average employer spends around £3000 and 27 days to hire a new employee. Considering this level of investment, both financially and personally, it’s important to make sure that your recruitment process is as productive and painless as possible, both for you as an employer and for any prospective employees. Thankfully, this can be achieved by following a few simple steps that will improve this process, as well as your reputation as an employer. 

1. Use an applicant tracking system (ATS)

Using an ATS will benefit your hiring process in many ways. For example, it can prevent unconscious bias from affecting your initial screening of applicants by filtering out traits such as ethnicity, gender and age, which is important for maintaining diversity in your pool of applicants. In addition, an ATS can give you insight into where your applicants are coming from, such as a traditional job board or from social media, which can help your company decide which of these sites to focus or draw back from. Furthermore, an ATS will help you filter through candidates and help keep their data organised and accessible to your hiring team. Sifting through dozens of applications can be daunting for a recruiter, so the use of an ATS can both reduce this workload and streamline the overall recruitment process.

2. Understand the difference between your ‘must haves’ and your ‘nice to haves’ 

Looking for the perfect candidate can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. If you only consider applicants who satisfy a very strict list of criteria, you will end up wasting time and money, and run the risk of excluding potential talent. While some jobs require specific industry knowledge, consider if you have the resources spare to train up a new hire, and whether some applicant traits you are looking for are essential to the job or not. Hard skills that are relevant to the job can be asked for on a CV, but soft skills are better to judge in an interview or assessment. A can-do attitude and desire to learn can help a candidate stand out from the crowd, and more often than not is a sign of a good future employee, so take the time to consult your hiring team and figure out what exactly you need from a new member of staff.

3. Make the most of your employees’ networks

As the saying goes, sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know. You could skip out job boards and recruitment agencies completely by hiring internally, which would demonstrate a commitment to employee development which will impress both current and potential staff. You could also offer your employees a financial incentive to reach out to their own professional networks to fill a position by having a referral programme in place. There’s also an additional benefit to consider by following this path; if one of your current employees can vouch for an applicant’s skills and general character, this may offer you more peace of mind than if you were to hire a stranger. However, you and your hiring team should still ensure that all applications are considered fairly, and that whoever fills the position is someone who can actually do the job!

4. Take the time to create a clear and attractive job advert

Most candidates will only look at a job advert for 30 seconds before deciding whether to keep looking or to find out more about your company. Because of this, you should think of your job advert like an elevator pitch. You only have a short time to keep a potential candidate interested, so keep it as brief as possible and make sure to include key information such as the salary and any benefits your company offers. You should include 3 to 5 of the main responsibilities of the job, and the same amount for any other exciting information you think is worth sharing, for example if you are opening a new office soon. Avoid generic and clichéd language which might be discouraging, as this will help attract a broader range of applicants who will have a genuine interest in the job and your company. Perhaps most importantly of all, make sure the spelling and grammar in your advert is perfect, as candidates will be turned off by lots of typos and misspellings.

Keep your adverts brief and save most details for the job description

5. Diversify your talent search

In May 2020, Forbes reported that online events had increased by a whopping 1000% since the start of the pandemic. This figure includes the many businesses that have held professional industry and networking events on online platforms in the last year, and in a post-Covid world, these look likely to remain a feature of our calendars. Hosting or taking part in an online event gives you access to talent from all over the country, or perhaps even internationally, and may be a more accessible option for some candidates. You should make sure that whatever your advertising approach is, you should account for multiple options to ensure that your advert is reaching the right people. Ask yourself who you want to hire, and do some research to figure out where you can find them. LinkedIn? An industry-specific job board? Scouted from a Zoom conference? There are many options available, so take the time to think about the best approach for your talent search.

6. Examine your diversity hiring strategy

The goal of diversity hiring is to ensure that there are no barriers in place that would discourage any individual from applying for a job at your company, nor from having a fulfilling and successful working life after you have hired them. As 67% of jobseekers report that diversity is an important trait for an employer to have, and given the context of the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests across the world, the need for meaningful diversity and inclusion in the workplace is only growing. By demonstrating a visible commitment to this, you will attract and retain a diverse workforce which will only benefit your company and its culture. 

Asking employees and candidates for their honest opinions about how to improve your diversity, both while hiring and in the workplace, will make you aware of any areas that need improvement, which in turn will make your recruitment process significantly more efficient.

7. Improve your interview processes

An interview goes both ways. This is an opportunity for a candidate to figure out if they want to work for you, at the same time that you are trying to decide the same for them. Even if a job offer isn’t made, a positive interview process can result in a positive review, which will serve to maintain your company’s reputation. Many jobseekers will go online to websites such as Glassdoor to leave reviews of companies they have interviewed at, which can have a knock-on effect of encouraging or discouraging future applicants. As such, you will want to make sure that your interview process is as smooth and welcoming as possible. There are many ways to improve this, for example by making sure you are asking questions specific to the job (e.g. questions about team management for managerial roles), and by measuring responses with a scorecard that will provide you with quantitative data to use when it comes to your hiring decisions. Details as small as the interviewer’s body language can and will be noticed by candidates, so never underestimate the importance of making a good first impression.

8. Keep candidates in the loop

As a jobseeker, there is nothing more discouraging than taking the time to submit a personalised application and cover letter that never receives a response. It’s a matter of basic courtesy to inform candidates of the status of their application, whether they are successful or not, and providing regular application updates will keep you in the minds of your candidates as they pursue other opportunities. Candidate feedback about the recruitment process will be an invaluable tool to help you figure out what’s working well and what needs improvement – but hopefully if you follow the steps in the rest of this article, you’ll hear nothing but positives! 


At TalentSpa, we will do the hard work for you and ensure that your vacancies are seen by top talent from across the UK. Visit our website here to arrange your 6 week free trial of our recruitment services today!

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