Most people like to equate the recruiting process with dating. Starting with a gentle introduction from a mutual acquaintance or with a simple greeting, the relationship steadily escalates over coffee, phone calls, text messages, emails, and perhaps an interview or three. Then the inevitable happens: days, if not weeks, can go by until the recruiter calls back again.
Approximately 60% of us have been there, according to the Future Workplace & CareerArc study, conducted by Workplace Trends. We sit at home wondering where it all went wrong and what we could have done better. But really, it’s the recruiting process that went wrong, not how we presented ourselves.
In today’s 24×7 digital world, time is of the essence when it comes to acquiring new talent. In fact, TalentBoard’s North American Candidate Experience Research Report revealed that 49% of surveyed job candidates experience a lapse of one week between the last interview and the offer letter. Unfortunately for recruiters bogged down with the complexity of working with multiple teams and a dizzying array of channels and solutions, this moment of silence can turn into a moment of lost top talent.
The Importance of Time-Tested Best Practices for Hiring the Best Talent
Very rare is the person who can wait days – or even weeks – in dead silence to find out whether they are being offered a job without any type of expectation setting. Sometimes there’s another company, most likely a competitor, waiting in the wings to hire them before someone else does. Other times, the candidate’s employer may consider options to convince them not to leave.
Recently, I was reminded of how much an excellent recruiting process can make a difference. I was engaged in the interviewing process for two separate companies at the same time. I spent more than a week talking and meeting executives at both companies. When everything was said and done, I received a phone call that an offer would be coming soon. A few days later, I received the offer. But I didn’t immediately accept it because I wanted to know what the other company would propose. For a few days, I waited for that second offer letter – and grew more impatient. After a week of me following up, but not hearing anything, I seriously questioned that company’s interest. Although I can safely say that I accepted the original offer for a multitude of reasons, the mutual respect between my hiring manager, myself, and the recruiter was a critical factor in my decision. I did receive the second offer a day after I accepted my original offer. The second company was not happy I had selected another offer, but seriously what do they expect – poor communication and lack of respect for someone’s time and effort.
This situation happens to companies and candidates every day, but it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right tools, a company’s employer brand can maintain a highly visible and attractive experience that keeps candidates engaged, vested, and immune to competing overtures and promises. This may be a tall order for the HR organization to achieve, but it’s possible with the use of industry-leading practices, or what we call a “model company.”
Why Your Recruiters Need to Act Like a Model Company
First off, I am a firm believer that organizational transformation is 90% process and 10% product. As a set of highly researched, rapidly configured end-to-end reference solutions, model company services quickly address the specific demands of the recruiting experience. The latest applications and validated best practices help evolve every aspect of the process – from the perspective of the recruiter and job candidate. Plus, the approach helps remove administrative complexities, future-proof new technology adoption, leverage new business rules, shorten the time to fill a position, and reduce the cost per hire.
Value-add, strategic, and up-to-date, model company services deliver unprecedented capabilities to four primary areas of the recruiting process:
- Requisition: Best practices and prescribed business rules help shorten time to hire from weeks to just a day or two. Over time, this benefit can compound into thousands of recruiting hours saved, which is a massive enhancement to productivity. With a streamlined requisition process, recruiters can create a job request and start distributing across channels quickly in the most appropriate formats. Plus, recruiters can engage in more meaningful work and focus more on the candidate relationship by removing tasks that provide little value to the final outcome and are not required by regulations.
- Candidate experience: When people apply for a job, they want a fast, easy way to know which positions are open, why employees like working for the employer, how to submit their application, and whether the application is being reviewed. Addressing each of these areas with predefined templates and processes can help recruiters gain a significant advantage over their competitors that do not provide a leading candidate experience. By minimizing the complexity of managing job content and applying appropriate prescreening practices, the application drop-off rate decreases while overall candidate satisfaction increases.
- Candidate selection: For any given requisition, recruiters can spend hours upon hours reviewing applications. Proven efficiencies in screening and assessments can help narrow the field, followed by streamlined, data-oriented interview processes and efficient offer approvals. One of the most promising, yet untapped, areas in candidate selection is the ability to generate a list of recommended candidates through machine learning and predictive analytics. These best practices can help ensure that the hiring manager is included throughout the process – not just during the interview – to play a more significant role in being a partner to recruiting and ensuring candidate success.
- Offer-to-onboarding process: After significant time, mindshare, and money are spent on acquiring the right person for the job, a seamless transition from “candidate” to “new hire” is essential. All too often, a lack of engagement and alignment between the hiring manager and the new hire leads to short-term attrition. When seamlessly integrated with the recruiting process, onboarding can turn the candidate experience into employee engagement by allowing hiring managers to interact with their team members without disruption.
It’s Time to Run the Recruiting Process More Like a Courtship
Ultimately, companies that don’t show interest in their candidates are the ones that will lose out on the best talent available. For recruiters, hiring managers, and candidates, model company services can quickly change the success of talent acquisition by streamlining each step of the process to accelerate time to hire and provide full transparency to all parties. With this approach, recruiters will do more than source, select, and build relationships with their candidates – they will also serve as the first line of action for employee engagement.
To learn more about SAP Model Company for HR, check out this white paper, “Turning People Strategies into a Catalyst for Change: A Prescriptive, Preconfigured, and Leading-Practice Approach to HR Digitalization.”
Jeff Mills is director of Solution Management for Talent Acquisition at SAP SuccessFactors