Imagine there’s a secret goldmine of resumes of qualified candidates who know your brand and want to work for your organization. Can you see it like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Now, imagine that you have an open position and you choose to forego all of those goldmine candidates and go find new ones. Even more concerning, imagine you pay someone to bring you new candidates rather than engaging your company followers. If you have an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), this is not a dream. In-house recruiters who are often overburdened with Recruiting activities on top of their Human Resources or Onboarding activities are likely to overlook this goldmine of resume because they feel they don’t have time to tackle a search. Most applicant tracking systems maintain resumes for 3 or more years. Assuming the candidates who apply to you and are not selected continue working and growing their careers, you likely have several applicants who would fit a previously filled role right at your fingertips. I hear you. This won’t apply to every position you need to fill and not every ATS is search-friendly. However, let’s say you had a Customer Service Manager role available last year and you received 100 applications. Probably 50 of those were from people who didn’t meet your qualifications. Another 30 or so likely came in after you were far into the interview process. The remaining 20 were considered and maybe 10 or so went through your phone screen process. Of that 20, let’s say that 19 were disqualified for one reason or another and 1 person was hired. 80% of your applicants may not have been fully considered for this or similar roles and are just sitting in your ATS. Sticking with the above example… Let’s say you now need to open a Customer Service Supervisor requisition due to your company’s growth. You could start from scratch and wait two weeks for another 100 applicants. Rinse. Repeat. Or you could search through the candidates from that past requisition and likely find several within the 80 overflow candidates who didn’t meet your requirements for the Manager role but may be well qualified for a Supervisor position. These are likely passive candidates now who would welcome a call about a new role with an organization they were interested in previously. You could expedite your hiring process and strengthen your employer brand with just a few calls. Wouldn’t that investment of time be worth the upfront effort rather than relying on a posting model? Another potentially positive outcome of spending more time with your database is to fill additional positions from various applicant pools. Often, a well qualified candidate will be viewing more than one position on your site yet only apply to one role. It is the responsibility of the in-house recruiter or sourcer to determine the best fit and reassign that application for consideration under another, better-suited position. Yes, there are compliance needs you’ll need to track but most ATS systems make this an easy change. One phone call to the candidate will confirm whether they’re open to the opportunity. If they’re not, you can disqualify them from the active role and let them know in real-time. Then, it’s on to the next candidate. If they are open to another role, you may have just solved two requisition needs from one active list of candidates. In-house recruiters are in a unique position to have access to all positions and areas of the business. When your organization doesn’t have enough volume to justify a full-time resource, contract recruiters are a great option to consider. These resources will employ these tactics using your own candidate database and you’ll pay a part-time or hourly rate rather than a per-hire fee. Additionally, you’ll continue to own all of the candidate data to re-use for future requirements. Finding gold where it’s been found previously is often easier than looking for a whole new goldmine. Make sure your team is enabled to access the gold you already have. Ready to step up your hiring process? Schedule a time to talk with our team– we’d be happy to help.
Bottom line up front – your application is too long and you probably don’t need it. Ok – I’ll provide a little more information so you can make some positive changes to drive improvement in your talent acquisition process. Below are some easy steps toward evaluating your talent acquisition process and making your process simpler and barrier-free. Every organization can use a re-check of the current process to optimize their chances of hiring success. Today’s top candidates are busy, likely exploring jobs from a mobile device, and have a lot of other options. Assuming you are relying on primarily inbound applications to fill your roles, you need an application process that is quick, mobile-friendly, and takes less than 3 minutes. CareerBuilder reports annually on employment application abandon rates – generally, abandon rates are about 60% for most employers. Below are a few immediate steps you can take to improve the number of quality applications received. Unfortunately, the most qualified candidates are also the most likely to abandon a lengthy, intrusive, or outdated process.
Step 1 – Pick up your phone and apply for a job. If you haven’t applied for one of your own jobs recently, you might be surprised along the way. Time yourself from both a laptop and a mobile device. Be sure to include a real email address so you can confirm what happens next. Keep track of anytime you’re asked to re-enter the same information – that’s an easy fix in most applicant tracking systems (ATS). Additionally, confirm whether you’re using screen-out questions that truly allow you to make good hiring decisions or are potentially taking more time than the value provided. Collecting superfluous information is a leading cause of high drop-out rates. It’s a good idea to repeat this process for any of your primary talent competitors. Be sure that your process is easier and more friendly.
Step 2 – Open and review an application in your ATS. Take specific note of what information you read and consider. Be honest, you and your recruiting team aren’t reading everything collected. If you have a team of recruiters, ask each recruiter to bring a list to your next meeting. If it’s just you, ask a couple of hiring managers to do the exercise. Once you have a list, consider the following: 1. Can you eliminate some of the info that’s being collected but not reviewed? 2. Is the team reviewing information that could be contributing to implicit bias? 3. Is the collected information relevant to the position itself? Create a list of items to reconsider or just get started and update right away.
Step 3 – Check your compliance needs. The rules have changed and many organizations haven’t updated their processes lately. Many of the old-school recruiter rules imply that you need an online application or capture process and an official employment application on file. That is rarely true and you can likely update your capture process for roles with scarce talent to just a 2-4 question capture process. A strong developer, for example, isn’t likely to jump through any hoops to apply for your job. For top talent and hard-to-fill roles, could you allow just a LinkedIN link or resume, an email address, and a phone number? The simple answer is yes. The harder question is, are you ready for that level of simplicity and do you have the staff to appropriately follow up? If you’re a Federal contractor or receive State/Federal funding, there are more requirements for you to consider so be sure to check with your HR team. If you do need an official employment application, you can reposition it to a later point in your hiring process once the candidate is already engaged with your brand. Busy recruiting teams may feel there isn’t time to go through these steps regularly. If you’re feeling that way right now, consider how investing this time to evaluate and improve your application process could provide a higher volume of qualified applicants. One solution is rarely right for everyone and certainly not for every type of recruit. High volume response roles, like customer service, may benefit by adding a video interview or additional step to help you filter the most qualified and #readytowork candidates more quickly. For lesser known brands or harder-to-fill roles though, it will improve your application rates and lead to a lower need for agency-recruiting or outbound sourcing. Ready to step up your hiring process? Schedule a time to talk with our team– we’d be happy to help.