Recruitment – Reducing Costs and Improving the Process

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Reducing Costs

Recruitment can often become costly – and we are not talking about the cost incurred to the organization due to bad hires here. When processes are not standardized or if scheduling or interviews are done in an ad hoc and haphazard manner, organizations are forced to spend much more than they normally would, and not even realize any benefits since costly and unstandardized processes usually end up bringing ineffective talent into the organization. Organizations need to go about recruitment the right way, or it can have a very adverse effect on the fortunes of the organization. This recent post has some ideas on how to reduce costs, and we list other ways to do this, and also improve the recruitment process.

Standardize the Process

Standardization of the recruitment process helps with both reducing recruitment costs as well as improving the process. Recruitment’s very nature seems to not be suitable for standardization. After all, how would you standardize the time each candidate is interviewed, or the time recruiters take to come up with a profile? Some searches take a few minutes and some take hours, if not days. However, that does not mean you give up and allow the stakeholders to perform as they want. You can still standardize the steps in the process and its flow. You can standardize the approaches your employees take towards recruitment. The first step is to standardize the process as much as you can so that the rest of the process becomes easier and more pliable.

Use an Applicant Tracking System

An applicant tracking system or ATS helps organizations in streamlining recruitment activities and ensures that the stakeholders have good collaboration among themselves and the process goes on without a hitch. Applicant tracking systems help recruiters stay organized and spend exponentially lesser time on the administrative aspects of the recruitment process. They help save and sort through resumes quite quickly and conveniently. There is no scope for forgetting or deleting things by mistake. The ATS can be integrated with your email and job boards so as to automatically sort incoming resumes for easier processing. Also, when you have the ATS, your communication with candidates and organizational stakeholders is automated, and everyone is kept apprised of any developments.

Consider Alternate Sourcing Channels

Depending on only one or two channels of sourcing will not be helpful in the long run. Not only are you selecting from a limited talent pool but you also end up spending a lot on paid services. Instead, broaden your source of talent to select the best you can get instead of settling for the best from a small pool. Through their referrals, employees make for a great sourcing channel, and you will already have one level of selection done. Also, since the employees are already aware of the culture at the workplace, they will be good judges of whether these candidates will make a good fit at the workplace or not. It might be a good idea to ask your employees to share job openings on using their own social media since you never know from where good talent could turn up.

Have Good Screening and Shortlisting Criteria

One mistake that recruiters do is to screen incorrectly and shortlist candidates who might not always be best candidates for the job. This happens largely because they are also under pressure to complete their quota of shortlisted candidates, and with a dearth of talent, they make the decision to shortlist candidates who remotely suit the profile. This mistake will often not be recruited till the interview stage, and by then, a whole load of time and money would have been spend on what is effectively a waste of time for all those involved. So, ensure that you have effective screening criteria. This is one of those things that you should standardize – lay down the criteria for candidates who could be shortlisted. Like the famous TV show, you could ensure that you are hiring candidates who have gone to a particular prestigious institution, and therefore can be reasonably sure of the candidates coming from that place. So, screen wisely.

Have a Career Portal

You might have consultants working for you, and you can have profiles on social media, and might even be sourcing from job boards, but you should have a career portal on your website which candidates can easily access. This source costs you almost nothing and increases the chance of candidates visiting your website. You can also make it a practice to collect resumes of candidates who are interested in joining the organization even when you do not have any open positions by telling them that you will consider them as and when a position opens up. You will have a bunch of resumes ready for consideration, and since candidates came forward themselves, you can be sure of interest in the position as well. This is one of the most affordable self-selection mechanisms available, and it should not be ignored.

Don’t Ignore Culture and Integrity

When hiring, don’t ignore to account for culture and integrity. You might have very talented candidates, but if you do not feel that they will fit the culture and make a positive contribution to it or if they seem to lack integrity, they are not the right people for you. In the quest to find candidates quickly to keep things running, these are ignored, often to disastrous candidates. When employees don’t fit the company culture, they will leave or not perform well, hurting the organization either way.

Take Inputs from Current Employees

Recruitment is often the exclusive responsibility of only a few employees in the organization. These few managers and supervisors decide all the policies, shortlists, job descriptions, and so on. However, managers and supervisors rarely know what the job is actually like. They only see things from one side of the table and do not appreciate the skills and efforts that employees have to put in to complete their tasks successfully. Worse, they have a very different idea of what the job entails, very different from reality, and when they hire with this warped reality, the talent they bring into the organization will not be very helpful to the organization’s cause. In fact, I have a personal example to share wherein a designer would often lament the fact that the management would hire people who were not quite up to the job. He used to lament the fact that the management never asked him what types of skills are required, or what kind of experience is required for the position. Instead, based on some past requirements and deciding within themselves, the management used to hire designers, and not surprisingly, saw an attrition rate of more than 50%.

Nobody knows more about the nuances of the job than those who are actually performing it. So, take employees’ inputs while creating job descriptions and shortlisting candidates. In fact, it might be a better idea to go one step further and invite them to sit in the interviews so that they will be able to help you in deciding the right candidate. This will also help engage your current employees, and make them feel more important within the context of the organization.

Offer Unique, Interesting, and Useful Benefits

One way you can differentiate yourself from your competition out there is to offer unique, interesting, and useful benefits to your employees. Of course, all organizations offer benefits of some kind or the other, but that does not mean that these are always a draw for employees not are they always useful. So, ensure that you learn what your employees and potential employees want and design a benefits and compensation package to suit these needs.

Hire People Smarter than You

When you are recruiting people, you are bringing in talent that will take the organization further and help with its growth. To do this, you want people who are smarter than you, and people who can find newer and better ways of doing tasks and achieving goals. So, keep your ego aside, and hire people smarten than you so that you can also learn something from them.

Plan and Implement

When your hiring takes place in an ad hoc manner, you are always reacting instead of being proactive. Instead of planning for an opening that would come sometime later, if you are just focusing on the present, you would have to run pillar to post when something unexpected happens. It is a good idea to have plans and contingency strategies in place to ensure that operations do not take a hit even when key resources leave. Also, develop a hiring policy that should be strictly followed by all the stakeholders.

Recruitment should not be taken lightly – it is one of the most important enablers of organizational growth. If this is not optimized, there will be bullwhip effect on almost all of the organization’s operations.