Are Dated Recruiting Strategies Holding You Back?

child-and-chimpanzeeThe face of talent acquisition can be an unfamiliar one depending on where you sit in the hiring process. Human Resources departments must continuously adapt its recruiting strategies to keep the enterprise competitive. When the constraints of dated hiring processes prove to be counterproductive, how do you hit the reset button?


Talent acquisition doesn’t look the same way it did ten, five or even a year ago. The fact is that recruiting technologies, combined with the dynamic nature of Human Resources, are constantly changing how companies hire. Gone are the days of selecting a one-size-fits-all solution or software system. Today’s hiring processes and recruiting strategies are purposefully complex. And, while some were built with a high level of detail, the end result is ideally the same: attract key talent into the organization quickly and cost-effectively.

We’ve seen firsthand a growing number of organizations that are turning to Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) services to improve hiring processes. Recently, we hosted a webinar to discuss the existing and new challenges surrounding talent acquisition; including the benefit RPO services have on improving the hiring process. What we learned is that several companies, including enterprise-level organizations, are admittedly stripping themselves of constraining or dated hiring processes.


The owners of talent acquisition must take an innovative approach at an often antiquated system. Every hiring process should start with a solid recruiting foundation, or strategy. Often overlooked by key stakeholders within the organization, the recruiting strategy is usually left up to Hiring Managers or Human Resources to develop and implement. The fundamental problem with this approach is that, regardless of the size of your organization, it’s never truly aligned with the long-term business objectives and often, is not openly communicated outside of the leadership circle.

Think of your hiring process as a starter home. It accommodates your wants and needs at that particularly point in time. But, as time evolves, so does the size of your family, what you require of a home, and what amenities are needed. Suddenly, your beautiful new home is an undersized, outdated eyesore. The same holds true for hiring processes. As the organization grows, you expand locations, take on a new line of business, experience the need to ramp up (or down), and so on, the same old process just isn’t getting the job done like it used to. Sure, you can create workarounds, but at some point you must accept the fact that it’s just not the right fit anymore.


During the webinar, we spoke to Patrick Reuss, the head of Recruitment and Staffing for SABIC, a global leader in manufacturing. Reuss addressed how many organizations and their key business stakeholders, disregard the hiring process. This isn’t a set it and forget it operation. Whoever manages talent acquisition within your organization should consistently assess the process from end-to-end.  Here are three surefire ways you can begin moving the needle on improving the talent acquisition process.

1. From employment branding to developing relevant and accurate job descriptions to tracking and managing applicants (usually via an ATS, or applicant tracking system), today’s applicants expect a seamless experience.  It’s easier to operate on autopilot, but to improve the quality and quantity of applicants, you have to understand not only where to post, but moreover, how to optimize the application process.

2. How would you describe your company’s interview strategy? So much time and effort goes into picking the right applicant; only to have a hiring manager or recruiter botch the interview. This is especially true in technical fields where a skills barrier exists.  To land the best applicant, work collaboratively with your hiring team to develop an in-depth and broad screening questionnaire.

3. The average time to fill is at its highest rate in thirteen years as reported by the Wall Street Journal.  The culprit? Overly complex interview processes and unrealistic expectations by the Hiring Manager have increased time-to-fill to 25 days. To reduce this metric, paint the picture of the recruiting landscape before you do anything. Set realistic expectations for both the hiring manager and applicant; i.e. key skills, average salary, etc.


Before making the decision to radically change your recruiting process, it’s important to take a critical look inside your organization; specifically at the members that encompass your talent acquisition team. How will they handle drastic changes to existing or legacy processes? Are they capable of driving innovation? By nature, the talent acquisition process is one that is in a state of constant flux. Do you have the right people in place?

Today’s recruiters, hiring managers, and talent acquisition leaders must be forward-thinking, in-tune with new technologies, and drive decision-making with data (not gut). It’s no longer acceptable to be in the dark when it comes to your hiring processes. To be truly successful at talent acquisition, you must connect it to your organizational business objectives. While the concept of operationalizing your recruiting strategies or hiring processes isn’t new, making these procedures cost-effective and agile is.


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