How much thought has your organization given toward its hiring process? While some organizations haven’t formally defined a hiring process, others have meticulously detailed multiple steps and actions to make stronger hiring decisions.
It probably won’t surprise you to see that we’re in a candidate’s market right now. As technical advancements propel us forward, skilled IT professionals are in high demand across just about every industry. If your organization’s hiring process is longer, more cumbersome or simply more stressful for candidates than your competitors’ processes, you could be losing out on top technical talent.
Hiring Roadblocks to Avoid
Each day I work with organizations across a range of sizes, backgrounds and industries, and over the years I’ve observed some common roadblocks when it comes to the hiring process. I’ve compiled a collection of the eight top roadblocks for organizations to avoid, along with tips to overcome them. Today, I’ll break down the first four.
Very narrowly defined needs. A clear understanding of the role and requirements for a new hire is critically important before starting the hiring process. Depending on an organization’s specific situation, though, sometimes overly narrow or unrealistic expectations make their way into this stage, which can cause frustration, excess time and ultimately additional cost down the road. To avoid unrealistic expectations down the line, involving your internal or external recruiting team is key. Not only will this help you flesh out the role and determine its viability in a competitive market for IT talent, but it will help your recruiters do their jobs more effectively and efficiently.
At Synergis, we encourage our clients to think through the variables while writing their job descriptions at the beginning of the hiring process. This really helps our clients to understand and specify their needs so that we can bring in the best talent to meet that criteria. Additionally, it’s extremely important for you to provide timely, specific feedback about candidates who aren’t a good fit throughout the process so that recruiters can have a complete picture of the ideal hire.
Taking it all on yourself. Without a doubt, hiring new employees is a costly endeavor. Plus, there are quite a few hidden costs in the hiring process that aren’t always apparent to companies (download our free guide, “What it costs to really hire an employee,” to determine your costs). Whenever an employee is devoting time that would normally be spent on daily tasks to interviewing or hiring (even simple tasks such as scheduling candidate interviews or submitting job postings), that takes time away from your most mission-critical initiatives. Don’t be afraid to ask for outside help to facilitate the hiring process. Whether you’re a small company with limited HR capacity or a large, international organization working on multiple positions, bringing in a staffing partner to help with hiring and onboarding will save you significant time in both employee and administration costs.
Ineffective (or zero) use of an applicant tracking system. An applicant tracking system (or ATS) helps you document your hiring process, organize job applications and keep track of multiple resumes while also providing a streamlined approval notification for new hires. Big picture: Your ATS reduces time spent on paperwork and helps you really hit the ground running with candidates, getting you toward mission-critical tasks in a more time-efficient manner. However, if you’re only using your ATS to organize or sift through resumes, you are missing out on some of the most valuable benefits of these tools. Depending on your organization, you may be hiring new technical talent consistently. Do you remember every candidate you’ve interviewed over the past two or three years? It can be tough! But when using your ATS to its fullest advantage, you can avoid wasting time interviewing subpar candidates you may have already spoken with in the past. You can also cross reference responses or information provided to ensure that things match up properly as part of your vetting process. Essentially, think of all the data you collect during the typical hiring process—there can be quite a bit! Now imagine not only storing that data for one hire, but using it to keep your recruiters working efficiently for years. Today’s ATS technology is more robust than ever, so if your system doesn’t provide the data or capabilities you need to make your best hiring decisions, it may be time to think about upgrading.
Not understanding current market conditions. This is an especially important barrier to a quick and successful hiring process because the current market for talent compensation (and other factors) is particularly competitive. Supply versus demand for particular skill sets can be challenging for employers. With tech unemployment at 2.1 percent in Q2 2015 (less than half the overall national unemployment rate), knowledge is power. Having a firm grasp on marketing conditions before defining the role and your wants and needs in a new hire can help you set realistic expectations and create a clearer path toward landing the right IT talent for your organization.
While these roadblocks are fairly common, they’re not impossible to overcome. If you recognize some of these examples within your organization, now is the time to see how you can eradicate them and facilitate a more efficient hiring process. I’ll be back soon with more roadblocks and tips to overcome them within your organization. In the meantime, if you need help making the shift, give us a call. The Synergis team has helped clients across the U.S. to streamline their hiring processes and find better, skilled IT talent.