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Is Your Recruitment Process a 'Fixer Upper'?

March 23, 2017


Like popcorn ceilings, wood paneling, and carpet in the bathroom, your recruitment tools and strategies won’t last forever.  Looking around your dated recruitment house may leave you feeling overwhelmed.  Where do you even start?  Inspired by HGTV’s fixer upper duo, Chip and Joanna Gaines, I’ve outlined a few steps to get you rolling.

Good Bones

Before you totally level the lot, evaluate what can be salvaged.  For example, if your company's “Careers” website page hasn’t been updated since 1997, it may need a facelift to attract applicants. Nevertheless, you may be able to reclaim some of the existing content and simply dress it up a bit. What about your referral program?  “Referrals are a classic, they’ll never go out of style,” you reason. But is it easy for current employees to refer others to your job posting, so they can begin the application process?  Take inventory of what you like about your current process, tools, and strategies.

  • What events, advertisements, sponsorships, etc. have garnered interest in position openings or the company in general?

  • What tools have helped you analyze your recruitment sources?

  • What tools best inform your hiring decisions?

  • What aspects of the current process are most successful (e.g., what has helped you attract the right applicants, or what are the biggest administrative time savers)?

Demo Day

Once you’ve taken inventory of what to keep, it’s time to scrap the rest. For example, if you’re still using paper applications, consider moving online where you can cast a wider net. Perhaps you’re still running the same classified ads in the local newspaper. If you’re looking only for local talent, those ads might be enough. However, if newspaper subscriptions in your area are few and far between, they may not be worth it at all.

Maybe the process, itself, needs to be mended. As experts in talent selection and assessment, HR professionals’ expertise is vital. They ensure applicants are screened fairly and present Hiring Managers with candidates who will be a good fit in the organization. When recruiters become a glorified admin, or an afterthought, their expertise isn’t being leveraged as effectively as possible. Make a list of the biggest eye sores and pain points in your current process so you can prioritize your rebuilding efforts:

  • What has failed to drive interest in position openings or the company in general?

  • What source or medium is no longer effective in reaching your target applicant pool?

  • Where is the applicant experience lackluster?

  • What tools or strategies are outdated (e.g., could your interview guides use a fresh coat of paint)?

  • Are you leveraging the talent and expertise of each stakeholder? (If not, it’s time to change – identify who needs to be involved, and when, at each step in the selection process.)

Dress It To Sell

As you rebuild your dream home, remember the art of staging – the goal is to present a picture of work that resonates with your prospective “buyers.”  Recruitment strategies and sources vary drastically by position level as well as by industry. What appeals to executive candidates is different from entry-level workers, and what piques the interest of the skilled trades workforce is likely different than what an IT professional notices. Since these individuals are diverse, where and how they search for jobs differs, too. Consider how you might tailor your approach and your tools to diverse groups, while still aligning those strategies and resources with the company’s culture and values. If teamwork ranks above all, include visual cues and text that portray that value. Be strategic about adding curb appeal to your position openings:

  • What resonates most with your workforce?

  • What are the key messages you want to portray regarding company values and culture?

  • Where (and how) does your workforce job search (i.e., how can you reach them most effectively)?

    • Online: Job boards, company “Careers” page, virtual networking events, and/or social media.

    • In-person: Job fairs, conferences, educational workshops, community centers, etc.

    • Can you leverage what marketing has learned about the company’s consumers to appeal to potential applicants?

Refresh the Sale

Just like a stagnant real estate posting, you don’t want your position opening to go stale. Surveys of job seekers suggest that after approximately 15 weeks, candidates may perceive an opportunity as simply a bad job. If you’re having trouble recruiting or filling a particular role, remove the posting and re-evaluate. Consider the following: revising the job description; using a different job site, advertising platform, or social media draw; revisiting the position criteria and hiring standards (either raising the bar or lowering the standard to something more attainable); or even recruiting internally instead.

Before you jump in, remember that re-hauling your recruitment process is not a solo weekend DIY project. Just as house flippers consult with electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and other craftspeople, you’ll need buy-in from your key stakeholders, too. Recent hires can share feedback on their experience, marketing can help you advertise job postings and engage on social media, hiring managers can provide critical hiring criteria, and recruiters can provide suggestions for streamlining the current process. Following these tips to attract the right talent will have you saying, “Welcome Home!” in no time.

An effective recruiting process is just the start, though. Download the Guide below to learn the basics about what comes next:

The Ultimate Hiring Manager’s Guide

Bekah Regan Bekah Regan is a Consultant based in the Pittsburgh office of PSI. She provides client support across many different industries including retail, manufacturing, technology and healthcare. Her areas of expertise include developing selection tools and interview guides, providing training and support for PSI’s applicant tracking system, as well as assisting clients with requests and questions regarding tools and processes.