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Align Stakeholders in the Hiring Process to Boost Results

Recruiters and hiring managers should routinely discuss what's working and what's not

A woman is talking to another woman at a desk.

​High-performing recruitment functions evaluate their hiring process and align expectations among candidates, recruiters and hiring managers, industry experts say.

Allegis Group's 2017 Global Talent Advisory Survey of nearly 12,000 employers and candidates found that only 30 percent of hiring managers and 22 percent of recruiters are satisfied with their recruitment processes.

The survey probed perceptions from recruiters, hiring managers and candidates across the entire talent acquisition process, revealing breakdowns that lead to dissatisfaction:

  • 73 percent of employers report their recruitment processes fail to leverage technology appropriately.
  • 33 percent of employers think their organizations' recruitment processes do not enable them to be competitive in attracting top talent.

On the job seeker side, 59 percent are dissatisfied with the typical hiring process, with lack of communication during the process and recruiters not understanding the role being the biggest disconnects.

"When there is no conversation, there is no forum in which to encourage and plan improvements. Hiring managers and recruiters must make the bold move to regularly discuss recruitment processes across all stakeholder groups," said Allegis Group President Andy Hilger.

Time to Talk

Alignment between the professionals who find the talent and those who work with them is critical for faster, better-fit hiring and more satisfied employees.

"In order to create the most optimal recruiting environment, it is essential that the hiring manager and recruiter talk about open job requisitions, what's working and what's not working, challenges the recruiter faces, expectations the hiring manager has, and a whole host of other things that will essentially make both their jobs easier," said Will Staney, the CEO and founder of Proactive Talent Strategies, an Austin, Texas-based consulting company focused on talent acquisition strategy, employer branding and recruiter training. "SLAs [service-level agreements] for all stakeholder groups should be discussed and agreed upon so that all sides can be held accountable for their part of the hiring process and strategy." 

These conversations will sometimes be challenging, Hilger said. "But there is no better way to achieve continuous improvement than to establish a forum … and [a] data-driven approach to talent acquisition."

According to the Allegis survey results, high-performing recruitment organizations share several distinguishing elements, including:

  • A recruitment process that is formalized. They are three times more likely to have a formalized and documented recruitment process with clear lines of accountability.
  • A recruitment process that is aligned across the business and stakeholder groups. They are four times more likely to say their recruitment process successfully balances the needs of hiring managers, recruiters and candidates.
  • A recruitment process that is routinely evaluated. "They spend 63 percent more time evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of the recruitment process," Hilger said.

Most organizations specifically fail on this last point, he added. The majority of employers reported that conversations between hiring managers and recruiters about the efficiency or effectiveness of the hiring process either sometimes (54 percent) or never (26 percent) happen.

Driving Process Improvements

Because candidates are not positioned to act as change agents for the hiring process, hiring managers and recruiters are the critical stakeholders that must ensure alignment between the three groups.

The first thing to find out is what metrics matter from each stakeholder's perspective.

"Recruiters tend to care about metrics that affect candidates prior to them accepting a role," Staney explained. "These metrics could include time-to-fill, conversion rates and source-of-hire. Hiring managers tend to focus on the metrics post-hire such as retention rates, quality-of-hire, candidate experience and diversity metrics."

All of these metrics are valuable to both stakeholders, he said. "For instance, the recruiter can tell a lot about [candidates] from how long they stay and their work performance at the company." If the recruiter dives into the data a little more, he or she is able "to find out correlations among stellar employees and can use that intelligence to hire quicker and more effectively in the future."

Once the metrics are in place to track success for each recruitment stakeholder, objective improvement conversations can take place, Hilger said.

He added that the meetings should be free from casting blame and instead should focus on evaluating what is and is not working.

"These conversations are extremely important for both sides," Staney said. "Coming to each of these meetings and being open about challenges, questions about language in a job description, or feedback on candidates is essential. When I was leading TA teams, we regularly conducted hiring manager surveys to get feedback on our recruiting team and strategy as well as encouraged recruiters to be a consultative advisor to their hiring managers by providing them feedback and coaching as well. It has to be a two-way street." 

Sample issues to dig into include how quickly candidates are identified after posting an open position, what is the interview-to-hire ratio, and what is the post-placement time-to-productivity rate and how is it trending in different areas of the organization.

"Use the answers to identify the behaviors and actions necessary to drive improvement and greater satisfaction across the stakeholder ecosystem," Hilger said.

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