With the annual spend on recruitment increasing year on year (£32bn in 2017) and with workers now predicted to begin no fewer than nine roles in their career lifetime, competition for the best employees shows no signs of abating. Workers know their value with increasing candidate expectations creating the perfect storm to stress test even the most effective recruitment strategies.

Rapid handling and response is the standardised norm for 77% of job seekers, who claim they expect no more than a three day response. Businesses unable to keep pace with increasing expectation quickly lose the strongest candidates to competitors as a result. Recent NGA research confirmed that over half of candidates within the latter stages of an application are still interviewing with competitors.

So, how are HR and recruitment professionals meeting the challenge head on in 2018?

With the best candidates thought to be off the market within only 10 days, smart recruiters are using a variety of innovative tools at their disposal to provide a better candidate experience and keep costs within budget.

1. Analytics and insight – knowing the good, the bad, and the ugly in your recruitment process

Intuitive dashboard reporting that lays out the process end to end. This puts your fingers on the pulse of the following:

  • Time to hire – how long it takes to get candidates into vacant positions and importantly, how long should it take?
  • Cost per hire – the total cost invested in hiring divided by the number of hires. Track and calculate advertising, agency fees, candidate expenses and training cost. Compare positions to see which are the most expensive within your recruitment drives.
  • Source of hire – recognise your most effective recruiting channels. This can allow for vast improvements in your time to hire and time to fill. Similarly, you can identify where your business is least appealing to new hires and take tailored action.
  • Applicants per opening – amalgamate your applications from different channels to one single location and immediately identify the most in demand positions.
  • First year attrition – after thousands of pounds worth of investment into hiring and training, acknowledge the roles which are costing your business money. From this you can begin to ask questions like, is training adequate? Are we over selling the role? Are incentive schemes working?
  • Quality of hire – perhaps the metric which is most difficult to measure, yet one of crucial importance nonetheless. Compare relative assessment criteria: customer satisfaction ratings, sales performance or manager performance scores.

2. Decrease your reliance on manual headhunting and expensive search tools. Create your own digital talent pool.

With the rapid expansion of social media over the last decade, passive sourcing is often cited as one of the most effective ways to source quality candidates.

Now digitised, technologies are capable of taking time consuming manual admin out of the  equation and to automate this process. Passive sourcing technology builds profiles of your candidates via their social media presences.

Through digitisation you can make savings indirectly thanks to reduced administration and from reduced external fees to outside service providers. In creating online talent pools through passive technologies and employee referrals, you can ensure that when the right candidate becomes available, you’re already connected and engaged before your competition.

3. Streamline your application process, avoid losing strong candidates with user friendly application dashboards.

In a survey conducted by the CIPD, 41% of the organisations approached believed the length of their recruitment process had led to the loss of potential recruits. Contrary to traditional belief, often the most promising candidates are lost through implementation of lengthy applications. Especially the most valuable candidates who are perhaps under bigger time constraints.

To remain competitive, recruiters are adopting digital applications which retain candidate excitement or interest and allow for good experience summaries. Poor experiences of application processes will spread across social networks and as ever, every applicant is a potential brand ambassador or customer.

Increasingly organisations are adopting integration of LinkedIn as a means of obtaining candidate summaries, however a truly digital process looks further than this. To minimise productivity impacts on businesses from empty positions and training periods, businesses are implementing end to end automation; tracking the process of all candidates, reviewing communications and locating their profiles in one online location across any device. Not only does this ensure you get full oversight of applicant progress, potential employees receive a positive experience even if unsuccessful.

4. Integrate your payroll, HR and recruitment data onto a single multi device accessible platform.

The process of vacancy approval and filing candidate data onto a recruitment system, through to transfer of successful candidates to a HR database so that they can become employees is most often undertaken as an unlinked process.

If data is effectively secured within the recruitment process it should still be stored separately from employee data. The benefit of using the same system for both candidates and employees however is it can be easily transferred within this internal system and can be accessed on multiple devices.

Integration of systems within HR, payroll and recruitment will always operate more efficiently, saving time, resource and expenditure. Increased efficiencies will also be beneficial for your overall brand image, increasing the likelihood of candidate referrals from internal stakeholders and an edge over rivals.

5. Digitally integrate your recruitment process to your onboarding process.

Fully integrated onboarding is the final piece to your recruitment process. Linking the data obtained from candidates during their application phase saves you both time and resource. Tracking new employee progress ensures that all documents are signed and everything is set up for your new hire before they begin in your business.

Detailed analytics include completion rate tracking, you can identify hold ups immediately. Systems are even capable of running automated background checks on your chosen candidates.

From the perspective of your new hire, not only do they benefit from increased efficiencies, but they can also benefit from early interaction with your team. Systems now allow employees to get in touch with their new managers, members of department and resolve any concerns or queries from the moment they accept their position.

Find out more about employee onboarding here.

Ensure your brand stands out from the crowd with a digitally integrated recruitment and onboarding service that highlights your efficiencies to the labour market and challenge your competitors. If you have found this blog useful, please feel free to share it with your network or contact us for more information on how NGA ResourceLink can benefit your business.