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How human element in your hiring sets you up for success

A job interview. When companies invest in professional development for staff, they’re prepared to hire from within. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH
A job interview. When companies invest in professional development for staff, they’re prepared to hire from within. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH 

Companies spend more time than ever before finding talent and making good hires. Glassdoor’s 2015 Why is Hiring Taking Longer? report revealed that between 2010 and 2014, the average time it took to hire an employee in the US increased from 12.6 days to 22.9 days. How can companies compete for talent as the time to hire continues to rise?
Employers need to maintain a human element during the hiring process. Just as important, they must provide a positive candidate experience that moves quickly enough to keep top talent engaged.

Robert Half’s Time to Hire survey found that nearly one-quarter of workers lose interest within one week of the first interview.

Here’s a look at how employers can move forward on a compressed timetable while maintaining a more personal approach.

Start an employee referral programme

Employee referral programmes are an effective tool to reduce hiring time, but that’s just one of their many benefits.
Of the 107 HR professionals surveyed for the iCIMS Impact of a Successful Employee Referral Programme study, 63 per cent reported their companies have a documented referral programme. Most HR specialists know the advantages that referrals bring: More than half said referred employees are better cultural fits, stay longer and are more satisfied. A robust social-recruiting strategy is part of any successful employee referral programme. Posting photos and content that communicate your workplace culture can emphasise the human element behind the company and your employer brand. Encourage employees to make the most of their social-media networks.

Get talent moving

Create a talent-mobility programme that provides employees opportunities to grow and advance within the organisation. When companies invest in professional development for staff, they’re prepped to hire from within.

How human element in your hiring sets you up for success

This has the added perk of making succession planning a lot easier. Scrambling to fill positions takes resources away from what’s needed to maintain daily operations. When an executive or manager leaves the company, employers need a pipeline of qualified workers who are ready to move up the ladder.

This is precisely where talent-mobility programmes shine: They prepare top talent to advance when the opportunity presents itself. HR saves time and money by bypassing external job postings.

Plus, the HR department’s hiring professionals know which internal candidates are the best fits to embody and convey the company’s culture.

Applicant tracking system

An applicant tracking system (ATS) can be your best tool for managing a fast-moving and intelligent recruitment process. If you have an ATS in place, consult your software provider to learn how the system can coordinate communications scheduling. It’s crucial you maintain communications with all job seekers — even passive ones.

Schedule follow-ups to target previous candidates who showed talent but perhaps were underqualified for past opportunities. The same is true for applicants who fit your company culture but might not have been right for a particular role during earlier hiring processes.

Keep a database of these contacts so it’s easy to reconnect. When you have a need that matches their skill sets, personalise your messaging. It’s important for recipients to know they’re hearing from someone in their network and not a bot within an automated system.

Use interactive screening techniques

Technology has enabled companies to cut down on screening time without sacrificing a human touch. Consider interactive screening procedures that engage job seekers. Phone interviews are fine, but video interviewing adds another dimension.

It’s best to provide candidates with a sampling of company information before setting up a video interview. Include an introduction clip that briefs them on the company’s founding and current position, its most influential core values and its employee and brand culture. These cues help them see beyond the surface of your organisation’s website or social media posts and learn enough to determine if they might fit in well.

Video interviews provide flexibility for candidates and hiring teams alike. Because applicants can respond and record at their own convenience, they’re primed to project their best selves. This eliminates some stressfulness and relieves nerves.

Thygesen is the co-founder and head of product at RolePoint.

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