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How to streamline your staffing workflow

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Trueffelpix)

Every business knows that a key component of a successful and profitable strategy is recruiting employees who are talented and committed. Dedicating time and money to developing effective recruiting practices is a worthwhile investment for any organisation, particularly because the cost of a bad hire can be far more detrimental to the success of a business.

The recruiting process is not easy, and there are many traps for any recruitment team. Consider the following challenges to staffing, and the corresponding recommended solutions and tips.

Encourage collaboration where it is lacking

One major pain point for companies looking to recruit is poor communication between the sales and recruiting departments. Many companies make the mistake of not allowing one or the other to see the financial status of accounts. When sales and recruiting departments have ineffective collaboration, companies often lose visibility into their gross margin rates. Profit is not turned over as quickly as it could be.

Failing to have the right systems in place – together with this poor communication – results in inaccurate client billing and candidate payments, and additional paperwork for their teams.

Avoid single-channel sourcing

Today’s most successful recruiters recognise that the marketplace is shifting faster than ever and growing increasingly complex. This complexity and diversity are reflected not just in the varied marketing channels for job searches, but also in the workforce and talent pool themselves.

It is no longer prudent to go to a single source for candidates, nor can firms communicate a single message to them. Single-channel strategies are simply insufficient to reaching a broad pool of individual candidates.

A recent Bullhorn survey found that the top three marketing tactics receiving a higher budget year-to-year included email marketing (50 per cent), job boards (50 per cent), and organic social media presence (65 per cent). Channels once considered essential weapons in a recruiter’s arsenal have seen their budget share drop for lack of personalised engagement. For example, direct mail (37 per cent), career fairs (36 per cent), and pay-per-click job ads (34 per cent) are no longer as effective in cutting through the digital noise candidates see every day.

The responsibility for managing marketing towards candidates lies at the marketing team’s feet. They need to create or optimise the organisational and technological infrastructure to deliver marketing campaigns across these key channels. To do so, CMOs must empower teams who have the right talent, best technology, and useful data to achieve success.

More and more we see that data drives successful decision making – from budget allocation to focused brand messaging, to when to schedule communication. CMOs should lead the charge and collaborate with other executives in fuelling the shift to a more data-driven mindset for the entire company.

The job does not stop there. After all, marketing constantly shifts, and the CMO must stay on top of emerging trends and adjusting strategy as needed to maintain effectiveness. For example, current research indicates that younger candidates are more reachable via SMS over other platforms such as email – a CMO should oversee the process of identifying these trends, researching them, and adjusting the organisation’s tactics as needed.

Establish standardised processes

As exciting as major or even one-off successes may be, organisations ultimately thrive on consistency. Delivering with quality and efficiency keeps clients and candidates returning and increases profits. Standardisation is the fundamental building block to a successful hiring process.

Standardisation needs to be part of each step of the process for all employees to reduce inaccuracies and inefficiencies. First, determine what the goal of each step is; are there existing standards, or standards from similar procedures to adapt and apply? Preferably, consult multiple people with a stake in each step while you are determining the ideal standard.

Often, it is best to start with creating norms for how consultants present and use information. Make sure that your consultants are familiar with the best practices for data gathering and reporting. Here, consider what types of information are most important for generating candidate profiles. What is most helpful for your team? In this case, we would recommend contacting job content experts on how to document competencies and create compelling profiles.

Creating and establishing standardised hiring and reporting processes gives more control and guidance to hiring managers. Plus, it prevents the build-up of inaccuracies or other negative consequences from random, inefficient, or inadequate use of data. Of course, your data and system integration must also be able to support these reporting standards – whether it’s in your candidate pool or for financial recordkeeping.

Follow regulatory controls

Now that General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been implemented, organisations must ensure compliance in their data management processes. Personal data, particularly data belonging to customers (and especially EU residents), must be used in the correct way, which means carefully following more restrictive regulations around customer information.

The specific GDPR directives that will affect the daily work of recruiters and hiring teams include:

  • Legitimate interest to process candidate data: You are still permitted to source candidate data, as long as only job-related information is gathered. You also must contact sourced candidates within 30 days of accessing the data.
  • Candidate consent to process sensitive data: You must obtain candidate consent for processing data like disability information, cultural, genetic, or biometric information.
  • Transparency in processing candidate data: As per GDPR, organisations must have clearly delineated privacy policies, and these policies must be communicated and easily accessible to candidates.
  • Assume responsibility for compliance: At any time, your company, and any contractors, must be able to demonstrate compliance with GDPR or risk sanction.

Building GDPR awareness and compliance into standard protocols and procedures is an important step all firms should take as soon as possible. 

Whether your firm employs the traditional 360 model of recruiting (recruiters controlling and touching every step of the hiring process) or employs the faster-to-market 180 model (splitting responsibilities between sales and recruiting desks), your organisation must address the above pain points in order to remain successful.

The process of handling each challenge is involved but adapting to the marketplace’s shifting needs and remaining nimble, is the responsibility of all senior level personnel. Devoting time to streamlining your staffing and hiring procedures can only lead to more satisfied clients and higher profit margins.

Peter Linas, EVP of Corporate Development and International, Bullhorn