The excitement that comes from competing with other recruiters for high-performing job candidates…
The satisfaction of making someone’s dreams come true with a competitive job offer…
The powerful impact you can have on a company’s future by connecting them with the talent they need when they need it….
That’s why you got into recruiting. Not because you love spending hours trying to coordinate a phone screening with an elusive candidate or because you like hounding hiring managers for their interview notes. So why do you end up spending so much time stuck in these pesky recruiting process bottlenecks?
No job is perfect, but you shouldn’t have to fight through long delays to complete simple tasks that interfere with your end goals. Here’s how to overcome or avoid the top four bottlenecks that may be slowing you down:
Bottleneck #1: Hiring managers won’t send you feedback
Is there anything more frustrating than finding and screening the perfect candidate for the job, only to have the process held up by a busy (or perhaps forgetful) hiring manager who won’t share her feedback?
There’s only so many ways you can politely email someone before you start to feel rude. Enter: TinyReminder, an automated virtual assistant designed for freelance creatives that works brilliantly for recruiters too. Simply create your reminder in the app, enter the offender’s email address, and set a schedule for automated follow-ups. The best news of all is that it’s free if you have 25 contacts or less. (Though to be honest, if you have more than 25 people who won’t email you back, you may want to revisit your communication style)!
If you don’t like the idea of working outside your inbox, you can also write and schedule automatic email reminders to go out, say, every Friday until you hear back, with an inbox email scheduler like Boomerang (for Gmail) or through your email programme settings (for Outlook).
If sending reminders doesn’t get to the heart of the problem, consider that a delay in feedback may not be the result of a single bottleneck but rather another problem: involving too many people in the decision-making process. Consider how you can trim the number of staff members involved in the interview process without affecting the quality or rigour of how you screen candidates, such as having candidates spend more time with fewer people throughout the process.
Bottleneck #2: Unqualified applicants flood your inbox
After you post a new job listing, it’s satisfying to see inquiry after inquiry fill up your inbox or applicant tracking system (ATS) queue – until you look closer and realise that none of the candidates are adequately qualified for the role you’re trying to fill.
If you find yourself bogged down by a disproportionate number of unqualified applicants, go back to the drawing board on your job listing. Your job description might be too generic, focusing on qualities like ‘detail-oriented’ and ‘self-starter’ instead of must-haves like a certain background or degree. Perform a needs analysis with the hiring manager to make sure everyone is on the same page about the skills and experience needed for the role, then make sure those requirements are completely spelled out in the job application. If possible, use your ATS to develop screening or ‘knockout’ questions to eliminate candidates based on certain basic functions, logistics and legal issues.
Bottleneck #3: You spend several hours a day trying to schedule with prospective candidates
Recruiters are busy. High-performance candidates are busy. You can see where we’re going with this! Sometimes the only time a candidate is available for a phone screening interview is during the 30 minutes in between meetings, and that’s a terrible reason to pass on someone who has great potential.
If you’re tired of playing phone or email tag with prospective clients, outsource that part of the job to technology by using a free or low-cost calendar scheduling app. Cutting edge calendar scheduling apps allow you to set up specific recurring time periods during the week (and specific time lengths) so that candidates you’re scheduling with simply click, check their calendar and book a time – no back and forth communication required.
Consider these options for calendar scheduling:
Consider these options for calendar coordination (one step below automatic scheduling):
Bottleneck #4: You’re having trouble connecting with references
Checking a candidate’s references before offering a job position is a critical best-practice that can save you and your company from making a very big mistake, which is why more than eight in ten human resources professionals surveyed by SHRM conduct background checks or reference checks for every hire. But the day-to-day practicality of getting in touch with candidates’ references (who are often in senior positions) can be time-consuming or result in a dead end.
If you find yourself frequently delayed by references who don’t call back or can’t schedule a convenient time, consider making it easier to get in touch with you by providing multiple communication options like email, an unscheduled voicemail or snail mail. And make sure you’re providing parameters for your feedback when you initially get in touch with them to indicate how much time you’ll need and what you’ll do if you don’t hear back.
For example, leaving an open-ended message like the following might not be effective:
“Hello, this is Anna from The Company Company, calling about a reference for Mirabelle Jones. Please give me a call during business hours at 800-866-1987.”
If the reference is very busy, they might think they need to wait to respond until they have a solid window of time to offer.
Consider how much easier it would be to respond to a message that says the following:
“Hello, this is Anna from The Company Company, calling about a reference for Mirabelle Jones. I’d love to connect with you for a brief 15-minute phone call at your convenience to ask about Mirabelle’s work at your company. Please give me a call during business hours at 800-866-1987, or feel free to call after hours to leave a voicemail. I can also be reached at Anna@CompanyCompany.com.”
What bottlenecks are holding you back from being the best recruiter you can be? Let us know in the comments!