We’re Getting Out of Reactive Mode

Our recruiting team has been examining its existing processes. This evaluation discovered that even though a firm foundation existed, each recruiter managed the recruiting life cycle differently. With this realization, each recruiter was charged with blueprinting their individual process. They presented their findings and through a collaborative workshop, developed a uniform recruiting workflow that created standardization at each critical recruiting touch-point. They also focused on increasing and improving dialogue with the hiring managers.

The impact of these changes, which I’m writing about in the July/August issue of the Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership, resulted in the team’s ability to deliver a consistent and recognizable recruiting experience, facilitate increased communication opportunities with hiring managers regarding their position/candidate status, deliver a consistent approach from which accurate and objective metrics can be applied, and allow for dynamic job postings (which increase candidate interest more than standard static postings).

With the process reengineered and hiring managers fully engaged, the recruiting team had a better understanding of the positions they were working on and are able to more quickly respond to the managers’ needs. This positioning allowed for the final phase of the process improvement effort: pipelining talent. With a better understanding of our business owners’ needs and a process that dramatically shortened our time to fill, the recruiters were able to become proactive instead of reactive.

The team used its newly acquired knowledge to begin pipelining efforts to strategically source frequently needed talent. The pipelining implementation started by targeting critical business areas such as Sales and Operations. Pipelining talent required new skills to be developed and used by the recruiting team. Time was spent shifting the current mindset from “filling” to “sourcing,” asking probing questions about a candidate’s potential versus ability to perform a specific task, and creating relationships versus selling a position (see the graphic).

Recruiters began to research candidates through various sourcing methods, developed comprehensive search strings, and continued to work with our internal business partners to anticipate future openings for these newly sourced individuals.

This focus on our sourcing efforts resulted in a 30% increase in visits to our careers site in a one-year period and an increase in our applicant pool by 23% in the same period of time.

With the process streamlined and the support systems in alignment with the overall strategy, the next area the recruiting team addressed was education and training. Training was focused on hiring managers. The first deliverable for this group was the creation of an online Hiring Managers Guide that was accessible to all Freeman managers and supervisors.

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The guide clearly articulated Freeman’s hiring process, and provided helpful interview techniques and document templates for use throughout the hiring process. Immediately following the deployment of the hiring guide was a series of recruiting webinars which covered topics on our company’s hiring process, available recruiting resources, interviewing techniques, and specialized sessions — such as “Face-to-Face Interview Techniques” — focused on building the managers’ recruiting skill-sets.

With the goal of improving the partnering relationship, each hiring manager was given a survey to establish a delivery expectation baseline from which recruiting goals would be developed. A SWOT analysis was also completed. The newly initiated partnering approach resulted in a 94% overall recruiting department satisfaction rate.

As I mentioned above, I’ll talk more about it in the July/August Journal.

Michael is an 18 year veteran on all things Talent Acquisition. A strategic talent acquisition leader shaking up ordinary recruiting by providing new technology and proven strategies and recruiting support to national organizations. Michael currently is the Managing Director of MMGoldberg & Associates assisting organizations with manager level and above opportunities as well as advising/training companies on recruitment processes and strategies. Visit his site to learn more on how he can help your company - www.mmgoldberg.com.

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1 Comment on “We’re Getting Out of Reactive Mode

  1. Excellent points Michael, and I can back up your findings with mine. I walked into a very similar situation a little over a year ago with my company. The recruiters were very reactive in their approach, even to the point where they weren’t really recruiting. Their role had been reduced to paper pushing and administrative processing functions. Morale was very low on the team as they felt they were being walked on and not appreciated. The truth was that they really weren’t doing anything that added value to the recruiting process. When I came on board I went through a similar process with our recruiters and VP’s and put together a proactive recruiting plan which included service level agreements with their managers for each open requisition. The recruiters are also building talent pipelines for critical higher volume business functions. The line managers have been very impressed as the recruiters began partnering with them and forward only the most qualified candidates instead of sending a blizzard of resumes. This resulted in a much quicker time to start, lower cost per hire, higher quality hires, and morale is up on the team as they are now being taken much more seriously since their service has improved and they are adding value.

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