How can leaders resolve recruitment challenges during COVID-19?

tips for leaders to resolve recruitment challenges.

If there is one thing that the current pandemic of COVID-19 has taught us, it is that the show must go on. The world is following social distancing, implementing lockdowns and restricting travel. In this scenario, organisations are finding new ways to carry their operations as usual. This situation has brought several recruiter challenges to the already high-pressure job of recruitment. Hiring has traditionally been a high-human-interaction job and thrives on face-to-face conversations. 

Due to the impact of COVID-19, recruitment will slow down in some industries. However, online shopping giants, retail stores, technology and healthcare will see a spike in their hiring numbers. In other sectors, recruiters may still have to close the open positions. They may still have to prepare a pipeline for critical positions.

This phase of COVID-19 is also a good time for leaders to reset their recruitment functions. It is an opportunity when they can prepare their teams to work in a virtual environment. It will help the teams to traverse the physical boundaries and even lower the costs in the long run. Moreover, it will bring more flexibility to the hiring process and engage more candidates.

Let’s look at a possible action plan that recruitment functions can adapt to manage recruitment challenges.

Prioritise the tasks at hand

The COVID-19 pandemic was so sudden that nobody could prepare for it. Organisations had to move their operations to the virtual environment almost overnight. Recruiters can manage the situation effectively by targeting the immediate tasks at hand. For instance, they can prioritise the candidates who are set to join shortly. As the future is still unclear, holding their onboarding to an indefinite time is also not an option. Moreover, there must be candidates who were far ahead in the interviewing process. The line managers could still be keen on hiring and onboarding them at the earliest. 

Leaders can enhance the output of their recruitment functions by addressing these recruitment challenges. 

Equip the recruiters to work from home

If the recruiters have never worked from home before, they may not be prepared to do so. To begin with, they may not have the right wifi setup and other tools. A few companies are offering allowances to address such recruitment challenges. The team leaders can share tutorials to help the recruiters maintain their productivity when working from home. They can also ask the recruiters to take breaks as the boundaries between personal and professional life may start to blur.

The time also demands organisations to be sensitive to the needs of their employees. For instance, recruiters may have children at home who may need attention during the day. The team leaders can offer time slots so that they can give equal attention to their personal needs. 

Lastly, recruiters thrive on human interaction and conversations. This sudden lull of activity and social distancing can get to them. The team leaders can encourage their teams to stay connected. Apart from frequent calls, offline IM thread, sharing personal pictures, virtual pizza parties can help in engaging the team.

Conducting video interviews

One of the main recruitment challenges is moving to video interviews. Recruiters and line managers are used to meeting candidates in person for most hiring positions. It is during these interviews that they have evaluated candidates and made their hiring decisions in the past. They are not going to be comfortable with virtual hiring overnight. 

In light of this, recruiters may have to unlearn and relearn a few aspects of interviewing. Team leaders can start by encouraging recruiters to take an empathetic approach. All the rules of in-person interviews may not apply for video interviews. There are good chances that candidates are also not comfortable with the distance. Moreover, they may not have a disturbance-free environment for interviews. With a sensitive outlook, recruiters can resolve these challenges more efficiently.

The team leaders can also share the best practices of video interviews with their teams. Additionally, the recruiters can be encouraged to share their learnings on a common platform. Apart from engaging them, it will help in fostering a long-term virtual hiring culture in the organisation.

Work closely with hiring managers

Building better relationships with hiring managers is a crucial part of a recruiter’s life. The new situation of COVID-19 demands them to collaborate even more than before. Hiring managers may not be comfortable with interviewing people remotely. They may need hand-holding and some encouragement from the recruiters. 

Hiring managers can also play a crucial role in the acceptance of offers. Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19, candidates may not be willing to leave their current jobs. The hiring managers can take them in confidence and assure them of job security.

Leveraging technology

In the absence of walk-in interviews and job fairs, volume recruitment can add to recruiter challenges. COVID-19 may have also affected the plans of visiting campuses for hiring freshers. Even if the organisations cut these numbers by half, the recruiter could still be up against a huge challenge. They may have to spend several days doing what could have been achieved in one or two days. Moreover, their follow-ups and manual tasks can increase by manifolds.

To overcome these problems, leaders can evaluate technology-powered tools. For instance, recruitment chatbots can substantially reduce the efforts of recruiters. Moreover, they can enhance the output of the hiring process, both quantitatively and qualitatively. 

Recruiters have to spend a lot of time answering calls and queries of candidates. Recruitment chatbots can be programmed to manage these questions. Their most useful feature is that they can be used to conduct the first level of assessment. Recruiters can feed interview questions into the chatbots. As the candidates apply to the open position, the chatbots will administer the questions. Impress’s recruitment chatbot is an intuitive platform. Many organizations use the platform for remote recruitment and for creation of virtual graduate recruitment experiences.

Positive candidate experience

Maintaining a good candidate experience is one of the recruiter’s challenges that need priority during COVID-19. In-person meetings can have positive influences on the candidate. However, at a time when every conversation is going to be virtual, it is going to be hard.

The fundamental rules of a positive candidate experience will remain the same. There could be some candidates who would have entered the recruitment funnel just before this pandemic. It is advisable to inform them of any changes in your hiring plans. The recruiters can ensure a positive experience by adapting an empathetic approach. For instance, overlook the appearances of kids or pets during the interview.

These simple steps may seem unnecessary now but will reap results in the long run.

Onboarding 

A survey by Glassdoor found that positive onboarding experience can improve retention by 82%. Maintaining the same level of onboarding experience is going to be challenging in these times. However, there are a few steps that the recruiters can take to deliver the best in this situation.

  • Ensure that the IT accesses, usernames, emails etc. are configured before the day of joining.
  • A new employee is going to have several queries and will need resources to understand the processes and systems. The recruiters can assign mentors who can help the employees in this regard.
  • Recruiters can organise virtual events like one-day video-conferences. It can help in giving a virtual experience of the organisational culture. The recruiters can manage the first few days by arranging calls with team leads and inter-departmental colleagues.
  • To give a view of the organisational culture, recruiters can use story-telling. New employees get to experience the culture through casual conversations and professional interactions in the office. In the absence of these, recruiters can use several incidents to weave stories around the company’s culture.

Upskill the recruiters

What will the recruiters do if your organisation has implemented a hiring freeze? It is a valid question that many leaders will be asking themselves.

If the leaders see the business picking up in the next few months, they can utilise the recruiters for workforce planning. The recruiters can have detailed conversations with the line managers and evaluate their future needs.

Besides, it is a good time for the recruiters to upskill themselves. Leaders can encourage recruiters to take courses. For instance, data analysis, behavioural interviews and story-telling can help them to become the masters of their profession. 

Conclusion

COVID-19 has resulted in an unpredictable situation. The real impact will come to the surface after things have settled down. Organisations will have to reassess their hiring systems and processes to take a more empathetic approach. It will be a good time to assess how technology can empower and resolve recruiter challenges.

Leaders can also use the current experience as a test-run for virtual hiring. They can understand the bottlenecks and brainstorm ideas for adopting remote hiring as a standard practice.

remote-recruitment-covid-19

Remote recruitment on the rise in the time of COVID-19

remote-recruitment-covid-19

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we know it. Who would have thought that the world would come to a grinding halt like this? As we grapple with staying within the confines of our home, enterprises are at a crossroad. Although organisations have been working on disaster management for years, an emergency of this scale was unthinkable.Whilst HR teams lead change from the forefront, they continue to grapple with issues spanning new policies, remote recruitment and change management.

The current scenario poses an extraordinary challenge for organisations and leaders. Apart from maintaining business continuity, they also have to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their employees. Most organisations do not have the necessary  infrastructure to support work-from-home capabilities at such a large scale. They are going back to the board to prepare for the uncertain future that is staring at us. 

However, challenging situations like this lead to innovative approaches. This is the time to devise and flesh out new ways of working. Organisations will seek to enhance their technological capabilities to optimise business performance.

As all business functions reel under the impact of Covid-19, recruitment is not immune as well. In fact, it is one of the areas that will witness significant change. As interviews have traditionally happened face-to-face, recruitment leaders will now have to start seeking alternate approaches including remote and digital hiring.

One may argue that this difficult period may see a reduction in the number of hires being made. While it may be right for some businesses, several sectors like retail, healthcare and non-profit will experience a spike in their hiring volume. In the near future, hiring demand across industries like communications, online learning, logistics, transport and delivery services could be so high and variable that it may become difficult to manage without technology.


With recruiters and hiring managers looking to work from home, organisations will need better capabilities and collaboration tools to be resilient and continue business as usual. The current situation also calls for higher automation and digital operations. In this article, let’s look at how recruitment teams can gear themselves for remote recruitment.

What is remote recruitment?

Remote recruitment is a practice in which recruiters screen and interview job applicants without having to come face-to-face with them (mostly). 

Remote recruitment, in this context, should not be confused with recruiting remote employees. As the name suggests, remote employees do not work from a dedicated office location and generally are not hired on the payroll of the employer.

What are some best practices for remote recruitment?

1. Structured and comprehensive screening

As the hiring process goes digital, organisations need to be more stringent with their screening process. Technology, enabled by AI, can offer outcome-oriented results in this scenario.

Recruitment chatbots powered by AI technology can help in more ways than one. 

Firstly, these chatbots can evaluate the candidates and ask relevant questions based on the role outlined in the job posting. Customisable chatbots allow the recruiters to feed different sets of questions for different jobs. They can help to proactively create a pipeline of candidates for different roles to ensure recruiters and hiring managers do not lose out on valuable talent and operational time. 

Secondly, with smart intelligence, these chatbots can score the candidates after evaluating them. Instead of going through individual responses, recruiters can only look at the final scores to progress candidates to the next level of the hiring process.

Lastly, chatbots are less prone to errors and help in reducing unconscious bias during the hiring process. It becomes a challenge for the organisations to hire quality candidates if the recruiter or line manager has certain preferences or bias. With algorithms evaluating and screening applicants, hiring managers can be assured of receiving better quality shortlists.

2. Engagement with the candidates

Engaging prospective candidates has always been a challenge for organizations. Often recruiters are buried under the operational work and find little time for this cause. In the current scenario, when they will not be able to meet face to face, establishing that connection and remote visibility will become all the more challenging.

AI-powered recruitment chatbots can once again resolve this situation. Conversational AI is specifically built to hold meaningful discussions and imitate human interactions. By using such tools, organisations can engage candidates from the first instance of their contact. The chatbots can be programmed to answer candidate queries so that they can get easy access to all kinds of information. Besides, chatbots can also update them about their application status and close the loop.

Chatbots can provide all these features and make remote recruitment a smooth and streamlined process. 

create-engaging-candidate-experience-remote-recruitment

3. Regular communication

As teams start working in distributed locations, it can be tough to establish good team dynamics. To resolve this and to be in constant touch, teams should come together at least once a week. Teams can make use of any of the several collaboration tools, available today, to stay in touch. Such a platform will allow the team members to share their challenges, updates and keep track of new developments. Apart from conferencing tools, these tools help with project management and tracking activities.

As crucial as it is to equip the recruitment teams and hiring managers for this change, it is equally essential to prepare the candidates. It is an equally new experience for them as well. It may help to prepare documents or videos for remote interview etiquettes and do’s and don’ts.

4. Video interviews

The conventional face-to-face interviews can be replaced with video interviews. While the recruiters may choose to hold individual interviews for niche positions, it may not be possible for high volume recruitment. In such cases, automated video interviews may be the right solution.

These are again intelligent tools that can be programmed with interview questions. They offer flexibility to the candidates as they can choose the time and location of their interviews. Some of these advanced tools can evaluate candidates’ body language apart from the answers to filter the qualified candidates.

Impress platform allows easy integration with these video interviewing tools. Moreover, it can give scores to the candidates and rank them on their performance. The recruiters can review the scores and promote the qualified candidates to the next stage.

For all the later stages, the interviewers can hold telephonic or video rounds, as they deem fit. They may want to create a staggered panel to remove any kinds of doubts from the hiring process. For instance, if a recruiter is unsure about a candidate, there should be a mechanism to get a higher authority into the hiring process. It will further tighten and streamline remote recruitment while ensuring the quality of candidates.

5. Analytics

As the world is stepping into a zone that has not been chartered before, data has the power of unleashing new information and aid decision making. Analytics tools will furnish insights to identify roles which qualify for dynamic and virtual working or require workplace adjustments to that teams and hires can quickly transition to this new style of working.

From identifying the best sources of sourcing candidates to enhancing the recruitment metrics, data will enable you to arrive at the right answers and controls.

6. Remote Onboarding

In what may seem like one of the toughest challenges of remote hiring, onboarding may take some time and lots of effort to turnaround.

When employees join a new workplace, they learn the ways of working through their colleagues and pick up cues or norm practices from the workplace environment.

However, in the current situation, when most of the workforce has a virtual presence, new employees need self-learning tools and resources. There is a need to document every process for providing easy access to new employees. Online presentations and internal systems training can also help new employees to self-start their work.

Frequent and regular meetings with their line manager and colleagues can further help the new employee to settle more comfortably.

The onboarding process can also move from a standard process to a reaction-based or need-based process. In simple terms, it allows the new employee to take charge of the onboarding process. Of course, it comes with providing the essentials like a laptop, accounts and accesses. As the employee learns, there should be a query system to ask and get answers to all the questions along the way.

Conclusion

Amidst the advisories of staying home and staying safe, the business needs to continue as usual; albeit from remote locations. In the current scenario, as remote working becomes a reality at scale, many organisations will have to change the fundamentals of working. It will begin with changing mindsets, speed up digital readiness and will culminate with running businesses in the virtual and digital world. 

The world of recruitment will also see a new wave of remote hiring as organisations will continue adding to their workforces. 

time-to-hire

Should you be measuring Time to Hire?

time-to-hire
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Imagine a situation where your organisation is gearing up for a new product launch or is on the verge of a new marketing campaign. Just a few days before the D day, a crucial member of the team hands over the resignation. Not only that, but the person also plans to take a team along. In a matter of a few days, you get the other resignations as well. As an HR manager, there are only limited options that you can explore. However, most of you will agree that the best way out is to start looking for replacements. Time is of the essence, and that is why the time to hire is an essential recruitment metric.

Employee turnover and consequent replacement is a common problem that features in the priority list of HR departments worldwide. Attriting employees causes all the more concern if they are a part of crucial company projects. In other cases, inadequate talent numbers may hamper the company’s growth plans.

No wonder, recruitment has become an integral support system that can propel businesses in the right direction. All the budgeting, planning, and strategies may be futile if the company cannot hire the right people at the right time. As crucial as it is to drive hiring, it is equally important to track its efficiency using recruitment metrics. 

In simple words, recruitment metrics are a set of measurements that can determine the success of hiring at an organisation. Tracking these parameters on a regular basis can also help in diagnosing the problem areas. Suitable action points can result in streamlining and optimising the hiring processes. For instance, data may reveal the quality of candidates hired from a particular agency. If it is found to be reasonably positive, the organisation may decide to partner more closely with them for future positions. 

Although there are different parameters for assessing the overall recruitment process, time to hire is perhaps the most common one. Let’s dive deeper into this metric and understand how it can help in improving the hiring processes within an organisation.

What is time to hire?

Time to hire measures the number of days from the point when a candidate enters your pipeline to the moment when the applicant receives the offer letter.

It is easy to confuse it with time to fill, and some people may even tend to use the terms interchangeably. However, the two are quite distinct and refer to different aspects of the hiring process.

Time to fill defines the time between the time when a recruiter posts a job opening until the time when a candidate accepts the offer. 

Due to this fundamental difference, both these terms have separate and distinct uses. For instance, time to hire indicates the efficiency of the recruitment process and how fast the recruiters move when they see a qualified resume. On the other hand, time to fill is a metric that is most useful in business planning. Business leaders can look at the past data to determine realistic and reasonable timelines for their new plans.

Should you measure time to hire?

The most obvious answer is yes, but it is not as simplistic. Especially if you work in an environment where speed is of utmost importance. For instance, technology businesses cannot jeopardise their projects because of the insufficiency of talent. 

A lengthy screening or interview process may also cause disengagement with the applicants. They may lose interest in the position if they do not hear from the company for a long time.  

However, recruiters and organisations should be looking at the bigger picture instead of one particular metric alone. Instead of looking at the time to hire in isolation, they should be asking if they are overlooking quality at any moment. Similarly, they should evaluate the possibilities of rushed decision-making in hiring.

Thus, we suggest taking a multi-pronged approach while evaluating time to hire. 

How to measure time to hire?

Here is a simple formula that you can use to calculate this metric.

For greater efficiencies, it is advisable to break this formula into multiple stages. The time taken in each step will help in diagnosing the specific gaps and problems in your hiring process. For instance, the offer approval process may be taking too long, or the organisation may have too many interview rounds.

What is the best way to represent time to hire?

For better judgment, it is advisable to represent the time taken in each stage as percentages. It will help you in determining the gaps and taking the necessary actions for strengthening your recruitment process.

Furthermore, a few positions in your organisation may be more challenging to crack. For better understanding, you can filter out the data for different roles and departments. It will help in knowing the jobs that are hard to fill. The recruitment function can then devise appropriate strategies to tackle the problem at hand.

How to improve the time to hire?

Ensuring the swiftness of response and a reasonable time to hire depends a lot upon the recruiter’s actions. Unfortunately, recruiters have a lot of logistical and manual tasks that slow down their productive outputs. They are deluged with operational tasks such as generating offer letters, scheduling interviews and screening the applications. Then where does the answer lie, you ask?

Well, the real solution lies in using technology to speed up your recruitment process. It will also allow the recruiters to contribute more to the qualitative aspects of their job. 

Here is how you can automate the application process and reduce your time to hire.

  • Faster and efficient screening of applications – A recruiter on an average may receive hundreds of applications in a month. The recruiter may not be able to give equal time to all the candidates or may concentrate only on the first few resumes.

    Technology can resolve this situation by screening all the applications and determining the most qualified candidates. Recruitment chatbots by Impress can effectively screen all the resumes. The chatbots are customisable and can be programmed to ask relevant questions depending upon the advertised job. Moreover, it can handle candidate queries and speed up the application process.
  • Faster interview rounds – The interview process can slow down if the hiring manager doesn’t meet the right person. Technology can speed up the process by conducting the first round of interviews of the applicants. Automated and online video interviews are an excellent example to do this. The most exceptional advantage is that the system evaluates every candidate who applies for the position. Moreover, it removes biases from the screening process and gives fair and accurate results. Some of the more advanced solutions also evaluate a candidate on the body language for a more nuanced result.

    The platform offered by Impress links to all the major video assessment platforms. It allows flexibility to the candidates and enables them to appear for the evaluation at a time and place of their convenience. The recruiters can go through the interviews at a later stage and assess if the candidate is right for the position.

  • Faster interview scheduling – Most of the time, interview scheduling delays the hiring process. It can be an arduous task to manage multiple calendars to find a suitable time slot. Some organisations mandate inter-departmental interviews to find the right organisational-fit. Technology can effectively transform this situation by automating the interview scheduling process.

  • Faster offer generation – After most of the process has been automated, the recruiters will have more time to negotiate the offer with the candidates. More often than not, it takes a long time to get the right approvals from the rewards team if the recruiter has to take an exception. 

    Automation of the offer generation stage can reduce this problem. The system can be programmed with multiple templates to handle different salary structures. Moreover, the workflow allows taking all the necessary approvals for releasing the offer letters. Frequent alerts and reminders help in freeing up the time of the recruiters.

In conclusion

Time to hire is a crucial index to assess the performance of your recruitment function. It can tell you what is right and what is not. As important as it is to measure time to hire, it is equally vital to get a complete picture by understanding where the other metrics stand.

To sum it up, automation can effectively improve this metric and fill the gaps in your hiring process. The best practices stated in this article are useful for measuring the metric correctly. They will also help in reducing it to optimise your hiring process. 

By following them, you can ensure that hiring function responds to the business needs with precision and the right controls.

shortlisitng process

Step-by-step guide for an efficient shortlisting process

shortlisting process

Businesses look up to the recruiters not just for filling their open positions. They need support and constant dialogue in the shortlisting process. They want to hire only the right candidates- those who will perform well in their jobs and have a cultural alignment with the organization.

As per a survey by Careerbuilder, companies can lose almost $15,000 for every bad hire. Apart from the monetary impact, every bad hire can cause ripple effects in the organisation. Firstly, bad hires can lower the engagement levels of their teams and the organisation at large. Secondly, they can reduce the bar of performance for their team members who are otherwise trying to chase excellence at the workplace. Lastly, they may also disrupt the harmony as they leave.

Apart from impacting an organisation, a wrong hiring decision can equally affect the new employee. For instance, if the job description is not well-written, the candidate may feel there is a mismatch of skill-sets and expectations. Similarly, the candidate may feel disconnected from the organisation culture or may not relate to the organisational values. All of this may cause disengagement, and the employee may soon start to seek out.

Despite knowing these multiple consequences of hiring a wrong person, the survey found that almost three in four employers have made this mistake in the past. Here are the reasons why it may happen.

  • The recruiter and the business may be in a rush to fill a crucial position. We are all aware of the situation when a role stays open for a long time. The pressure to onboard someone quickly may get tremendous.
  • The candidate may be too good at making impressions and may have come across as qualified and reliable.
  • The hiring manager may have taken a chance on their gut feeling and hired a nice person. At times, the managers know that the candidate is not skilled but hope that the person will pick up when hired.
  • Often, candidates exaggerate their workplace responsibilities and achievements. They may pick up examples from their current peers’ work-life and quote them as their own.
  • It is as crucial to hire for attitude as it is to hire for skills. Sometimes, hiring managers override the warning signs that the candidate may not be a good organisation-fit.
  • Incomplete or lenient background checks may also result in hiring the wrong person.

Before we head to the right shortlisting process, we need to understand the situations and behaviours that identify a bad hire.

What is a bad hire?

It is obvious to think that a bad hire is a candidate who cannot perform in the job as per the expectations. Moreover, if the skill sets of the new employee do not match that of the role, it is a clear case of wrong hiring.

However, the definition of a bad hire is more elaborate than this. If the new employee has difficulties blending into the culture of the organisations and collaborating with team members, it could be due to a wrong hiring decision. In other instances, if the new employee is irregular to work or has a negative attitude, it can also be categorised as a wrong hiring call.

Most of these problems can be solved by following a stringent shortlisting process and recruitment procedure. Here is a step-by-step guide to shortlisting the right candidates.

What is shortlisting?

In simple terms, shortlisting is the process of identifying the candidates who meet your eligibility criteria. It is the stage that comes after you have advertised your job and received applications. You screen every application and shortlist the candidates that you would like to meet. 

For some recruiters, it is the hardest part of their jobs. Firstly, there is a shortage of skills in the market and finding that perfect candidate is a tough task. Secondly, there are certain legalities and internal policies associated with shortlisting candidates. For instance, the diversity initiative of the organisation may call for more female or LGBTQ candidates. Lastly, they need to be well-versed with the requirements of every position that they are trying to fill. Everyone’s time is of utmost importance, and passing an unqualified candidate to the interview stage can cause inefficiencies in the recruitment procedure. 

What are the stages in shortlisting?

As per Glassdoor, each job posting may attract as many as 250 resumes. The total number of applications with a recruiter may run into thousands. Having a process can be useful for shortlisting candidates for interviews, and streamline recruitment. Here are the steps you can follow to make shortlisting easier and efficient.

Elaborate on the person specification

Before you begin with anything, it is essential to picture your ideal candidate. You can consider a high-performing employee working in a similar role for reference. It may be useful to note down the skills and qualifications that will help future employees to excel in the given position.

Identify the MEP criteria

As you work on the person specification and note the crucial skills, attribute and behaviours; mark each of them as M, E or P. M stands for Mandatory which is the minimum criteria that each candidate has to have to qualify for the role. E is for Essential or the qualities the candidate has to exhibit in the selection process. P is for Preferred, which are the nice-to-have attributes. While they are not the fundamental capabilities that you are looking for, having them can win some brownie points.

Look for warning signals

As crucial as it is to identify the qualifying criteria, it is equally important to look for red flags. You may make a list so that you don’t skip any of these when screening the resumes. Firstly, look for grammatical errors and language inconsistencies in the resume. Secondly, it is always helpful to look at the timeline from the first job to the current one. You will get to know if the candidate has changed too many jobs. It is advisable to avoid job-hoppers, especially for mission-critical roles.

While scanning the resume, make a note of employment gaps or other inconsistencies that you may come across. You can ask the candidate about it during the interview.

Decide the number of candidates you will meet

Consider how many candidates you will be able to realistically interview. If you select too many applicants, the recruitment procedure will become lengthy and inefficient. If the number is too low, you are not giving enough opportunities to the hiring manager for hiring the best talent.

At times, hiring managers delay hiring as they want to meet more and more people. In such scenarios, it may help to be strict with the number of interviews. However, always be open to meeting more people instead of being too rigid about it.

Use technology 

With hundreds and thousands of applications, it may not be possible to manually sift through every resume. In this scenario, the best alternative is to use technology and fast-track the process. The tool offered by Impress can help in efficiently shortlisting qualified candidates and also remove any biases while shortlisting candidates for interviews.

The product is customisable, and you can key in various criteria for different positions. It allows you to ask additional questions to make the shortlisting process more effective. After conducting the primary assessments, the product can give scores to the candidates based on your selection criteria. Once you automate the shortlisting process, you will meet only the right candidates. You can click here to request a demo.

shortlisting process

Use video interviews

Another way of perfecting your shortlisting process is by using video interviews. These tools allow you to feed the questions and view the interviews at a convenient time. Moreover, you can get a score and ranking of the candidates for easy shortlisting. Impress allows you to integrate their assessment tool with most video interview platforms. 

Such innovative products are powered by artificial intelligence and can learn as you use them. By automating your shortlisting process, you will get more time to contribute to other aspects of your job. For instance, you will get more bandwidth to meet the hiring managers and build better relationships with them. You will also get more time to go on the floor and understand the nuances of each role of the business that you are supporting.

Examine the cultural fit

In today’s time, it is essential to evaluate if a candidate is fit to work in the organisational culture. While it is impossible to discern the competencies from the application, you can administer psychometric tests before meeting the person. However, always take them with a pinch of salt. Most psychometric tests indicate the preference of exhibiting particular behaviours. Once you have the report, you can probe more during the face to face meetings.

In summation

The right shortlisting process is the backbone of your recruitment. You can streamline the recruitment procedure and deliver higher efficiencies if you have a process in place. With the right checks and controls, you will be able to avoid bad hires and improve your recruitment metrics.

resume screening checklist

How to create a resume screening checklist

resume screening checklist

It is safe to say that talent is the most valuable resource of any organisation. It is what helps them to realise their goals of innovation and leading the markets. Due to this reason, the quality of hire is as crucial as the time of hire. Recruiters work round the clock to meet the talent requirements and attract the best candidates. The hardest part of a recruiter’s job is to screen hundreds of resumes and identify the most qualified candidates. Having a resume screening checklist is the best solution that can help them in saving time and effort.

As per a survey by SHRM, 68% of recruiters said they were facing difficulty in filling the open positions. The main reason they cited was the lack of relevant work experience and skills. Although an open position can attract close to 250 applications, most of them are not relevant. Moreover, a recruiter regularly receives resumes for unadvertised jobs which further makes screening difficult. For recruiters, it is not just about finding qualified candidates at the right time from those heaps of applications. They also have to ensure the organisational-fit of the candidates. Assessing the skills, competencies, behaviours and beliefs adds to the complexity of hiring.

Furthermore, the number of applications with a recruiter can reach exorbitant levels when the organisation is hiring aggressively. It can also stress the resources of the recruitment function as sifting through the high volume of resumes is no mean task. 

In this scenario, having a pre-screening process and a resume screening checklist can help the recruiters in enhancing their efficiency. Apart from reducing the turnaround time, it can also help in being consistent in their responses and advancing only the best resumes to the next stage. By eliminating unsuitable applicants at an early stage of recruitment, recruiters can streamline the recruitment process and garner more support from the line managers.

The right resume screening checklist also allows the recruiters to understand the employment ethics of the candidates. Hiring a star candidate who is a job-hopper will only reduce the quality of hire, which is a crucial metric for recruitment. Here is a simple resume screening checklist that can help in identifying the best candidates in the least amount of time.

Start with clear job descriptions and specifications

In an ideal scenario, all jobs must have separate and sharp JDs and candidate specifications. They should be distinct even when the job titles are similar. Firstly, it helps the candidates in assessing whether the job is right for them and vice-versa. Secondly, recruiters can use it as a reference document to match candidate skills and competencies as mentioned in the resume.

As part of the next step, the recruiter can create a list of must-have and nice-to-have skills, competencies and behaviours. An easier way to prepare this list is by studying the traits and behaviours of successful employees. It is a one-time activity that will come handy in future sourcing and screening processes.

The must-have list will help you in eliminating the ineligible candidates. It can contain all the minimum criteria that you think are required for performing well at the job. It can consist of educational qualifications, certifications, skills and the type of experience. While creating this list, it will help to keep it open. For instance, instead of being too particular about the number of years of experience, it may help to understand the type of experience the person carries. 

The nice-to-have list is what will help in differentiating the candidates once you have narrowed down your choices. It can include certifications and skills that will enable the candidate to perform better in the job. You can rank the resumes on the number of such attributes. 

Once you have made these lists, it will become easier to scan through the resume and look for these keywords. Apart from making your task quicker, this list will also help in shortlisting only the qualified candidates.

Look for accomplishments

To make their resumes wordy, a lot of candidates tend to include unnecessary information. They may also include buzzwords or important terms to attract attention. While there is nothing wrong with that, you can look for achievements to shortlist only the best candidates. 

Most individuals tend to write their daily tasks and activities in their resumes. While there is nothing wrong with that, you should try to look for successes. The star candidates will mention their achievements, and this is where you can make a difference in the shortlisting. For instance, a marketing professional may write that the job includes networking with channel partners. The star performers will mention how many channel partners were successfully onboarded by their efforts.

A deeper understanding of the roles will come handy here. It will help to study the duties of the current employees in these roles. You can make a note of them to ask pointed questions during the interview.

Remember the best resumes are the ones that speak with lots of data and figures. It shows the candidate is confident to talk about past experiences. These figures can also become conversation starters during the interview process.

Study the gaps

It is advisable to look at the employment timeline as the first thing while scanning a resume. It will help you in understanding the employment history and the overall work ethics of the candidate. While breaks are not always negative, too many gaps have to be taken with a pinch of salt.

An organisation spends a lot of time and resources in training an employee. It also takes time for a new employee to settle comfortably in the new culture and become productive. As a matter of fact, it takes between 1 to 2 years to become fully productive at a job. Losing an employee around this time means loss of resources for your organisation. Moreover, it will also impact the quality of hire metrics and the overall productivity of the recruitment function.

Understand the resume

It is suggested to take a good look at the resume to understand the consistency of the writing. Try to look at the overall presentation and any grammatical or spelling mistakes. As a rule of thumb, the candidates should avoid writing in a direct first-person voice. An implied language sounds much more professional.

Read the personal statement to know if it is passionate and relevant to the job. If there is a cover letter, read it in detail to understand what the candidate is trying to say. If it is general and could hold true for any job, it is not well-written. The cover letter should be specific to the position, and the candidate should be able to articulate the expertise in the role. 

It may also help to find evidence of a career that has plateaued or any indications of responsibilities being reduced or career changes. While such signs are not always red flags, you may want to probe these during the interview. 

Use technology

Manual screening is useful only when the recruitment numbers are reasonable. During volume hiring, recruiters may have hundreds of openings and receive thousands of applications. Using technology is the best way to screen qualified candidates at such times.

AI in recruitment can simplify this task and also automate the resume screening checklist. Impress offers chatbots that can effectively resolve this situation. The best feature is that Impress chatbots are customisable. The team has worked in the past to offer custom solutions to target organisation-specific problems. 

Impress chatbots can perform the first-level assessment of the candidates. You can customise it to ask specific questions and evaluate the candidates based on the responses. The platform can also be linked to video assessment tools and give an overall score to the candidate.

This technology is reliable and can offer accurate results. It can drastically reduce the screening time of candidates and fasten the hiring process. That too, without compromising the quality of hire.

Note the warning signs

As a recruiter, you will be adding more value to the process by identifying the reg flags. Make a note of these warnings when you assess a resume. There are good chances that you may forget them when you are working on several resumes at once. The hiring manager will also appreciate your efforts as it will help them in finding an eligible candidate. 

Conclusion

In today’s time, the job of a recruiter is much more than scheduling interviews and negotiating offers. Organisations expect recruiters to contribute more strategically and assist the line managers in hiring qualified candidates. With a resume screening checklist, recruiters can enhance the quality of hire. It will particularly come handy when an organisation has to hire for mission-critical roles. Technology can simplify this task and also enhance the efficiency of the recruitment department.

serve static files via Cloudfront

How to serve static files via Cloudfront & private media files via S3 in Django

serve static files via Cloudfront

This article introduces how static files can be served with Cloudfront while (possibly private) media files are served from S3 directly when deploying a django application on an AWS stack. Now look into how we can serve static files via Cloudfront & private media files via S3 in Django.

Sample project

https://github.com/impressai/cloudfront-django-setup

Background

Why is it not recommended to store static files in your database or web server?

There are two types of files that you deal with when creating a web application. The first are your static files like Javascript, CSS, etc. that needs to be served to the clients browser. You can either choose to serve this from your web server itself or from a file storage system like S3. It is typically highly recommended to serve from S3 because there is a much higher guarantee of availability and redundancies. Moreover, unlike your “dynamic” contents such as HTML pages, these files are “static” and don’t need to be changed for each user. In django terminology, these are called “static files”.

The second type of files that you deal with are the files that are uploaded by the user in the course of using your application. These files should be stored in persistent storage like an RDS or S3 in order to allow you to scale the web server and to prevent data loss when servers crash (again, the availability of the web server node is typically much lower).However, relational databases (RDS) are an expensive and inefficient place to store large files. So the standard strategy is to store these files in S3 and to just store a reference to them in your relational database.  In django terminology these files are called “media files”.

Ideally, you want static files to be accessible to the general public but you want media files to be private and only accessible to the web server with the application server then controlling access to the file itself. 

I would recommend the 12-factor app methodology from Heroku for a more complete set of guidelines on how to structure the SaaS app.

How do I do this in Django?

One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to use the ‘Django storages’ library. If you want to learn more about getting started with django storages, I highly recommend this tutorial:  https://simpleisbetterthancomplex.com/tutorial/2017/08/01/how-to-setup-amazon-s3-in-a-django-project.html . I highly recommend this resource as it describes an elegant way to have both private and public media files by leveraging on S3’s features and boto3 (AWS SDK for Python – https://boto3.amazonaws.com/v1/documentation/api/latest/index.html). The essence of it is that we use the same bucket in which static files are marked at the object level as public and the media files are marked at the object level as private. And accessing the media files is done through a short-lived signed URL that AWS/boto3 auto generates. 

Ok, but what’s Cloudfront? 

Cloudfront is Amazon’s Content Delivery Network (CDN) solution. A CDN is a system of distributed servers that deliver pages and other web content to a user, based on: his/her geographic locations, the origin of the webpage and the content delivery server. 

This service effectively speeds up the delivery of content of websites that have a global reach as the data will be served to them from a nearby server rather than a central one (as illustrated in the diagram). CDNs also provide other benefits like protection from large surges in traffic.

Image result for cdn works

Like us, if you already use AWS for the rest of your cloud requirements, it makes the most sense to use Cloudfront as your CDN.

Image result for cloudfront s3

Signed URLs and the struggle of enabling Cloudfront

For the longest time we struggled to move to Cloudfront because we couldn’t figure out how to serve our public static files through Cloudfront while making sure our private media files weren’t accessible to the general public. 

As mentioned previously, S3 allows key level access control allowing us to have private media files and public static files in the same S3 bucket. 

Cloudfront has to be configured to either sign all URLs or sign none of them. Signing all URLs is not practical because of caching issues if our JS/CSS, etc were to be  served with signed URLs. Moreover, signing the CloudFront URLs is a lot more complex than signing S3 private URLs, as explained in the documentation (https://boto3.amazonaws.com/v1/documentation/api/latest/reference/services/cloudfront.html#id57). Additionally, the latter policy of putting all as public would not work as we ideally want our media files to be private and not accessible to a non-authorised user who might be able to guess the URL.

The solution

The rest of this blog explains how we design a solution to this problem of how to serve static files via Cloudfront & private media files via S3 in Django.

Setup

Step 1: Setup the AWS S3 bucket

The setup for s3 is similar to the article https://simpleisbetterthancomplex.com/tutorial/2017/08/01/how-to-setup-amazon-s3-in-a-django-project.html which will have a static and media folder in the s3 bucket. The static folder is where Django’s collect static dumps all the static files. The media folder will store all the Model’s File field files in properly named and structured subfolders. 

Steps 2: Setup an AWS CloudFront from S3

Set the origin to only cache the static folder from the S3 bucket. 

What this does is that it ignores the media folder completely. This is exactly what we need. 

Steps 3: Django modifications

The next step is to modify your Django application so that the static files on your HTML pages are picked from CloudFront rather than S3. The first step to do that is to specify the CDN url in your settings.py:

AWS_S3_CUSTOM_DOMAIN = 'cdn.mydomain.com'

However, we still have the issue that “static” is added to all the calls to your static files from an HTML page.  Let me explain that with an example. Let’s say you specify “{% static ‘my_file’ %}” in your django template. The template rendering engine modifies it to “cdn.mydomain.com/static/my_file” based on the settings.py and django-storages expectations. Cloudfront (since it’s only caching the static folder) helpfully adds another “static” to that and searches in the s3 bucket for the file “s3-bucket.com/static/static/my_file”. 

Step 3a: Add a template tag

The most straightforward fix we found for this was to have a custom static template tag to get the static files from the CloudFront and others from the s3 bucket URL.

These custom template tags are typically in the folder /templatetags/ within the app. We will define a tag called static_cdn.

File directory

@register.simple_tag
def static_cdn(url):
    if settings.CDN_ENABLED:
        url = static(url).replace(settings.AWS_S3_CUSTOM_DOMAIN, settings.AWS_S3_CDN_DOMAIN).replace('/static/', '/')
        return url
    else:
        return static(url)

static_cdn template function

What this actually does is to replace the static URL with the CloudFront URL defined in the settings.py, First, the URL is fetched using the static(URL) function and replaced with its static s3 path with the CDN URL AWS_S3_CDN_DOMAIN. As mentioned previously, CloudFront adds an extra static to all the requests coming its way. The above replacement fixes this issue. We also add a CDN_ENABLED flag so that we can test in non-production without cloudfront.

Step 3b: Modify your templates

The above steps let you set up CloudFront to serve all static files. Now, this allows us to prevent all public access to your S3 bucket and only serve media files through your web application. Additionally, as CloudFront is only caching the sub-folder, we don’t have to worry about data being incorrectly cached without S3’s protections.

In the HTML file, we can import both the static and static_cdn

{% load static_cdn %}
{% load static %}

<link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="{% static_cdn 'icon.png' %}"> # cdn url
<link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="{% static 'icon.png' %}"> # s3 url

Just for reference, our Django AWS setup looks like this

# aws setup
if not DEBUG:
    CDN_ENABLED = True
    AWS_DEFAULT_ACL = None
    AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID = '*******************************'
    AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY = '*******************************'
    AWS_STORAGE_BUCKET_NAME = 'bucket-name'
    STATIC_DISTRIBUTION_ID = '***********'
    AWS_S3_CDN_DOMAIN = '{}.cloudfront.net'.format(STATIC_DISTRIBUTION_ID)
    AWS_S3_CUSTOM_DOMAIN = '{}.s3.amazonaws.com'.format(AWS_STORAGE_BUCKET_NAME)
    AWS_S3_OBJECT_PARAMETERS = {
        'CacheControl': 'max-age=86400',
    }

    STATICFILES_DIRS = [
        os.path.join(BASE_DIR, 'static'),
    ]

    STATICFILES_STORAGE = 'http_project.storage_backends.StaticStorage'
    DEFAULT_FILE_STORAGE = 'http_project.storage_backends.MediaPublicStorage'
    STATIC_LOCATION = 'static'

    STATIC_URL = 'https://{}/{}/'.format(AWS_S3_CUSTOM_DOMAIN, STATIC_LOCATION)

    AWS_PUBLIC_MEDIA_LOCATION = 'media/public'
    DEFAULT_FILE_STORAGE = 'http_project.storage_backends.PublicMediaStorage'

    AWS_PRIVATE_MEDIA_LOCATION = 'media/private'
    PRIVATE_FILE_STORAGE = 'http_project.storage_backends.PrivateMediaStorage'

    MEDIA_URL = 'https://{}/{}/'.format(AWS_S3_CUSTOM_DOMAIN, AWS_PUBLIC_MEDIA_LOCATION)

Setup 4: Allow cross-origin

We should also set up the distributions behavior to avoid cross origin access errors: 

  1. Open your distribution from the CloudFront console.
  2. Choose the Behaviors tab.
  3. Choose to Create Behavior, or choose an existing behavior, and then choose Edit.
  4. For Allowed HTTP Methods, select GET, HEAD, OPTIONS.
  5. Choose Yes, Edit.

For further information about this cross-origin error refer to this link.

Tips

  1. The static_url template tag can be defined in your own way according to the environment path that was configured in your Django application
  2. The AWS CloudFront service also provides other features such as gzip.
  3. If you are in a situation where you need to allow only certain HTTP methods, then CloudFront has this cool feature to define that too
  4. The CloudFront cached files are served using SSL but if you need a custom SSL certificate that can also be modified from CloudFront
  5. You can find the CloudFront URL from the general settings of a distribution

Summary

You have now learned how to set up CloudFront for your Django project and to allow only the static files to be served via CloudFront and the media files served using s3 that holds your private and public media storage. Hence we know how to serve static files via Cloudfront & private media files via S3 in Django.

Alternative approach when you don’t have to deal with load balancers and multiple servers: Django – Correctly Wiring to AWS CloudFront for Static and Media Files 

Do you have a better way to structure your app that would solve this problem? Do tell us.

Photo credits – Émile Perron on Unsplash

quality of hire

Quality of Hire Definition and Measures to Improve it

Quality of hire

Hiring is one of the essential priorities for HR functions worldwide. C-suite executives and line managers look up to the recruitment department for hiring the right people at the right time. In this data-driven world, recruitment metrics have emerged as a top tool to assist in hiring decisions. One such key performance indicator is the quality of hire. Consistent and regular tracking of this KPI can make the hiring process more effective and productive. Apart from instituting a quality of hire definitionorganisations are also trying to improve it. 

Hiring is one area that is expensive as well as time-consuming. As per a Glassdoor survey in 2019, organisations spend $4000 and 52 days on average to fill a vacancy. Hiring does not lead to any direct income for the organisation. It makes effectiveness in hiring all the more crucial.

The impact of a wrong hiring decision is manifold. Firstly, bad hires can cost organisations hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, it is the drop in morale and productivity that concerns the C-suite executives more. SHRM found in a survey that a staggering 95% of 2100 CFOs responded positively to this. 35% said the morale gets considerably affected due to wrong hiring. 

Almost 40% of talent leaders feel the quality of hire is the single most important metric for assessing hiring performance. However, most organisations do not have a system in place to measure this. The ones that do feel they can do better. Organisations also feel a lack of time and the absence of the right tools limit their efforts in this direction. There is a need for a standard model for measuring the quality of hire. 

Quality of Hire Definition

Quality of hire is a measure that determines the value a new employee brings to your organisation. A new hire’s performance and tenure are the principal consideration points while assessing the value delivered. 

A new employee takes time to settle into an organisation. Also, it may take months before the employee may become productive and start generating revenue. Thus, it makes more sense to calculate the quality of hire as long-term metrics.

Measuring Quality of Hire

The quality of hire definition may vary with each organisation. It is a good practice to define it in resonance with your leadership. It will not help in aligning the quality of hire to their priorities but also bring everyone on the same page. Apart from getting their buy-in, it will also help in formulating an effective hiring strategy. 

Quality of hire is also the best metrics for assessing the performance of the hiring department. It can determine the strategic value that the recruitment team creates for an organisation. For instance, a good score on time to hire has no meaning if the quality of hire is low. 

Moreover, quality of hire can also be used to determine the success of specific recruitment activities. For instance, it can determine the best sourcing strategy and vendors.

Organisations need to be wary of a few aspects while calculating the quality of hire. For instance, adding the records of high performers to this data may skew the results. A more effective calculation is to assess how many new hires have turned into high performers. 

While establishing the quality of hire definition, here are the factors that may be considered.

  • Performance reviews

Most organisations depend upon appraisals to assess the performance of their employees. Although it seems good in theory, we all know the limitations of a standard rating system. Firstly, a lot depends upon the subjectivity of the manager. Unfortunately, the relationship between a team member and a manager may also skew the rating. Secondly, a lot of organisations do not include new hires in the current performance cycle.

To get a clear picture, the hiring team can devise a separate scorecard to evaluate the performance of new hires. The managers can be asked to rate the new hire’s performance on a scale of 1-10. A simple ranking system like this can rightly point at the performance of a new hire. It may also help to add the goal-setting process in onboarding to formalise the process.

  • Tenure

An employee can deliver real value only after spending considerable time at an organisation. However, it may not give the correct results in isolation. It happens because several factors come into play. A new hire may leave the job because of some differences with the manager. It is also possible that the new employee may not get everything as was promised. 

Thus, it may make more sense to consider the tenure of high priority positions. Alternatively, the turnover rate of top performers can be viewed for a different cut. 

  • Cultural fit

To hire a star employee or to close the open positions, recruiters can act under pressure. Hiring an employee who is not the right organisation-fit can lead to several problems. Firstly, the new hire will not be able to deliver at the job. Secondly, the disengaged employee may impact the spirit of those around him.

Informal meetings with the new hires may help in determining if the hiring decision was right. Secondly, line managers and can peers can also give useful inputs. A 360-degree review after a year of joining may help in this regard.

  • Ramp-up time

In simple terms, the time a new employee takes to become productive is defined as the ramp-up time. It doesn’t necessarily have to be six months or a year. It may depend upon the organisation’s priorities, role, and business.

An organisation can evaluate the employee lifecycle of its employees to understand the average ramp-up time. Apart from assessing the quality of hire, this data can help in other areas as well. For instance, the HR department can focus on reducing the ramp-up time and launch initiatives in the direction.

All these factors can be combined into one single number to represent the quality of hire definition.

quality of hire definition

The benefit of using this formula is that it will give a comprehensive view. For a result in percentage calculate all these factors on a scale of 1-100. 

How to improve the quality of hire

The process of improving the quality of hire is a complex one. However, organisations can achieve it by tackling one issue at a time. It should start by collecting the right data from the right sources. Also, the way forward should be to align the hiring practices with the intended performance. 

  •  Move to performance-based hiring

Most organisations use the traditional method of hiring. The recruiters tend to define the job as skills and competencies. Not only is it hard to assess candidates on these variables, but it also does not give them a clear picture of the job. For instance, a job description for a marketing manager would contain 5-6 years of experience and an MBA degree. Aligning it to performance would mean mentioning something like launching a new product or increasing the market share of the product.

  • Comparison of pre-hire and post-hire data

Data can give crucial insights for improving the current processes. The recruitment department may be using psychometric assessments, interviews and other tools to identify the right candidate. Recruiters can compare the results of these assessment tools with the post-hire performance of the candidates. If the correlation is not satisfactory, it is an indication that the tools are not giving the desired results.

  • Reducing the workload of recruiters

At times, recruiters are under immense pressure to fill the open positions. However, they end up spending significant time on transactional work like scheduling meetings and negotiating with the candidates. They may not have the bandwidth to focus on other aspects of their jobs.

Technology and AI can effectively resolve this situation. These tools can automate a significant part of a recruiter’s job. For instance, technology can be used to screen and shortlist candidates from a large pool. 

Impress is one such solution that can greatly enhance the quality of hire. The chatbots offered by Impress are useful in first-level screening of the candidates. The chatbots are customisable, and recruiters can define the shortlisting criteria for each position. The fact that it can be administered on any number of candidates adds to its appeal. Moreover, it can be linked to video interview platforms for automated screening of the candidates.

impress.ai reducing workload of recruiters
  • Aligning line managers

Like any other HR initiative, it is difficult to enhance the quality of hire without the support of line managers. As a first step, develop a mutual understanding with the line manager about the quality of hire definition. 

It may also help to share interviewing tips for better hiring practices. Including performance discussions during onboarding will also help in setting a benchmark.

Conclusion

Measuring the quality of hire is an important metric for improving the effectiveness of hiring. Hiring the right people who match organisational values will not only enhance their productivity but also increase the retention rates. 

high-volume-hiring

How to use technology for high volume hiring

high volume hiring using technology

High volume hiring is a tell-tale sign of a growing and successful organisation. It may indicate that an organisation is expanding and is on the path to progress. In other instances, it can mean that the company has roles with a high turnover rate. 

Volume recruiting is a challenging task for recruiters. Firstly, it means more work and fewer chances for errors. The recruitment function needs to come up with an efficient strategy to hire a significant number of employees in a short period. Moreover, the recruiters need to be on the same page and follow a consistent process for a higher rate of success.

An automated solution may seem to be the right answer for high volume hiring. However, there are a few aspects that need to be considered. For instance, automation should not become impersonal. Engaging candidates through personal conversations is essential. It is common knowledge that disengaged candidates may not join at the last moment.  

Organisations need a practical solution when it comes to volume hiring strategy. Hiring the best people in a short frame of time means higher efficiency and speed. Besides, they also have to ensure positive employer branding throughout the hiring process. To enable this, the recruiters have to move past CV screening and scheduling interviews. 

Technology can offer highly effective solutions when it comes to volume recruiting. It can help organisations in attracting and hiring candidates more intelligently. With the right tools, recruiters can work efficiently in hiring the right candidates at the right time.  

What is high volume hiring?

In simple terms, it indicates hiring a high number of employees in a short period. Depending upon the organisation and the role, the number can run into thousands. It could stem from a new strategy or a role that has high demand in the market. 

High volume hiring is more common in retail, IT and financial sectors. As the role is in high demand, the applicant pool is also fairly large in mass recruitment. A survey reports that one such position can attract 250 applicants. Handling such tremendous numbers of applications and closing the positions is the biggest challenge in volume hiring. To manage such tremendous numbers, recruiters have to spend most of their time screening the resumes.

What are the challenges of high volume hiring?

It is easy to slip up when you are hiring for such large numbers. However,  recruiters can prepare in advance for a smooth and effective process. It can start by identifying the challenges and then progressing to the ideal solutions.

Here are some difficulties that can make volume-hiring a daunting task.

  • Time – The main problem in high volume hiring is the number of applications. Imagine receiving 250 applications for a thousand positions. It is almost impossible to scan and screen every application. If made to do manually, recruiters may not get time for anything else.
  • Quality – Recruiters need to maintain a delicate balance between time and quality of hire. Although they need to act fast, they cannot compromise on quality. A bad hire can cost more in the long run. Well-known recruiter Jorgen Sundberg estimates this cost to be to the tune of $240,000 per person. 
  • Budget – Recruiters use the metrics of cost per hire to finalise a recruitment budget. When hiring in large numbers, the actual expenses can exceed the estimated budget. The recruitment function needs a solution to optimise the expenses without any compromises.
  • Candidate experience – Hiring experience is like a preview of the working environment. If candidates are not satisfied with the hiring experience, they may not join. Moreover, it is a crucial feature of building a strong employer brand. Candidates expect a personalised and tight hiring process. 
  • Status tracking – It is easier for a recruiter to keep track of a few open positions. However, volume hiring needs a streamlined process for tracking the progress of each candidate. Apart from organising recruitment, it can also help in faster turnaround times.

How can you use technology for simplifying high volume hiring?

1. Easy job application

A survey noted that lengthy applications might dissuade the candidates. The study found that 60% of candidates quit the application process if it is too long or complicated.

The objective should be to create a simple and short application process. Firstly, try to reach candidates where they are instead of calling them to you. For instance, increase your presence on social media to attract the top talent. Secondly, make the application as short as possible. It will be best if you have a one-click submission process. Candidates may lose interest if they have to fill pages after pages. Tools that allows parsing of resumes can help here. Such products can auto-populate the fields and make it easier for candidates to apply. 

Lastly, ensure that your application process is mobile-optimised. It should allow the candidates to upload the resume and apply using their cellphones. 

2. Using the existing database

Do your recruiters outsource the positions by default? If yes, you could be incurring huge expenses for hiring employees. The costs can inflate immensely in the case of high volume hiring. Besides, using old records can also reduce the time and effort of hiring.

Although it may be hard to do this manually, technology can make it a lot simpler. A simple ATS may not allow this functionality. However, you can use algorithm-based systems to use existing records. You can fill the job description, and the system will throw the most suitable candidates.

Another way to speed up the process is by using analytics. You can run metrics on previous records to identify effective sources. For instance, you may find the consultants or job-boards that have given excellent results in the past.

3. Screening candidates

Mass recruitment invites a lot of unfit applications. Manually scanning all such resumes may result in hundreds of wasted hours. The recruiters need an efficient and faster method of screening the applications.

AI-powered tools can efficiently resolve this problem. These tools can evaluate the applications on certain criteria and rank them. One efficient way to do this is by using chatbots. It can automate conversations with the candidates and also interview them. Based on the answers, the chatbots can compare and rank the candidates. 

Impress works closely with organisations to customise chatbots for their specific requirements. For instance, Impress collaborated with DBS bank to develop JIM (Jobs Intelligence Maestro) to assess candidates in the pre screening stage of the recruitment process. JIM helped shorten the screening time from 32 minutes per candidate to 8 minutes per candidate.

impress.ai helping in high volume hiring

4. Using video interviews for shortlisting candidates

The main problem in high volume hiring is meeting every candidate. Video interviews can effectively resolve this situation. Apart from fast-tracking hiring, it can also ensure that every candidate gets a fair chance. 

Automated video interviewing tools allow the recruiters to customise the questions. Candidates can appear for the interview at a place and time of their convenience. A few tools can also evaluate the candidate’s body language. Based on the answers, the software can assess the candidates and rank them. Moreover, these tools can identify candidates who are the right cultural fit and organisational fit for higher efficiency. Lastly, the results are unbiased which can be a major bottleneck for some organisations.

Impress is a shortlisting solution that can integrate with other video interview platforms. 

5. Drive decisions with analytics

Budget is always a constraint and high volume hiring can be costly. Recruitment functions can contain these costs by analysing past data. By identifying the best practices, recruiters can fast-track their volume hiring. 

Analytics can help HR functions to make data-driven decisions. For instance, it can indicate which sources have given high performers in the past. Recruiters can also analyse candidate feedback to improve the hiring process. 

6. Engaging candidates interactively

Sharing hiring status is a crucial step in engaging the candidates. A study by LinkedIn noted that 94% of candidates would like to know the interview feedback but only 41% get it. In the case of volume hiring, recruiters may not inform every candidate about the progress. At times, there could be a delay that can result in candidates losing their interest.

Hiring functions can effectively resolve this situation by using technology. For instance, chatbots can engage the candidates and also keep them updated about the status. 

Chatbots are also effective in answering candidate questions. Recruiters can program the chatbots to handle sensitive and relevant candidate queries. Work-life balance, organisational culture and values are a few such subjects. The candidates will feel much more engaged if they can find satisfactory answers.

High volume hiring can be a task for recruiters. It demands a high level of efficiency and competence. However, technology can simplify and smoothen the process. With deeper insights and valuable analytics, recruiters can take the right actions. AI-powered tools can take on operational tasks and recruiters can focus on strategic aspects. 

recruitment-cost

All you need to know about cost per hire and how to calculate it.

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Organisations are continually trying to enhance their processes to achieve higher efficiency and productivity. With advanced analytics at their disposal, organisations are increasingly making use of metrics and key performance indicators towards this effect. Apart from being objective about the processes, these metrics can also help in making informed decisions. One of the most crucial areas where such analytics can make a huge difference in recruitment. While it is one of the most significant elements of an organisation’s success, recruitment is also one of the costliest ones. Cost per hire is valuable in evaluating the efficiency of hiring at an organisation. It helps organisations with a bird’s eye view of the wellbeing of their recruitment function.

Hiring a new employee involves several direct as well as indirect costs. For instance, work hours, advertisement costs, candidate travel expenses are a few direct costs. On the other hand, are expenses like work hours lost in interviewing or onboarding the candidates that comprise the indirect expenses. Keeping a tab on cost per hire can allow the organisations to spend their money in the right places.

As per a survey by SHRM, recruitment accounts for 15% of all HR expenses. Cost per hire becomes all the more relevant in light of such high costs that are attributed to hiring new employees. Apart from being easy to track, the metric also helps in understanding the ROI of recruitment efforts.

What is the cost per hire?

In simple terms, cost per hire is the average amount that an organisation spends on hiring a new employee. Earlier, organisations followed different formulae and processes to calculate this metric. However, SHRM proposed a standard formula in 2012 in association with the American National Standards Institute to calculate cost per hire. 

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Here is a breakdown of what constitutes internal and external recruiting costs.

Internal Costs of Recruiting

As the name suggests, the internal costs of recruiting refer to the in-house expenses incurred by an organisation for hiring new employees. It is a sum of the resources and efforts that a hiring department spends on recruitment.

It may include the following:

  • Salaries of the permanent and contractual recruitment team members.
  • Learning and development costs of the hiring team.
  • Incentives for referrals.
  • Total work-hours spent by the hiring managers in recruitment. For instance, if the hiring managers spend 15% of their time in hiring, you may include 15% of their salaries for this calculation.

External Costs of Recruiting

An organisation may liaise with various vendors for efficient and productive hiring. The external cost of recruitment includes the expenses that an organisation incurs to work with these vendors. Here are a few examples of such external costs.

  • The expenses incurred for working with recruitment consultants who support in fulfilling the organisation’s hiring mandates.
  • Hiring may become an arduous task without software like Applicant Tracking System and Candidate Relationship Management System. You may add the price of software and the amount you spend on their maintenance to the external costs. Chatbots are the latest AI-powered tools that are helping companies reach their hiring goals. For instance, chatbots offered by Impress can fast-track the applicant screening process and also identify the most qualified candidates..
  • Expenses incurred on candidate background and health checks.
  • Occasionally, organisations have to spend extra time and resources to lure the candidates. While one candidate may be looking for relocation expenses, another may want a signing bonus. All such expenses come under this header.
  • Travel costs for hiring managers and candidates are also included in external costs.

At times, candidates need some training to excel in their respective roles. Campus-hire training program is an example of this. However, such training costs are not added to the recruitment costs.

How much should be the cost per hire?

Well, there is no standard or ideal response to this. The cost of hire may vary depending upon your location, job role, leadership level, and the hiring source. Or else, it could be specific to your organisational products and services.

However, as per a survey by SHRM, the average cost of hire is somewhere around $4,425. The amount can go up in case of hiring for leadership positions. Firstly, they are harder to find and convince. Secondly, they may have to meet multiple people for organisational buy-in. Thus, a company must not strive for a lower cost per hire. Instead, the aim should be to arrive at a cost per hire which can give you the best recruitment results. For instance, it may make more sense to opt for an expensive vendor who facilitates the most qualified candidate with a faster turnaround time. Although the initial expenses may seem more, the long-term returns will be much higher in such cases.

Why is it important to calculate the cost per hire?

As seen above, the intention to calculate the cost per hire is not to reduce it. However, it is a metric that finds its use in calculating the recruitment budget. It can help in workforce planning at the start of a year. It is particularly handy in the scenario when the business is expecting a slowdown. The company can work out the hiring numbers, and not strain the overall financials.

Moreover, you can also follow a few best practices and use cost per hire to improve your processes and boost your strategic planning. 

  • Always include the same set of variables while calculating the cost per hire. This practice will give you more clarity when you compare the year-on-year costs. For instance, several companies encourage their business managers or leadership to visit business campuses to promote their employer brand. If it is a new program, it is advisable to refrain from including it. 
  • Don’t get hassled if you see a considerable increase or dip in your cost per hire. The sharp increase could be due to a new software investment. On the other hand, the steep decline could be due to a hiring freeze. Instead, make it a practice to measure the cost per hire regularly. You can either choose to do it quarterly or yearly depending upon the size of your organisation and the quantum of hiring efforts.
  • Use these reports for defining your hiring strategy. It may make more sense to use this cost per hire with other key metrics like quality of hire and time to hire. Consider it to be a positive trend if you see your cost per hire is increasing and the quality of hire is improving. It is perfectly reasonable if you are spending more money to hire better-quality candidates. Such a trend would mean that your organisation is spending less money in the long term. 
  • Evaluate and analyse your cost per hire according to departments and levels. Niche roles and higher levels will generally have a higher cost per hire. The trends may help in strengthening your processes to hire for these particular areas. For instance, one sourcing method may give you better quality candidates for a particular department at a lower cost per hire. Such analysis will help you in selecting the best sourcing avenue for that department. Similarly, you can calculate the cost per hire as per different variables for an impactful strategy.

To conclude

Cost per hire is an important metric that can give you deeper insights into your hiring strategy. Firstly, it encourages you to account for all the internal and external costs that go into hiring employees. You may be in for a surprise if you haven’t been tracking them before. Secondly, it can help in rationalising the leadership expectations from the hiring team. It is often seen that there is high pressure on the recruitment team to reduce the costs while ensuring the quality of new hires. Such metrics may provide more clarity and set their expectations.

The goal here is not to reduce the cost per hire. Instead, the focus should be on using the metrics to improve the current process. For greater efficiency, it is advisable to use cost per hire with other metrics to identify the weak areas in the hiring process. The final aim should be to optimise costs keeping in view the quality as well as the time of hire.

Impress AI chatbots can considerably optimise your cost per hire while improving the quality of hire. Firstly, the chatbot can be used to screen every applicant who applies for the job and identify the most qualified candidates. You can significantly reduce your work-hours as the hiring team won’t have to manually sift through all the resumes. Moreover, the chatbot can manage candidate queries and free your hiring team to focus more on the strategic aspect of their jobs. The chatbot is customisable to handle your organisation-specific or role-specific requirements.

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