Recruiting Orientation Guide 2014

By Staff Report

Jun. 5, 2014

As the talent wars heat up as the economy gets better, it will get harder and harder to find good people. The global job market is steadily improving, which means talented workers,  especially those with coveted information technology skills, can be more selective about the jobs they pursue.

And with more companies hiring, they have a lot of options to choose from. One in four executives expects to bring on full-time, permanent employees in 2014, and 42 percent expect to hire temporary or contract workers, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey. And these hiring organizations are likely to discover that finding eager, well-qualified candidates isn’t as easy as it used to be.

Deloitte’s 2014 Global Human Capital Trends survey shows that 79 percent of global leaders say retention and engagement as well as talent acquisition are among the most urgent issues they face today. And that puts their future at risk.

“In a skills-constrained environment, a company’s ability to find, attract and access highly skilled people is critical to success,” the report said. Yet just 13 percent of respondents consider themselves ready to handle current talent acquisition and access trends.

Are You Ready?

If you happen to fall into that 13 percent, congratulations. You are positioned to gain a competitive advantage over your peers. For the other 87 percent, however, it’s time to take a hard look at your approach to recruiting.

Whether you plan to hire 30 people this year or 3,000, you need a formal recruiting program that harnesses technology, social media and the communication skills of your managers and recruiting team to attract and retain the best people.

Fast Track:

More than 60 percent of executives say they rely on social tools for sourcing and advertising positions.

“More than anything else, recruiters need to build a rapport with the hiring managers,” said Lisa Rowan, an analyst with IDC. “That’s where a lot of recruiting programs fall down.”

That means recruiters and managers need to operate as a team.

When managers don’t provide feedback to recruiters, or they fail to make time to interview candidates and follow up on their decisions, it adds time and frustration to the hiring process. That keeps vacant positions open longer than necessary and sends a negative message to the candidate community.

“You have to think about the candidate experience as well as your own needs,” said Madeline Laurano, research director of talent acquisition solutions for Aberdeen Group. “You don’t want to send a bad impression.”


Create a brand: Your employment brand sends a message to potential recruits about what it will be like to work for your company, so think about what you want them to know, Laurano said.

Your brand might tell them you offer a fast-paced environment with room for growth, a fun place to work where they will love their job and make friends or a startup environment where they can have a lot of responsibilities right out of the gate.

Fast Track:

Recurly’s Sarah Mascardo said a good rule of thumb is that you have to reach out to 100 people to find four top candidates and one quality hire.

“Your employee brand should be tied to your core values but separate from the corporate brand,” she said. “It needs to be front and center of all your hiring communications, from social media postings and job ads to career-site messaging and videos.”

Define what you need: You can’t hire good people unless you know what you are looking for. Ideally a company will proactively develop profiles for every critical role in the company.

These profiles can be assembled through interviews with managers and employees. A review of the characteristics of high performers can also be used as a benchmark for “what good looks like.”

In-house or outsource: Before you can start hiring, you need to decide who will do your recruiting. Some companies outsource, others build an in-house team and many use a combination of both.

There are pros and cons to each model, Laurano said. The benefit of staying in-house is that those recruiters tend to understand the culture better, they have stronger relationships with hiring managers, and they are focused on finding great people for your company — without worrying about the needs of other clients.

But if hiring isn’t your strong suit, or you don’t have the resources, network or ongoing need to have a full-time recruiting staff, outsourcing is an easy way to secure good candidates with little effort.

Choose your tools: Recruiting technologies, including applicant tracking systems, automated screening, video interviewing and analytics tools add efficiencies to every stage of the process.


More than 40 percent of business leaders say they are not ready to address talent and HR analytics, according to Deloitte’s research.

Define your process: Creating a consistent hiring experience across the organization ensures managers and recruiters know what is expected of them and recruits have a positive experience. The most important recruiting tool to start with is an applicant tracking system, which acts as a one-stop-shop for the storage and management of recruiting data.

A good recruiting plan requires:

• A process for opening a position. As part of this process, the hiring manager should assess the skills identified for the role, and talk to recruiters about their timeline and goals for hiring.

• A sourcing strategy. Based on the position, and past successes filling similar roles, recruiters should know where to post job openings and look for passive candidates, including social networks, job boards, campuses, association sites and their own career websites.

“Being active in the social media space is instrumental in branding your organization and attracting talent, as the sites all aid in the effort to create awareness around your organization and touch-points with potential talent,” said Terri McClements, U.S. human capital leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

• A referral program: Employee referrals are the strongest base for recruiting among internal sources, according to SilkRoad’s 2014 “Top Sources of Hire” report. These referrals yield 57 percent of interviews and 61 percent of hires.

• A process for narrowing the candidate list:This step may include automatedprescreening, background checks or initial interviews to narrow the pool to a short list of candidates.

• An interview process: Get commitment from managers for a set amount of time to do interviews, and let candidates know what the interview process will involve.

• A final decision-making process: Make it clear to everyone involved in decision-making how quickly they will be expected to make a choice.


Participate in workforce planning: An effective recruiting strategy begins with workforce planning to make sure your talent acquisition plan supports the strategic goals of the business, said Jonathan Brown, vice president of global solutions at Futurestep, a Korn Ferry company. “This is a great opportunity for talent managers to get a seat at the table and demonstrate their value to the business.”


“Remember you are selling this job as an opportunity to the candidates,” said Futurestep’s Jonathan Brown. When organizations act like they are doing recruits a favor by interviewing them, the experience can feel more like a trial, which may scare off good candidates.

Start with a rough idea of how many people you expect to hire for the year, then drill down:

• Identify titles and locations of the positions.

• Set deadlines for when critical roles need to be filled.

• Look at past hiring data and industry research to determine how long it is likely to take to fill each position.

• Create an annual budget, taking into account salaries, and cost of hiring.

Create a timeline: Using your workforce planning data, make a rough plan for the year, keeping in mind that every role requires a slightly different hiring strategy and schedule. Remember this is just a rough plan, and not something that can be succinctly broken into 12 identical chunks, Brown said. “Some months recruiters will have nothing to do and others they will be swamped.”

Get your name out there: Even if you are not actively recruiting, you should still be networking — especially if you are a young company getting ready to grow, said Sarah Mascardo, talent manager for billing company Recurly. “You want people in the community to know who you are, what you do and the potential opportunities you will offer,” she said.

When Mascardo joined Recurly in 2013, she began by hosting tech talks, and attending job fairs and recruiting events.

Start looking: When positions open, talk to the hiring manager about their expectations to create a timeline and profile for the new hire.

Build a short list: Use automated screening tools, background checks, application reviews, and initial interviews to narrow your candidate list, then schedule interviews.

Bring them in: Make sure hiring managers and their teams make themselves available for prompt interviews and decision-making — but don’t overburden them. “They need to be a part of the process to ensure quality hires, but you also have to respect their time,” said Jim Gillece, senior vice president and chief people officer at AlliedBarton Security Services.

Make an offer — promptly: When you force candidates to wait for weeks, it creates a negative experience, Rowan said.

Follow up: After the hiring process is completed, interviews managers and new hires to get a sense of the recruiting experience and what could be improved.

AlliedBarton: 100 Hires Every Day

AlliedBarton Security Services is on a tremendous growth trajectory that has kept its recruiting team working around the clock. “We’ve doubled our staff four times in the last 10 years,” said Jim Gillece, chief people officer.

Last year alone his team hired 30,000 people. And what’s even more impressive is the number of applications his recruiters reviewed — more than 800,000, according to Gillece. Adding to the challenge is that every position has a slightly different profile. “If we are hiring a security guard to sit in a lobby where thousands of people pass by every day, they better be extroverted,” he said. To make sure he’s hiring the right people in the least amount of time, Gillece has a formal recruiting process that begins with a competency profile, and includes psychological assessments and background checks, behavioral interviewing and metrics to track the effectiveness of the program, including time to hire and cost. “We start with the end in mind,” he said, creating a profile of “what good looks like.”

Gillece is also piloting automated video interviewing technology — in which candidates answer pre-set questions about their background and experience on a video, and send it to the company for review — to further increase efficiencies.


Track your metrics: Measuring the results of your efforts does three important things.

• It proves the value you bring to the company.

• It helps you identify problems in your process.

• It gives you data to hone future talent acquisition efforts.

Some common metrics tracked by recruiters include:

• Volume of candidates in the pipeline per hire.

• Time to hire and cost per hire.

• First year turnover.

• Sources used to find candidates.

• Successful hires per offer.

Report back: “Create checkpoints in your talent acquisition cycle to review how you are doing compared with your targets, and report that to senior leadership,” Brown said. Then use that data, including lessons learned about what worked and what didn’t, to shape your acquisition goals for the next 12 months.

Recruiting Roadmap Review

We’ve organized our online Roadmap into three phases to help you implement the planning and execution of your performance management program. Below is a summary of the “Plan,” “Do” and “Review” of recruiting.


• Define an employment brand that embodies your workplace culture and make it part of every recruiting message.

• Define abilities for key roles, using past performance data, high-potential profiles, and interviews with managers and workers.

• Choose an applicant tracking system and other technologies to support your recruiting efforts.

• Establish a clear hiring process, including formal steps for opening a position, sourcing candidates, reviewing applications, interviewing and making offers.

• Define recruiting metrics, such as time-to-hire, that align with strategic goals.


• Participate in annual workforce planning to affiliate recruiting plans with strategic goals.

• Interview hiring managers about their expectations for new candidates.

• Conduct your search, using social media, job boards, internal referrals and any other sources that promise strong candidates.

• Narrow the application pool, using automated screening and/or first interviews to create a short list of possible hires.

• Get manager commitment for prompt interviews and decision-making.

• Follow up with managers and new hires to get their feedback about the recruiting experience.


• Regularly analyze recruiting metrics to prove results, identify problems and analyze lessons learned.

• Report results to senior leadership to demonstrate the value of the program.

• Use results to shape future recruiting efforts.

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