I have recently attended two CPD events which touched upon the effectiveness of recruitment campaigns and why it is increasingly becoming normal in human resources (HR) circles to refer to the quality/value of the recruitment process rather than the cost. For example, HR experts now look at a recruitment campaign’s quality, effectiveness, time and value rather than just its cost.
Below are some of the things that many human resource professionals now follow or track.
(1) Tracking activities and time (from vacancy to accepted offer of employment)
Tracking activities and time will give your HR expert insight into the efficiency of a recruitment team’s efforts. The type of information tracked includes:
- The time from advertising to receiving applications/getting responses
- The time to assess/accept/reject candidate CVs or applications
- The time to develop a short list or contact/set up or interview/informal chat for an applicant
- The time taken to make an offer or negotiate after an interview or decision
Naturally these periods will vary depending on market conditions and your resourcing methods. For example, we would estimate that it would take significantly longer to recruit a commercial property associate solicitor than it would a family solicitor; therefore, taken in context with other information below, you may decide to use outside support for some roles immediately whilst others you will try to fill yourself – at least initially. Using outside support usually improves overall recruitment efficiency and reduces your time to offer.
And during any of the above periods, a candidate may, of course, drop-out. However, learning from the above and making changes will help improve your overall recruitment efficiency and may reduce the possibility of good candidates withdrawing.
(2) Measuring the effectiveness of your advertising campaign
A second area is tracking or monitoring advertising efforts. Some will invariably (e.g. online advertising) produce quicker but not necessarily better results than others. You may find just one of the following works out best for your organisation:
- Advertising on your firm’s website
- Advertising on job boards or social media sites
- National or local newspaper or journal advertising
- Local referral or word of mouth
- Use of an outside consultancy (who will be finding passive candidates as well as active candidates)
Whichever you choose, try documenting the responses for optimising the process.
(3) Checking the effectiveness of interviews
It is also a good idea to record the effectiveness of the different types of interviews you may conduct (e.g. informal chat, full competency etc.) along with any interview tests such as use of psycho-metrics and written exercises. Documenting and learning from these may result in better candidate assessments and make your overall process more objective. If you don’t measure or document these items, you won’t know what to repeat or perhaps how to choose the best candidate(s).
(4) Using the right interviewers and decision makers
It is important the right people interview your short-listed candidates. The right people are those individuals for whom the candidates may work for and/or the individuals who can either make the final decision or present/justify a candidate for approval. As a minimum, the “manager” of the vacancy should be involved along with the firm’s human resource specialist.
(5) Improving the quality of applicants
To a large extent, the suitability and quality of applicants selected depends on the quality of preparation done ahead of the recruitment campaign. If, for example, accurate job descriptions, relevant qualifications and objectives are developed and published, the quality of applicants will be better. In addition, if interview questions or tests are well thought out ahead of time, then deciding on potential appointees will be more objective.
(6) Assessing why offers have not been accepted (if applicable)
Firms can learn a great deal about which internal practices are letting them down if they take the time to find out why an offer has not been accepted. Common reasons include:
- The salary is not attractive or competitive enough
- Package information has not been included: e.g. car parking, health insurance etc
- A long delay between the interview and the offer resulted in the candidate losing interest and or obtaining other offers
- The candidate accepted a counter-offer (certain firms are more likely to make counter-offers than others, and this can lead to changes in the way firms and recruitment consultants hire candidates)
Using this feedback helps optimise the overall recruitment process and will enable you to make a good case for any changes next time the partners review their recruitment and candidate attraction methods.
(7) Following the retention rate of newly appointed candidates
Documenting the retention rate of new staff can help you to learn about which of your recruitment methods produce the best long-term results.