Pressures on organisations to do more with less have been increasing as budgets are squeezed across the board. So, as the talent pool effectively shrinks it becomes ever more important for organisations to hone their recruitment processes to identify the relevant skills needed, find talent with that expertise and then build strategies for hiring, retaining, and training the workers to create competitive advantage. As ever, the challenge to HR is not the act of recruitment itself but the ability to find the right talent and then engage it effectively over the longer term.
Recruiting talent is an area where HR can make significant savings simply by taking an online approach. In fact, eRecruitment systems not only streamline the recruitment processes, they save valuable time through automation of administrative tasks. They also extend the reach of traditional, paper-oriented recruitment methods by opening up social channels to recruitment opportunities through the benefits of scale and reach associated with social media. These two aspects alone make eRecruitment a compelling solution for any organisation.
In fact, for those actively hiring, eRecruitment systems are an absolute must in this day and age. You may want to mix in a healthy blend of traditional (or some might say old fashioned) recruitment techniques but an online recruitment presence is no longer a “nice to have” – it’s a necessity.
A recruitment game face
Looking good has never been so important for recruiters. Having the best, or most attractive jobs to offer is all well and good but you need to be sure that the details of those jobs reach the appropriate audiences and compel them to action. The trick is to design your online brand to be appealing to prospective employees, as well as customers, and to appear ‘cool enough’ to attract the most eligible millennials/GenYs as they enter the jobs market.
Think about the design of your recruitment portal and ensure that it is branded appropriately, does it reflect your organisation, the way you work or its products and services? It is important that the experience of new recruits is positive right from their first encounter with your site. After all, the younger generations (and in particular the so called Trophy generation) aspire to work for a cool company and their first impression is likely to endure. Also, this generation communicates extensively via social channels and, as a result, the knock-on of their experience with you will be felt far afield. In fact, this generation is having a massive impact on the traditional dynamic of the recruitment process and many believe that it is likely to change the face of recruitment in much the same way that the baby boomers did back in their day. Having a strategy to address this group is likely to be a key differentiator over the near term.
Recruitment is no longer simply about placing a great ad in a newspaper and waiting for the CVs to come flooding in. To be successful, it is critical that the recruitment process extends beyond initial search and selection phases to include onboarding practices and then continue into employee engagement, assessment and development activities. No company wants to be the training ground for its competitors so they should move their focus along the engagement curve to ensure that their people are motivated, challenged, and supported at all times. Incentives to remain in a company are not always financial, so businesses should look at a range of opportunities and techniques to motivate and encourage key talent to remain.
The game maker
Technology can really make the difference in recruitment. It can support and channel the process of maintaining contact with prospective employees by automating the initial phases and takes out the potential for human error at this early stage. Automating the various phases and applying strict policies ensures a smooth flow of information and avoids bottlenecks that would prolong the process.
Providing relevant information at appropriate stages of the engagement and developing effective strategies to onboard employees will prove vital ongoing. After all, continuous attention to the needs of staff (from the first point of contact onwards) will create an environment that engenders commitment and loyalty.
Extending into overtime
In reality, onboarding has become an extension of the recruitment process and it is equally important to the on-going health of any recruitment drive. It has proven to be important to many of our customers as they engage in positive, proactive dialogue with their new recruits. It is used to varying degrees, as an information resource and training tool to introduce people, products, services and the company to new recruits. Many organisations have recognised the power of effective onboarding using video footage, recorded webinars, infographics and photo galleries to share relevant and interesting content and information.
It has become an integral part of their recruitment activities and a core facility in their HR systems as these evolve into an employee engagement and communications tool.
Just the ticket
Like any investment, eRecruitment should demonstrate a clear ROI (Return On Investment). We encourage our customers to put their figures into our calculator to see just how much they are able to save over the course of months, not years. In many cases customers don’t just reduce the amount of paper advertising they produce, some discard it completely. Also using the eRecruitment portal to manage the interaction with agencies can potentially limit associated charges through pre-arranged fee structures. The potential savings in these instances can be incredible.
In our experience the main challenge is to change the culture and the outlook of organisations rather than prove the value of eRecruitment. Inertia is so often the enemy of progress and promotion.
– Chris Berry is Managing Director of HR Software as a Service provider, CIPHR.