Recent years have not been kind to recruitment. Talent shortages remain persistent, attracting the best talent is more challenging, and pandemic-induced lockdowns have thwarted traditional recruiting practices.
Moreover, roles have become more diverse and specialized over the years, especially in tech. A single job title (e.g., mid-level software developer) can have drastically different requirements depending on your organization’s tech stack, clientele, and other factors.
Unfortunately, these factors have drastically complicated the recruitment process. As a result, recruiters are under more pressure to source and acquire the best talent, and they are less self-reliant.
A closer look at hiring dependency
Hiring dependencies do not arise in isolation; they start from organizational weaknesses and spread to the recruitment process.
Sourcing the right talent is essential to your recruitment funnel’s success, but talent sourcing does not begin with a job listing.
Rather, talent sourcing has become more like marketing, according to statistics. In other words, if your employer branding is weak, recruiters will struggle with the most fundamental stage of hiring.
Moreover, because employer branding is a marketing effort, recruiters may be unable to influence it. It’s not uncommon for organizations to operate in silos, with HR and marketing efforts being decidedly separate.
Thus, come sourcing time, recruiters may already be at a disadvantage. The exception is if companies have strong employer branding in place.
Understanding the role's needs and evaluating applicants
Each industry has numerous job positions with different needs and skillsets, and recruiters can’t be well-versed in all of them. This discrepancy can be partially resolved by communicating with relevant, in-house teams.
Recruiters can talk to team members to gain a clearer insight into the role’s technical requirements, and the soft skills necessary to perform. However, integrating the collected information into the recruitment funnel is still challenging. The problem stems from acquiring second-hand information; while the recruiters may understand the requirements, they may require subject matter expertise to evaluate applicants reliably.
Of course, panel interviews prove invaluable in these situations. Team members can collectively assess applicants, gaining a more comprehensive understanding of their skills and potential. But this approach, yet again, increases recruiters’ reliance on other parties.
Moreover, consistently engaging in-house teams for hiring is not always feasible, especially during bulk-hiring initiatives. Involving senior employees and team leaders in hiring processes for a prolonged duration can hinder operational efficiency.
Thus, empowering recruiters to be more self-reliant is essential.
The remote hiring landscape
It’s not hyperbolic to claim that the global pandemic accelerated the world’s digitalization by several years. Ecommerce, events, hiring, workplace collaboration, marketing, and many other avenues become digital-first.
Naturally, hiring too went virtual. Remote hiring offers several key advantages, including reduced costs, and the potential for quicker hiring and improved candidate experiences. However, virtual hiring and assessment heavily rely on technology, yet another curveball that recruiters must overcome.
Evaluation processes invite challenges of their own, too. How can recruiters conduct assessments and ensure fair play? We’ve seen many software solutions rise to the occasion, albeit many have a learning curve. Moreover, recruiters may have to leverage multiple solutions to achieve singular hiring goals.
The way forward: reducing external reliance
Helping recruiters become truly self-reliant requires changes and implementations at an organizational level. The hiring process cannot be viewed in isolation, as its success relies on an amalgamation of efforts, including employer branding, marketing, and efficient execution.
Thus, true self-reliance requires commitment from senior executives. Talent sourcing can be improved by:
Improving employer branding
Improvements in employer branding require commitments from both leadership and content teams. Internship and mentorship programs, for example, require executive commitment to launch. However, such programs pave the way to strengthen employer branding, reach new talent sources, and nurture existing talent pools.
Moreover, content teams must, within reason, propagate employer branding across digital channels. This may include social media platforms (especially LinkedIn), company blogs, and even press.
Establishing and nurturing talent pools
Nurturing a talent pool is a highly sustainable practice for improving long-term talent sourcing. However, it is a significant commitment, and some organizations thus shy away from establishing a talent pipeline.
But talent pipelines are certainly worth investing in; done right, they provide organizations with continuous sources of reliable talent. Of course, robust evaluation processes must still be in place to guarantee successful hiring, but talent pipelines form a strong foundation.
Initiatives to improve sourcing require long-term commitment at an executive level. However, in addition to these measures, organizations can leverage technology and best practices to empower recruiters more immediately. This entails:
Redefining evaluation practices and translating them digitally
Project and skill-based hiring have gained traction, with megacorps and Big Tech incorporating these practices as standard. After all, to know how good an artist is, you must look at their art.
Similarly, to know how good a developer is, organizations must assess candidates’ practical skills. Many organizations have come to grips with on-site skills testing, conducting bulk assessments in proctored environments. Typically, entire days are allotted to on-site hiring, wherein candidates are invited for interview rounds and to partake in skills tests.
But, again, translating merit-based hiring principles to digital environments presents challenges, which I highlighted earlier. Thus, to help recruiters achieve greater self-reliance, we designed WeCP (We Create Problems) – an integrated tech recruitment solution for tech hiring.
WeCP includes the necessary tools for successful tech recruiting, including automated scheduling, libraries for devising relevant technical skills tests, a native IDE with integrated proctoring, and automated evaluation functionality. Akin to how Canva empowers publishers, WeCP helps recruiters become self-reliant in their tech recruiting. The platform is a dedicated SaaS solution for tech recruitment.
Standardizing or automating evaluation processes
Since recruiters cannot exhibit subject-matter expertise across all channels, standardizing evaluation processes is paramount. For example, consider a tech role such as a software developer position that requires knowledge of the MERN stack.
Unless the recruiter shares the relevant technical background, they will not be able to assess the applicants’ test results. This would, again, require engaging developer team members.
Thus, automating the evaluation process or leveraging a scoring system (i.e., MCQ-based assessments) are key to increasing recruiters’ self-reliance. WeCP (We Create Problems) has streamlined both test creation and evaluation processes, by providing recruiters with a library of pre-designed, role-specific questions and automated scoring functionality.
As a result, recruiters can leverage WeCP to design and conduct skills tests seamlessly. Moreover, in the evaluation phase, they need only refer to objective performance metrics (evaluated by WeCP) to make data-driven, informed hiring decisions.
For non-tech roles, similar practices can be leveraged, such as MCQ-based questioning or structured interviews with pre-defined answers. The idea is to help recruiters evaluate candidates objectively without requiring subject-matter expertise of their own.
A message for leaders
To reiterate, overcoming organizational challenges recruiters executive-level commitment. Marketing and HR teams must be given clear directions for improving employer branding, marketing job descriptions, enhancing talent sourcing, and optimizing recruitment funnels.
Attracting the best talent requires a collaborative effort, and the process cannot be siloed on a departmental level.
Moreover, leaders must realize that, as with any employee, recruiters too require upskilling and reskilling. In the era of rapid digitalization especially, recruiters must be equipped with the right tools and software solutions to optimize their hiring.