Whenever someone asks what are the most critical functions for success of a business, the usual suspects are sales, finance, or engineering (for a technology company). Talent Acquisition and recruitment rarely falls in that category. However that's a shame because Talent Acquisition is as critical to the success of the business as these other function.
An organization is the sum total of its employees. Success of any business unit within a company is directly dependent on the kind of talent in the organization. Talent Acquisition acts a gate keeper for an organization and if they fail to bring in the right talent, the business will not succeed.
83% of business leaders feel that talent is the #1 priority at their company, and Talent Acquisition plays that vital role of bringing in the right talent in. The efficiency of the recruiting function can make or break a business. So a question arises: How should leaders measure the recruiting function and, more importantly, make it more efficient?
North-star metrics for recruiting
The global recruiting trends report by Linkedin states that the quality of hire and the time to hire continue to be the true north-star metrics for recruiting.
- Quality of hire (length of time a new hire stays at the company) is the top priority for 60% talent leaders
- Time to hire (time it takes to fill a requisition) is the top priority for 28% of talent leaders
Quality of hire is largely dependent on the sourcing channels and is a function of many variables such as compensation, employer brand, availability of talent, etc. While time to hire is largely a function of efficiency, or lack thereof, of internal processes.
Quality of hire depends a lot on many external factors which may not be under our control, but we can exercise better control on the time to hire. So, when we look at improving the efficiency of the recruiting process, the low-hanging fruit is the time to hire.
Time to fill a position depends on the following:
- Time to source
- Time to screen
- Time to interview
Reducing time to hire
The Deloitte 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report notes that the top three sources for quality hires are employee referrals, professional networking, and internal employees. All three sources are unpredictable, and it’s difficult to control the speed of sourcing.
However, screening is still the most time-consuming part of recruiting. 52% of the talent leaders say that the hardest part of recruitment is screening candidates from a large applicant pool. The reason being that screening is an extremely tedious and manual process. On an average, a recruiter spends up to 23 hours screening profiles to close one position. This is because an average job opening receives more than 250 applicants, but 75% of the applicants are not qualified for the job and have to be filtered out by the recruiter.
Given the large volume of manual work this process entails, it is not only inefficient but also prone to errors and human bias. With increasing focus on skill-based hiring, recruiters are spending more time going through the skills, knowledge, and competencies. A challenge with that is every recruiter will not understand all the skills for a given role, hence they end up spending more time and making more mistakes.
Automated screening in a skill-based recruiting process
An automated skill assessment-driven approach can significantly reduce the time spent on the manual screening of a profile. Instead of spending time on the detailed screening of all the profiles, the following automated approach can be used:
- Use the ATS for minimum qualification screening such as years of experience, location, etc.
- Automatically administer a skill-test based for the role
An automated screening process based on skill-assessment allows the recruiters to focus on building the top of the funnel with more good quality candidates while maintaining the quality of those shortlisted.
A well-designed assessment can help you assess different skills of the candidates, which in a regular recruitment process would be discovered much later – typically in the interviewing stage. It also reduces false-negatives, which occur in processes that depend solely on manual resumes.
Reducing time to interview
In addition to reducing the time spent screening potential hires, skill assessments also help in a significant reduction of time spent interviewing candidates. A thorough skill test will
- Eliminate unqualified applicants that miss the eye of manual screening, hence saving time spent interviewing candidates who are not suitable for the role
- Eliminate at least one round of telephone or in-person interview
In case of technical hiring, the time spent interviewing is significant. According to Werner Vogels, the CTO of AWS, his engineers spend up to 30–40% of their time hiring. It is not uncommon to have 4–5 rounds of interviews in technical recruiting. Which means the quality of shortlisting can significantly impact the total time to interview. Under-qualified candidates at the interview stage will further increase the time spent for interviews. As mentioned above, skill assessment can help you eliminate such profiles and eliminate at least one round of interview from the process because the candidate has already been screened for the necessary skills.
A final note on reducing time to hire
If manual, time-intensive tasks are replaced by a more efficient automated process, then recruiters can spend more time working on planning and sourcing quality profiles. Automated screening through skill assessment is a powerful tool to reduce the time spent screening candidates. It also impacts the time spent interviewing candidates while improving the quality of hiring.
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