3 ways to improve your recruiting process

December is here and the end of the year is just around the corner. For many people, this means enjoying all of the rest and relaxation that the winter holidays have to offer. It also means taking advantage of the chance this period offers to look back introspectively at the triumphs of the last 12 months – as well as the things they might have done differently. Business owners and executives can use this retrospection to examine everything ranging from quarterly sales fluctuations to the various processes of human capital management. 

Recruitment looms large in the HCM landscape, as it ought to: Without the right practices and resources, building up a workforce whose performance can surpass that of your competitors simply isn't possible. Take a good look at the current state of your recruiting and onboarding processes and consider the aspects of them that might be in need of overhaul. From there, you'll want to make sure you include the following three essential steps in your recruitment improvement strategy. 

Make the open position – and its posting – look attractive 

First impressions often matter a great deal. In this case, the aesthetic appearance of a job listing, compared to those for other, similar positions, will play a notable part in which roles a job seeker applies to and which ones they decide to toss by the wayside. According to Rework magazine, this caveat applies to everything from the precise wording of the job description to various visual aspects (namely images and video, or the lack thereof). Even your company's logo can factor into perception of the job among potential applicants.

If it's at all feasible to do so, adding some visual elements to your listing is always worth a shot. But if words are all that you have to work with, be sure to make the most of them: Highlight essential, specific details about the position's prerequisites, expectations and its opportunities for advancement, in clear and appealing language. Workable recommended avoiding clickbait language, as such tactics can be associated with scam job offers. Additionally, your goal isn't just to sell job seekers on the particular role but rather on the merits of the entire organization. Include notable details about company culture that emphasize how the office's staff isn't merely a workforce, but a community. 

Last but not least, take into account the following research from a 2016 CareerBuilder study, cited by the Society for Human Resource Management: Sixty percent of online job applicants abandoned applications that they found to be overly complicated. You don't want to be part of that statistic, so make your application as straightforward as possible.

Solicit input from non-HR personnel about the recruiting process 

While recruiting generally requires skills that those in HR have developed over time and should rightfully be proud of, a certain myopia can set in when looking at dozens of resumes each day and embedding yourself in the nitty-gritty of hiring. Reaching out to others in the company for feedback and assistance helps to mitigate the risks associated with a siloed departmental mindset, and this is definitely the case with recruitment. (If last year's hiring fell short of your expectations, it's even more important to get a more objective view.)

The Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association explained the importance of gaining input from supervisors – and perhaps veteran personnel as well – who will be working with the candidate on a regular basis if hired. These team members will have the most salient understanding of the position's requirements, as well as a more granular perspective on the day-in, day-out experience associated with carrying out such tasks. You can request their assistance with interview questions to ensure you're making the right queries for the job's parameters. Also, you may want to have someone at a managerial level sit in on the interviews, once you've narrowed down the list of candidates from the initial salvo of applicants. 

Strive for consistency 

Recruitment isn't an exact science or algorithm, and thus can't ever be perfect. You'll keep striking out from time to time, either with a candidate you choose who falls short of their apparent potential or a blue-chip talent you pass on who subsequently excels working for a competitor of yours. But you can nonetheless minimize the frequency of such mistakes by bringing a greater level of consistency to the hiring process. According to the RPOA, this begins with creating a recruitment experience that's uniform for all candidates seeking a particular position. There are exceptions, as some unique questions will arise out of particular interviews, but the essential script of the hiring process should stay the same, limiting the chances of any bias (conscious or unconscious) factoring into decision-making. 

Including tests for certain facts or skills – such as copyediting, coding, software usage, typing speed and so on – can also make hiring more consistent, and is yet another instance in which assistance from outside the HR department will come in handy. Teaming up with a third-party staffing agency to handle some of these processes may bring further clarity and uniformity to the complexities of recruiting.