Tag Archive for Changing the recruitment process

We don’t want you to apply

I’ve been talking quite a lot recently about the candidate experience, and where it might be breaking down. Usually, when we are talking candidate experience we are really talking about the application process, and how much the technology isn’t really working.

When I first go in to a business to look at their recruiting process, with a view to taking them social, one of the first places I look is the drop off rates. I want to know the ratio of click-throughs to people who actually apply, and tellingly number of people who start the application process and then drop out. I’m looking to see how far they go and where they are taking the decision to quit. Looking for trends in where they are making the decision that it is not really worth the bother. If there is a lot of click-throughs but a low number of people starting to complete the application process, the problem usually lies in the landing page.

Typical reasons for drop off is things like taking people out of channel and in to an ATS, or to a career site. If the candidates are in Facebook, then the application process needs to stay there. The drop off rate when you don;t runs around 45% on average. Another problem is when clicking on a link takes you to a registration page rather than a job or job content. I think many people underestimate what a big step it can be for people to apply for a job. If they are not sold on the opportunity when you start asking for information then the chances are that they are going to have a change of heart. If they are arriving by mobile and need to bookmark the job or e-mail it to themselves, only 50% ever bother revisiting. Candidate research is showing that people are only applying for jobs that they think they have a chance of getting an interview.

Job seeker fatigue is showing that unless they think they have a good chance of getting through the application process, then they are not going to start it, and fear wasting time before ending up in a black hole. information on requirements need to be clear and transparent to get the conversions in to applicants.

With all of these barriers, my big question is why we ask people to apply at all? I don’t think it is really necessary in the data age. All the information we need as recruiters to make decisions on who we want to apply is for the most part available on-line, all we need to be able to do is access it. My view is that it would be so much more efficient for everyone if we asked people to express interest rather than push them in to a lengthy application process.

Recruiters don’t normally look at candidates until the technology has vetted them. What I’m seeing is that this is no guarantee that the candidates left will fit the bill, or that the best suited candidates may well have either dropped out been vetted out by the machines. It’s a broken process, and why do we do things this way? Is it because it’s the most efficient way of doing things or just because we always have? I suspect the latter.

If candidates were to express interest rather than apply, and the recruiters got a look at their profile and details, then they can make a decision on the direction the candidate should be taking. If their details look like a match, then direct them to the application process or assessments. If they look a good candidate but not right for the role, direct them in to an easy sign up talent network, and if they just don’t look right, you can manage the rejection process in the best possible way. This has to be better for candidates and i believe better for the recruiters. What do you think?




A different type of diversity #WorldAtOne #CIETT2012

I’ve been asked to be a guest on World at One on Monday on Radio 4. It’s not guaranteed of course, there might be something more important than recruiting on Monday, but all being well I’m going to be talking about diversity. Not in the traditional or legal sense, but in terms of hiring people who are just different, and why this is important, as well as changing recruitment thinking to make sure that you are not hiring the same people because you only source from the same place.
My thinking is that the world in general is for the most part, in a bit of a mess. We are trying to fix a whole host of problems with the same type of people who made them. In politics, if there was an election tomorrow I really wouldn’t know who to vote for because they really do all appear to be the same whatever the badge they might be wearing. Business has been mostly doing much the same thing. Hiring a “type”. Promoting a “type”. Rewarding conformity over different, creative thinking, and that all begins with hiring.
One of the things I’ve noticed about on-line communities and networks, is how many people build their networks around people like them, who come from the same places, like the same things and do the same job. I can understand the reassurance of only really hanging out with people who all agree and pat each other. Comfort in being the same and thinking the same, and being as one. The problem with this is that there is no new thinking. No challenge to the status quo because that’s not “how we do things around here.” Theres no new learning or thinking because people like you tend to think like you and know what you know. It becomes an old boys network. A mutual love in. Something i would describe as a cliquemunity where your face fits or you don’t fit.
I went to #CIETT2012 this week, organised by the REC. Kevin Green and the team did a brilliant job of putting on a conference that was a break from the usual offering with 2 hours of unconference and some of different people running tracks rather than presentations. When I look at the REC now, I think Kevin has done a brilliant job of changing their outlook for the benefit of their members. I know that this hasn’t always been popular or easy, and when he was first appointed there was plenty of consternation that the REC had opted for someone from the HR world rather than recruiting, but for me, it’s a decision that has paid dividends in changing the way things are done at the only real trade body for recruiters. They are no longer a private members club, and that is what businesses need to become. They need to be different, but not too many are getting the message.

Diversity of talent is an issue that is organisation wide. You are not going to fix the new business problems with the same people who caused them, and radical times need radical solutions that begins with a mind-set to accept the difference and try something new. The Footsie 100 and Fortune 500 companies largely control the economy and influence the way nations think and act. If we take recruiting back to the entry-level, they are still hiring from the same Universities for interns and new hires. The same type of people who studied the  same subjects and got the same marks. Might be new people, but its new people in the same mould. The on-boarding process is geared to get new people to conform. To be like we were if you want to get on. You have to look the same, think the same and talk the same if you want to fit in and get on. You won’t fix the problems with the same thinking that created the problem in the first place, and you won’t get new thinking when you hire a series of clones.

I’m reminded of a quote I heard a while ago: “If we all think the same, some of us are irrelevant. ” If we look at the approach taken by the highly successful tech companies that have emerged and flourished over the last decade, their approach echoes this. I’m seeing trends emerging like flexible working, managing work rather than hours, interviewing for culture fit rather than fit to a specific job and other similar initiatives. It’s well documented that Google work to the philosophy of fail often, fail quickly, fail cheaply. Facebook live by the mantra of move fast and break things. LinkedIn believes that the platform is always in beta. It took different types of people to build these businesses. Different types of people who didn’t fit the usual mold.

On the radio show I’m going to talk about 3 things that I think would change the way companies recruit. It means turning the recruitment process on its head and looking at fit before capability, and intentionally targeting people who are different to the people you have now.

1: Sourcing from different places in particular universities.

2: Matching to culture.

3: Auditioning for work over interviewing.

I really enjoyed #CIETT2012. I got a real sense that there is an acknowledgment that things need to change, and they are not really working as they are. It’s time to think different and stop doing what we’ve always done in the attraction and recruitment process. Go hire some crazy ones.