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Turning Recruitment Challenges Into Opportunities

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There is a general dissatisfaction with the way recruitment is being conducted.  Talent is harder to engage, candidate experience is poor and processes are too slow.

These aren’t educated guesses either, we have the data to back these statements up.

In the Recruitment Risk Index: Industry Perspective by Xref we discovered the main challenges facing recruiters today. We also unearthed what top priorities are for those in the industry.

Interestingly, top pain points and priorities did not always match.

For example, while 47% of recruiters see automation as a top-three challenge, only 17% rated automation as a top-three priority. This means while recruiters know their processes are slow and clunky, many aren’t planning to do anything about it right now.

Our friends at Bullhorn discovered similar insights in their 2018 Australian Recruitment Trends Report. Their data also showed that 47% of recruiters saw leveraging technology as a top-three challenge. Yet, once again, adopting new technology did not surface as a top-three priority.

Having two sets of data about recruitment challenges was an opportunity too good to pass up. We teamed up with Bullhorn in a webinar to compare data and discuss how to overcome today’s key recruitment challenges.

In this blog, we summarise key takeaways from the webinar, The Changing Recruitment Landscape: How to Overcome Today’s Key Challenges. The webinar was hosted by Lee-Martin Seymour, CEO and Co-founder of Xref and Matt Chippendale, Field Sales Executive at Bullhorn.

Key recruitment challenges

Both reports showed that key recruitment challenges facing the industry are:

  • Acquiring top talent
  • Providing a good candidate experience
  • Dealing with slow processes

Lee and Matt looked at each issue in detail. Here’s a recap.

Acquiring top talent

According to the Bullhorn report, 71% of recruiters identified a skills deficit as a top-three challenge. In addition, 41% identified candidate acquisition as a top-three priority.

Attracting talent in a skills shortage is difficult because candidates are spoilt for choice. It becomes even more difficult to attract talent when the same old methods are being used.

60% of recruiters are still relying on traditional candidate sourcing methods. This includes job boards, referrals and tapping into existing talent pools.

In fact, using job boards is still a large driver of candidate sourcing with 50% of recruiters saying they use them heavily.

The challenge here is that the best talent might not be looking on job boards. Passive candidates do not actively look for roles and active candidates aren’t always on job boards. The rise of social media and direct messaging have made it so candidates can find out about open roles without looking at a job board once!

This serves as a  significant challenge to recruiters who are stuck using the same old processes.

Providing a good candidate experience

According to Xref research, 41% of managers have lost talent due to recruitment flaws. 35% reported time to hire was one of the most frustrating elements of the process.

Both Xref and Bullhorn data revealed 31% of recruiters consider candidate experience to be a top priority.

The tide has turned in the labour market and now more than ever candidates have the luxury of choice. The power is no longer in recruiters hands, and they are increasingly competing to attract the best people for clients.

Traditional recruitment processes see skilled recruiters spend lots of time completing admin-heavy tasks. This takes time away from providing a good, or even great, candidate experience.

A great candidate experience starts with a streamlined process that puts people first. If a candidate has to jump through too many hoops and experiences long delays, they will likely opt out of the recruiting process.

Dealing with slow processes

Improving the overall recruiting process can improve talent attraction and candidate experience. As mentioned, recruiting managers are frustrated by slow processes and have lost top talent as a result.

There is a desire in the industry to make change. Xref research shows 77% of recruiters are interested in a way to streamline the reference checking process. 47% see technology and automation as a top-three challenge. Plus, 54% attribute data privacy risks to flaws in the traditional recruitment process.

Despite this only 17% of recruiters rated automation as a top-three priority. One reason for this may be because 53% of recruiters feel there is a risk of job loss in the industry due to automation. Another reason is that setting up the right technology for automation can be perceived as a resource-heavy task. Bullhorn research shows 55% of recruiters face pricing pressures and 47% see leveraging technology as a challenge.

There is a lost opportunity here are using technology properly can reduce recruiting costs. It can also free up time so recruiters can spend more time on what matters most. 

How to overcome today's key recruiting challenges

There are a few ways to combat the three challenges listed above. However, there is one thing recruiters can do that will naturally help them attract better talent and deliver a great candidate experience. As mentioned, that thing is improving the recruitment process.

A better recruitment process means recruiters can work smarter and not harder. Manual tasks are automated so processes are faster and easier. For example, with the right technology recruiters can reach out to candidates on several touch points. From job boards, to social media posts and direct messages, it can all happen with a few clicks of a button.

Faster and more efficient processes also lead to a better candidate experience. First impressions count to candidates. As much as they may be excited about a role, recruiters must also demonstrate an appreciation for the candidate’s time.

If candidate experience is to take a front seat, recruiters need to recognise the value automated solutions can offer. The right technology will automate tasks like mass candidate emails and interview scheduling. It will not however replace the human touch where it matters most.

In the webinar, Lee and Matt discussed other ways to improve talent acquisition,  candidate experience and recruitment processes. 

They are summarised below.

Tips for acquiring top talent

  • Know what candidates are looking for and promote these areas. Examples include training initiatives, promotion trajectories and company culture.
  • Build an employer or personal professional brand so candidates know who you are before you even approach them. 
  • Adopt smart tools to find great talent in as many different places as possible. 

Tips for improving candidate experience

  • Make first impressions count wherever that’s through a well-written job post or a carefully tailored direct message. 
  • Continue to engage with new recruits even after they are hired. 
  • Prioritise efficiency by making things like booking interview times and reference checking easier.  
  • Adopt tools for better engagement like feedback surveys. 

Tips for improving recruitment processes

  • Educate ourselves and each other by attending recruiting events, joining forums and setting up an internal taskforce. 
  • Find tools that will make life easier and automate manual processes. 
  • Understand the value of human experience by putting the candidate and their needs first. 

Overall, the industry as a whole needs to combat a lack of interest in innovation. There’s a whole lot of technology and ideas out there just waiting to be harnessed by recruiters. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic be sure to watch the webinar for a deeper dive into what was discussed in this blog. You can watch it below.

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