24 ways to improve your recruitment process without using a recruiter
Not using a recruiter to do your hiring? No problem! The most important thing is to make sure you have a clear and effective hiring process when going down this path.
With minimal structure in place, businesses can find that the hiring process is drawn out, confusing and at times, not a great experience for future candidates. This can make it even harder to fill the role and tbh, we’re not about that life.
If you want to nail the recruitment process sans recruiter, we’ve got your back. Creative Natives founder, Ryan Kelly has put together 24 tips gathered from over 10 years of recruitment experience, to help you put your best foot forward and ensure you get the best hire for your business. Win-win!
So many companies make the mistake of expecting candidates to not only be able to do every skill under the sun, but to also want to do it all. It’s often too much for one person.
Before going to market, priortise which skills are a must have, which ones can be taught and which are bonus skills. If you are replacing someone, it’s natural to want someone similar. However, keep in mind the reason that person is leaving is probably because they outgrew the role, so look at people who can do 70 – 80% of the job, not 100% of the job.
Get the interview process sorted before you start looking
Decide who will be involved, coordinate diaries and make sure that each stage is unique and designed to find out specific information. There’s nothing worse than a candidate being asked the same questions by multiple people – it makes your team look disorganised and that they don’t communicate.
Craft your advert and job descriptions carefully
Consider hiring a copywriter or getting someone creative at your workplace to write these to ensure that they are reflective of your company and the culture you want to portray.
The job advert is designed to get people excited about working at your company and the job in general. The job description should outline the day-to-day of the job, as well as tell candidates what’s in it for them if they join your workplace.
How do you write a great job ad? The team at idibu give some great tips and tricks.
Be a bit more careful than Bruce here – via GIPHY
Think about the words you use
Certain words will actively encourage and discourage some people, so if you are trying to be inclusive, avoid terminology such as ‘must have’ and ‘minimum of X years experience’ and replace them with ‘good to have’. Don’t make things a deal breaker for applicants.
Be clear about your budget for the salary
Have a set budget from the beginning. Don’t change your mind part way through, lowball candidates or do a bait and switch, it’ll bite you in the ass in the long run.
Not sure how much you should be paying a new hire? Download our Salary Guide here.
Display the salary range
Where possible, have the salary range displayed on the advert and/or in the job description. Not only will it encourage more applications, but it’ll ensure you get candidates at the right level applying, saving you reading through non-relevant applications.
Be open to part time hires
There are so many great candidates looking for part time roles, you’ll attract a greater pool of talent this way.
We have five great reasons why you should hire a part time employee – check them out here!
Utilise video content
Candidates want to see what they’re getting themselves into and it’s never been easier to shoot a video on your phone, giving them a sneak peak into your organisation. People buy into people, and the more personality on show the better. Your video doesn’t need to be super slick and polished, if anything, mistakes come across as far more authentic.
Our mates at Head On are great at this – check out their video!
Put your business where your hires are
Ask yourself, where does your audience spend time and consume information? For example, if you’re hiring a social media role, is posting on TikTok or Instagram going to be more effective than Seek? If you’re hiring a managing director, maybe advertise it on LinkedIn and Seek rather than Instagram.
Get the information you need
To help you find the right culture fit, request applicants to answer two or three questions as part of their cover letter. This will give them the opportunity to stand out, show initiative and demonstrate they understand the vibe of your business.
Share your EVP
Make sure to share your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) with potential hires. Your EVP outlines your culture, the way you work and what it’s like to be an employee of your business, giving candidates an idea of why they should join the business.
If you’re not sure how to put one together or want to improve your current offering, download our guide, How to create an Employee Value Proposition.
Create a traffic light system
Work out the key areas that you are looking to interview against, (maybe it’s skills or culture or values) and have questions pre planned that are designed to find out if they are a match. Based on the responses, get each of the interview team to rank the answers green, amber and red. When it comes to making a final decision, you’ll be able to go off evidence, rather than gut feeling.
Have no more than three interviews
The whole interview process should be two – three interviews max. We advise against conducting only one interview, as this may come across as rushed to the candidate and increases risk to the long term success of the role, by not sussing out your options carefully enough.
How the interview process could be set out:
– First stage: 30 minute meet and greet over video
– Second stage: formal interview in person with a potential task to present back, ideally completed within a 2 week period.
– Third stage (optional): an informal chat with the team they would be working in – maybe over a coffee – with to ensure they’re the right culture fit.
Any longer and the process becomes a not-so-great experience for the candidate.
Give candidates an ice breaker
If your candidate is coming into the office for an interview, great! When sending the confirmation email, tell the candidate who they’ll be meeting with and a couple of fun facts about their interviewer/s to help start the conversation. You could also ask for a couple of fun facts about the candidate and give them to the interviewers.
Make your task hypothetical
A task is not an opportunity to gain free ideas and strategies from candidates that you then don’t hire. We hear about this too often and it’s such a dirty move. If you do require a task, create a hypothetical brief that takes no longer than one hour to complete.
Or make your task a 30/60/90 day plan
Another idea for a task is a 30/60/90 day plan. The advantage of going through this is that you’ll gain a clear view of what their plan for the first few months in the role is.
If somebody has taken the time to do a task or produce a piece of work for you, why not thank them in the form of payment for their time or a voucher for a local business – it’s the small things that count. They will no doubt tell friends and family about their positive experience, spreading the word about how awesome your business is.
Don’t play it cool
Don’t play it cool and take a long time to move candidates through the hiring process. If a candidate has impressed you, let them know sooner rather than later, as chances are that the other businesses they’re interviewing with are impressed too. Make your intentions known early on so you don’t miss out on them.
Use the reference check to your advantage
Don’t just tick the boxes you have to tick on the reference check. Use it as an opportunity to understand more about the candidate and what it would be like to have them work at your company. Ask about how they work best, how they like to be managed and any other burning questions you have.
Let your team get to know the candidate
One thing we do at Creative Natives before formally offering someone the role is to invite them to a team lunch at a local pub or restaurant. It’s a great opportunity for them to get to know the team in a casual setting and decreases the chance of pre-job jitters!
Give the candidate some space
The decision to accept a new job is a big one, so give them the mental space to mull it over, consult with the important people with their life and make a decision.
Start planning their onboarding
The process doesn’t stop at the candidate accepting your offer. Ensuring their first impression of working at your business is a good one is vital, so you need to prepare.
Keep in touch between the offer and the start date, make sure their diary is relatively full (with some down time between meetings) in their first week, that they’re partnered up with a buddy and have a checklist of everything they need to do and people they need to talk too. A good onboarding experience can do wonders.
Consider a mid-week start date
The first week is always exhausting and is a massive information overload. Here at Creative Natives, our new starters begin mid week – it’s less overwhelming and tiring for them this way.
No one wants to feel like this after their first week at a new job – via GIPHY
Check in with your new starter in the first few weeks
Make sure there’s no issues, they’re feeling settled and ask for honest feedback on your business. Their new eyes could give you real insight and areas to improve.
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And if you’ve decided that you would prefer to use a recruiter for your hiring needs, we can help! Get in touch with our expert team of consultants across marketing, PR, creative and digital at firstname.lastname@example.org.