Talent Acquisition

The ABC’s of recruitment: part 2

November 7, 2018

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The ABC’s of recruitment: part 2

17 min read

Understanding recruitment terms is essential when you want to be successful in the recruitment space. Like any other industry, recruitment personnel have their very own industry-specific language. Below we have listed and explained the most important recruitment terms that you should know. This article is part two of a two-part article series. Click here to read part one.

Culture Fit

In order to establish cultural fit, we must first define company culture. Company culture is a culmination of the environmental factors of an employer’s workplace. This can be comprised of anything that affects the company’s “personality”. Company culture is developed through a combination of the intangible and tangible aspects of the work environment. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

Intangible Culture Markers

  • Values
  • Beliefs
  • Goals
  • Motivations
  • Employee personalities
  • Diversity (in life experiences, religions, ideas, viewpoints, etc.)
  • Unwritten rules and expectations
  • Attitudes
  • Behaviors
  • Hierarchy and communication direction (top-down, horizontal, etc.)
  • Energy
  • Ethics

Tangible Culture Markers

  • Language
  • Decisions
  • Logos and symbols
  • Employee storytelling
  • Work routines
  • Desks
  • Chairs
  • Art
  • Color scheme

The list can go on and on! Workflow, employee satisfaction, collaboration, and company success are all impacted by aspects of company culture. So how do you establish a culture that potential candidates want to be a part of? How do you know that a candidate is a cultural fit?

Culture Fit

A culture fit has a certain degree to which their current work beliefs, values, and practices match up with those of the company at which they work or are applying to work. A common misconception about cultural fit is that it has to do solely with one specific race, religion, or even personality. However, this is not the case. Many times, candidates can be a culture fit when their work value and ethics mesh well within the company. The candidate would add diversity to the company that would contribute to the overall culture in a positive way. There are some key guidelines for deciding if a candidate is a culture fit for your company.

How to Define a Culture Fit

In this section, we will briefly talk about ways you can present your company culture to candidates, as well as ways to tell if those candidates would be a culture fit.

  • Use a careers site to showcase company culture. This way, potential candidates can hopefully decide for themselves if they are a cultural match before they even apply to the position.
  • During an interview, get the whole team involved. Introduce the candidate to at least the direct team members that they will be working with.
  • Observe how they respond. Employers want everyone to get along in order to enhance productivity. Gauge whether or not you think this will happen with the candidate.
  • Use surprise tests rather than questions that the candidate can rehearse before the interview. You won’t be able to tell the true personality of the candidate if they have Googled interview questions and can recite them with their eyes closed before you even ask. It’s hard to fake personality, but it’s also hard to tell if a candidate is being genuine. An interview is not exactly a natural setting. Try to create this by doing something unexpected. We’re not saying to start cursing profusely at the candidate (unless you would do this on a daily basis, which we don’t recommend either). Rather, drop a pen on the floor and see if the interviewee offers to pick it up. Reflexes like that can give you more insight than you think.
  • Take the candidate out to lunch. A person’s table manners can also be indicative of their personality. If your company is highly formal, for example, someone that eats with their mouth open and elbows on the table might not be the best cultural fit.
  • Scope out their social profiles. If you haven’t already, check out the candidate’s latest posts on Facebook. With all the information readily available on the internet, it would be a waste not to check to see if there are any red flags.

Talent Pool

Contrary to how it sounds, a talent pool isn’t a swimming pool filled with talented people. Well, it sort of is in a virtual way. A talent pool is a compilation of potential candidates sourced for utilization at a later date. Recruitment agencies and companies make use of talent pools to streamline the hiring process. Regardless of whether or not you are actively hiring, talent pools serve as a reserve for interesting talent found at any time. This can be dipped into, so to speak, when you are ready to hire for an open position.

Why Use a Talent Pool?

There are various ways in which you can utilize talent pools, but here are the most beneficial:

  • To keep track of talent that may be better suited for a position at a later date
  • To save time when hiring needs arise
  • To ensure the right hire
  • To have a reserve of qualified candidates when a position needs to be filled quickly
  • To continuously assess talent needs
  • To revisit candidates from previous applications

Where to Source for Talent Pools

Talent pools can be used by recruiters and hiring teams, alike. They are an easy way to compile all the talent found when using a sourcing extension. It keeps track of them in an organized fashion so that when the opportunity arises to contact them for a position, it is easy to do so. But where do you find the talent to fill them up, and what tools allow you to create them? Here are some ideas:

  • Create talent pools with an ATS (applicant tracking system)
  • Use sourcing extensions to import candidate info with one click in your browser
  • Source from:
    • Social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, wherever!)
    • Internal employees
    • Employee networks
    • Forums
    • Blogs
    • Resume search engines

Employee Referral

An employee referral is an internal form of recruitment that utilizes current employee networks. Employees are a company’s best ambassadors; rally them together to enhance the hiring process. Potential candidates can be identified and recruited by any employee, but especially those that are well-briefed on the position that needs to be filled and the qualifications for the said position.

Why Should my Company Use Employee Referrals?

If you already have a recruitment strategy in place, you may be wondering why you would need the help of your current employees. Here are some of the reasons that enlisting your employees to be part of the hiring process is a good idea:

  • Employees know the company best and can promote it to the right talent
  • Expands your visibility as an employer
  • Increases your chances of finding a cultural fit
  • Referral incentives can be used to maximize potential (but be careful! You don’t want an overload of unqualified candidates. Make sure that the incentive focuses on a reward for the employee that refers the hired candidate.)
  • Referred candidates are quicker to hire
  • Employees that were hired based on a referral are generally happier with their job requirements and fit within the company
  • Happy employees = productivity, and success

Tools to Implement an Employee Referral Program

Now that you understand that employee referrals can only benefit your business as an employer, it’s important to delineate the tools that can be used to implement these referrals. Communication is key in employee referrals because you want the best possible talent for the position. Here are some tools to think about in order to make this happen:

  • Sourcing extensions
  • Careers sites for easy job listing and linking
  • Job description templates for clear guidelines to give employees
  • Applicant tracking systems (ATS) for organization and hiring workflow

Recruitment Strategy

A recruitment strategy is the plan of action that an employer or agency has for the recruitment process. It is often put in place when an employer or agency is planning on hiring to fill a role or roles within a company. It should outline the employer’s hiring needs, timeline, goals, and recruitment tools to use in order to achieve those goals. A recruitment strategy may seem time-consuming, but it is preferred to be used. It will save time and money in the long run, as it ensures a proper hire. Taking the time to carefully plan a recruitment strategy (and tweak it along the way as the business grows and molds itself and its needs) is crucial to optimal company growth. A well thought out recruitment strategy is a solid foundation that every business needs before hiring.

What should be included?

Every employer will have a different recruitment strategy because hiring needs vary from company to company. A startup one will look different than one of a big corporation. However, that doesn’t mean that the startup shouldn’t have one in place! In fact, it may be even more important. Although the strategies will differ, there is a general guideline of what needs to be included:

  1. Hiring needs (open positions, benefits offered, budget, timeline, etc.)
  2. Goals
  3. Roles of the hiring team’s members
  4. Recruitment tools
  5. Hiring Process Steps
  6. Key Performance Indicator

A recruitment strategy can and should be tweaked as the recruitment process moves along. Optimize your hiring process as your needs change, data becomes clearer, and talent pools start filling up. Pay attention to what works and what doesn’t, and craft a strategy that works for your company.

Application Form

An application form is a blank questionnaire that employers require potential candidates to fill out when applying to a job opening. These application forms are usually completed and submitted online. Employers can make them using tools included in an ATS (Applicant Tracking System). Every application form will be different depending on the position, and the company’s hiring needs. The goal is to evaluate a prospective candidate’s qualifications.

Although these forms will vary, there are certain items that should be included in all application forms:

  • Personal information (name, contact info, etc.)
  • Reasons for applying
  • Competency questions

However, competency questions may be a separate part of the interview process, allowing the candidate to showcase skills through a trial day. Also, to shorten the interview process, employers can introduce screening questions during the application form that serve as knockout questions. Knockout questions allow quick disqualification of candidates that just do not fit the bill. Think about what is necessary for the candidate to have in order to fill the basic needs of the position, such as availability, relocation, salary expectations, citizenship, and communication skills.

How do I create an application form?

  • Establish the purpose of the job and what you are looking for in a candidate
  • Organize each section mentioned above, adding where necessary
  • Have clear requirements to use for pre-screening candidates
  • Have an Applicant Tracking System that lets you craft an application form, as well as organize your hiring workflow.

An ATS may also be able to help you schedule and organize the interview process, allowing the filtering out of candidates step-by-step. If you carefully plan your hiring workflow, you can get to the root of not only a candidate’s skill set but their culture fit, as well. It’s important to constantly optimize your hiring process, using data and analytics from an ATS. This will ensure the right hire and keep track of where you are along the way.

Recruitment Process

A recruitment process or a hiring process is the steps which employers take to attract, select, hire, and onboard talent. The goal of a recruitment process is to select the right candidates to hire, often compiling talent pools (lists of talent to keep for future use) and, when the opportunity arises, filling a position or multiple positions with the best possible candidate. This can be a combination of qualifications and overall fit.

The recruitment process can vary greatly from employer to employer, as each business has different hiring needs and company culture. However, there is a guideline that outlines the basic steps involved in the process:

  1. Define hiring needs (job description, type of employee, benefits offered, etc.)
  2. Search for talent (using a sourcing tool, employee referral, etc.)
  3. Keep talent pools (whether you are ready to hire or not!)
  4. Create a careers site (promote your employer brand)
  5. Post job openings (on job boards, forums, blogs, etc.)
  6. Advertise the position
  7. Screen candidates
  8. Conduct interviews
  9. Salary negotiation
  10. Hire!

This list may be edited according to an employer’s own timeline and needs, and thus, the order may shift around as necessary.

Who should be involved in the recruitment process?

  • Hiring Manager
  • Recruiter
  • CEO/Founder/Co-Founder(s)
  • Manager/Supervisor of the new hire
  • Coworkers/Peers that will be directly involved with the new hire

Hiring together is the best way to ensure the right hire. The whole team that will be working directly with the new hire should be involved, allowing for ideas to bounce off of each other and employees to use their professional experience and networks to attract new talent. Utilizing current employees in various hiring roles can offer different perspectives and different candidate impressions to be collected.

Job Advertising

Job advertisement is the process by which employers and recruiters promote open positions through a variety of channels. It is a key part of the recruitment process and enhances visibility for available job openings, with the ultimate goal of attracting and converting talent. It is similar to employer branding, but it is focused on the available open positions rather than the employer as a whole. However, the employer’s image is also an important factor in the job advertising process.

Why Advertise a Job

It is essential to do some sort of advertising, whether it be paid or completely free! Otherwise, your open positions won’t gain many potential candidates. The following are some reasons to consider putting some time and effort into creating a job advertising strategy:

  • Increases visibility
  • Enhances the chance of hiring the right talent
  • Promotes employer brand
  • Attracts and convert more talent
  • Saves time and money you would waste making the wrong hire
  • Makes for a quick hiring decision
  • Can be easy with the right recruiting tools

Ways to Advertise a Job

Promotion of an open job may seem daunting, but there are a variety of simple ways to do so that you can choose from. Here are some recommendations of ways to go about job advertisement:

  • Create a careers site
  • Post on job boards
  • Make flyers
  • Utilize employee networks
  • Create a Facebook ad
  • Make social media posts

Job Requirement

When an employer is looking to fill a position, the job description will include what are called job requirements. These criteria are used to outline the qualifications necessary for an applicant to be considered for the position. Hiring staff often use job description templates, tweaking them to meet their specific expectations by outlining the components necessary for a candidate to have in order to excel if hired.

Examples & What to Include in a Job Requirement

To illustrate further, we will take a look at the requirements section ONLY of this Software Developer job description from Recruitee’s helpful template selection:

Job requirements:

  • [X] year(s) experience in developing software.
  • A strong portfolio of published products and projects.
  • Advanced level of understanding with C++, PHP, JavaScript, and Python.
  • In-depth knowledge of SQL, ORM technologies, and common web frameworks.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication in [X] language.
  • [X] degree in Computer Science or relevant fields.

As you may have noticed, the requirements are generally the experience and skills/knowledge that the candidate must possess to excel in the position. For this Software Developer position, you may decide where the ‘[X]’ is located to put in a certain number of years or level of education that you would require, dependent upon how advanced you expect the candidate to be. This will, of course, change from position to position and company to company, but the general idea remains the same: to let candidates know what is required of them before they apply.

Why Outline Job Requirements

Now that you know what goes into the outlining of job requirements, you may be wondering why you need to lay them out so clearly. Here are some reasons to do so:

  • Allows candidates to estimate how qualified they are
  • Otherwise, candidates may not apply…
  • …or too many, unqualified candidates will apply
  • Saves time and money in the long run
  • Gives an expectation to the candidates, future employees, and the employees that will be directly working with them
  • Can improve SEO (Job seekers may search for positions based on their level of expertise rather than the title, itself! So be clear and not gimmicky)

If the applicant is in the right location, understands the duties, and accepts the salary range, the job requirements will, hopefully, let them know whether or not it will be worthwhile to apply (for them and the employer). This will benefit you tremendously when parsing resumes and organizing candidate information in your ATS (applicant tracking system).

Recruitment Agency

A recruitment agency is a firm separate from an employer that is looking to fill a position or positions. The agency is enlisted to source talent that would be suited for the role(s). Some recruiters work as independent contractors and do similar jobs, but a recruitment agency is typically a team of recruiters that are allocated to certain recruitment tasks. The recruiters will reach out to potential candidates to inform them about the position and attempt to source them for that position.

There are different methods of doing so, but typically recruiters will use a careers site with a job listing, job boards, social media (LinkedIn InMail is infamous), cold calls, etc. This may also differ depending on how much the employer, themselves, have already taken care of (i.e., job description, careers site).

Why They are Used

The recruitment process takes time and resources, and if an organization is lacking in those areas, they may want to outsource to a recruitment agency. Many employers fear that if they don’t have the time and effort to properly design a hiring process, they won’t be successful. It’s too easy to get the wrong hire because all candidates will put their best foot forward when applying and interviewing. Recruitment agencies are the way to go if you don’t think you have the resources to really work on your hiring process.

On the other hand, no one knows your company and its hiring needs quite like you and your employees! For this reason, a hiring process designed with the whole team in mind is a better option. Employees have their own networks, and if they are engrossed in the company culture, they can very well be better at sourcing talent than a recruiter. In any case, as long as your recruitment team, is briefed well on the hiring expectations and work environment, it should make for a great foundation to a successful hire.

Tools that Benefit Recruiters

Whether an employer uses its own HR professionals or hires a recruitment agency, there are tools out there that help streamline and organize the process. Here are a few we recommend:

  • An ATS (Applicant Tracking System) for organizing candidate info and hiring workflow
  • A sourcing tool for collecting candidate info from around the internet
  • Careers site editors
  • Mainstream and niche job boards
  • A tool for social media promotion of job listings
  • Social media sites, like LinkedIn and Twitter

Recruitment Tool

A recruitment tool is an umbrella term for the different types of tools that can be used to streamline the hiring process for an organization or agency. The types of recruitment tools are expanding as technology is advancing, and there are easier and more efficient ways to hire because of that. Gone are the days of filing away applications in a drawer to be lost. Recruiting tools help to organize and optimize recruitment.

Here are a few examples of the available (and useful!) recruitment tools out there:

  1. ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems/Software)
  2. Collaborative Tools – tools that allow employees to interact easily
  3. Sourcing Tools
  4. Careers Site Editors
  5. Email Automation
  6. Job Description Templates

Why should I use a Recruitment Tool?

  • Save time and money
  • Run data and keep the analysis for hiring optimization
  • Organize candidates and candidate information
  • Streamline hiring workflow
  • Increase job openings’ visibility
  • Enhance employer brand
  • Allow for team hiring and collaboration
  • Ensure the right hires

Companies do not have time and money to waste on the wrong hire. It is crucial to use the right tools in order to unearth the true skill set and cultural fit of a candidate. Recruitment tools also reduce human error, often keeping a backup of applications and candidate information.

Simran is a Growth Marketer at Recruitee. He believes that hiring is the most important process in any company looking to grow and wants to help companies automate and optimize their hiring.
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