If there are recruiting challenges that many of us are familiar with, it is all about working with limited resources. They can come in the limits of time, physical human help as well as tools and technologies you can leverage. 

At the time of writing this, the world is reeling from a global economic shutdown related to the Coronavirus. Millions of people worldwide have been laid off or furloughed and recruiters – if they are still hiring – probably find themselves recruiting without all the resources they would like. It’s a challenge that many of us in recruiting space must learn to overcome, ultimately with the goal of building a workflow that helps you cover all ground with the right strategy and technology.

When your team is reduced, you are forced to either carry all the burdens yourself or do some smart work to get ahead of the problems. I don’t need to tell you that. If you try to do all the work yourself, you will burn out. That leads to a cascade of other problems, so you need to avoid this at all costs. Here are some ways you can consider this:

Give Candidates Real Expectations

Explain your situation to candidates. Help them know the reality and be careful of the promises you make if you don’t have a way to make sure they come true. Some ways you can do this:

 

  • Update a banner on your careers page or on each job description noting that your staff is reduced and you are working as hard as you can, but request patience from applicants. 


  • Use your Applicant System’s auto response feature to personally email applicants, telling them (again) that you’re working with a reduced staff and you hope to get back to people as soon as possible.  

  • Use your email’s “vacation” responder to email people with a note explaining how you’re trying hard to get through everything, but sometimes you miss. If they need to reach you urgently, how to do it. 

  • When you finish a call with an exceptional candidate, don’t hang up until you’ve set up another time to talk. Book it on the calendar. Tell them, “I may have an update before then, but let’s set aside time on Wednesday, just in case.” Make a meeting then and there. Invite them so it’s on both your calendars.  By the way, this tip is brilliant, though it is very high touch. You want to keep this ace up your sleeve to keep track of candidates you feel strongly about. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Hear more from Robert Merrill about building a great candidate experience on his episode of Coffee with Hiretual

Ask Hiring Teams for Help


Recruiting, for some reason, seems to be the only ones who do a lot of the work relative to recruiting, other than those pesky interviews. Ask your team members to help you make some hiring decisions. They want this position filled perhaps even more than you do. Let them put some skin in the game:

 

  • Ask members of the team to help you screen resumes from applicants to develop a short-list

     

  • Ask team members to take first-round interview calls (that’s right, before even you talk to each candidate). I recommend you coach them to NOT talk about compensation or timing. Just the facts of the role, some light technical screen outs, and then they give a score. Should be no longer than 30 min calls at the most.

     

  • Ask hiring teams to commit to focused interviews and actionable feedback either in your system or according to your process within 24 hours after interviews are held. Remind them that tracking them down to submit feedback is a waste of time for both of you. 

     

  • If you find discrepancies between what you (and the job posting) understand the role is supposed to be and what the team is measuring on, call it out. Feel free to STOP EVERYTHING “Andon cord-style”, if necessary, to make sure no minute of any candidate interaction is wasted. Get your team to agree on that from your very first interaction, and then hold them accountable to this.

Automate, Automate, Automate

A few of the things I will recommend in this section boil down to my unofficial axiom for recruitment automation

Automate the things computers do well, so you can do the things humans do well.

It is a little silly that, in 2020, we automate things like sending engineers to do programming tests with online tools but we still call them on the phone to ask about comp expectations and book meetings. 

 Even worse, we automate the parts of our processes that deserve the most-human touch. Such as rejecting someone from a position…especially if they have succeeded through several rounds. Nothing is worse than a blanket email saying “after careful consideration” you chose someone else after the candidate met with nine people and the CEO including that one interview where they had to take a Zoom meeting at 11 PM. Not cool. 

Some of our thinking is backwards. 

At the end of the day, it all comes down to empathy. Understanding that everyone is being affected by the pandemic in some way or another is key to helping both your team and your clients. By keeping these three things in mind, you can become a proactive problem solver, which is exactly what we need to make the most out of the market that we’re going to be in for a while. 

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