Technology best serves a business when it empowers people to cooperate together to achieve their objectives. But when it comes to recruiting, most organizations have failed to progress from a siloed approach where each department uses different technologies to work toward their goals.
The traditional recruiting tools used by most organizations, usually applicant tracking systems, were built in silos as point solutions, with only the basic needs of recruiters in mind. The needs of hiring managers were never part of the original scope, so their almost total lack of engagement with a typical ATS tool should not come as a surprise.
In the not-so-distant past, marketing and sales teams were in a similarly challenging position of using separate systems and disconnected processes to move prospects and customers through the stages of the conversion funnel from awareness to customer. Today, it’s not just expected that modern companies have constructively solved this outdated disconnect, but the most successful organizations have turned the marketing and sales partnership into a competitive advantage.
Recruiting is next in line for disruption.
Inspired by the successful and hard-won collaboration of marketing and sales, here are the 4 key concepts that should be considered table stakes for how companies approach recruiting:
Treat the funnel from “lead” to new employee as a single uninterrupted business process. Recruiters and hiring teams should understand all of the critical conversion points, from beginning to end, to minimize leakage and advance candidates progressing through each stage. This requires a shared view of all candidate sources, communication, interview notes, and feedback as appropriate for each member of the hiring team.
Define success metrics together, and understand what levers to pull at the top, middle and bottom of the funnel to achieve business targets. For position X, what’s our historical benchmark for cost per hire and time to hire? How many candidates do we need to source, and how many typically progress to interview? Do we all agree when adjustments need to be made? Clear expectations make all the difference.
Communicate specific ownership of each funnel stage, and who does what, and when. The hiring manager needs transparency into which recruitment channels are being leveraged (job advertisements, agency recruiters, referrals), and complete profiles of who is entering and moving through the talent pipeline. The recruiter needs visibility into how the rest of the hiring team is engaging with candidates and timely access to feedback. The best companies have already acknowledged the funnel is jointly owned by both teams who play equally important and symbiotic roles.
Share a single centralized platform (think Salesforce for marketing and sales) where teams agree to collaborate. Modern marketing teams work together with sales to enforce the commonly-known SLA across the company of “If it’s not in Salesforce, it doesn’t exist.” Until hiring teams operate on the same premise, they will never share the same context they need to move forward. The platform must fully engage all members of the hiring team (recruiter, HR professional and hiring manager), and enable them to track and measure all parts of the funnel in a single view.
Making this new model a success is simply predicated on the recruiter having a supportive, committed, enabled partner in their hiring manager. The gap is the traditional ATS tool from a legacy model that only partially supports the recruiter, and completely fails to engage the hiring manager.
Recruiters and hiring managers deserve the technology they need to create leverage for their partnership. We’ve already seen other functions demand and achieve this evolution, and it’s just a matter of time before it becomes de rigueur for recruiting as well. It’s time to unite hiring teams and fix recruiting.