Is your recruitment process broken?

20 May 2021
5 minute
Is your recruitment process broken

In this crucial period of change for HR and talent acquisition, our experts at Thomas wanted to understand the pain points and priorities created by post-pandemic recovery, rapid digitisation and workplace evolution.

We spoke to 500 HR and talent leaders of different sized companies across different sectors to find out: 

  • How they hire 
  • What common challenges do they face 
  • What is working in the hiring process – and what doesn’t.  

The results of the research produced some shocking truths about how HR professionals really see the recruitment landscape of today and the obstacles and opportunities of tomorrow. Take a peek into what we discovered, or you can download our full report for the bigger picture.

People problem? Or process problem?

It’s no surprise that recruitment took the backseat in 2020. Of our survey respondents, 68% said they’d slowed down and 8% stopped for a period of time completely. But as businesses settled down and we all began to readjust, the need to take hiring off ice became more urgent, with almost the same number who slowed down planning to speed up. 

which of the following best describes your recruitment plans v2

We also asked if hiring managers were prioritising internal or external recruitment and found that the majority were focussing on internal recruitment to fill existing roles and external recruitment to fill new vacancies.

This means that there’s a huge opportunity for businesses to bolster their teams with new talent. One that’s resting on their ability to find the right cultural fit, bring in the talent they want and need, and reduce the time it takes to do it.

So, what’s standing in the way?

When recruitment increases significantly, the need for recruitment software and predictive hiring solutions increases along with it. But the risk of getting it wrong increases, too.

That’s because, with more live roles and more candidates, it becomes harder to ensure a consistent experience for everyone involved. If recruitment processes aren’t grounded in objective data, for example about how people behave and learn, the risk of biased and subjective decision-making is higher. That isn’t good for both candidates and hiring managers. Companies today are likely to experience these challenges as we enter an accelerated period of recruitment, during post-pandemic recovery.

Recruitment’s varied challenges

Hiring has never been all that easy. And yet it does feel like right now is a particularly hard time to be looking for new people. Finding the right person when you can’t actually meet them in person is tough, and while video conferencing has given us ways to work together when we’re not together, it hasn’t quite nailed fostering a personal connection between strangers.

But, while remote hiring is hard to get right, the need to stay apart will end. With that comes a far more balanced approach in certain elements of hiring, particularly interviews.

Few businesses intend to go back to nine-to-five office life, and while that’s a concern for some industries, it can present exciting opportunities for many others. The door is now open for a different kind of recruitment, based on wider talent pools with fewer regional restrictions. Additionally, many will use remote interviews for some stages of the process, to avoid candidates having to travel for two or three different meetings, which would be even more beneficial for junior roles where the face-to-face meeting isn’t as important until it comes to final interview stage. 

So, with hybrid working and remote hiring likely to present new opportunities, perhaps more pressing are the other items on the laundry list of hiring headaches. Like candidate differentiation, bias, and cultural fit

We asked our survey respondents what their biggest challenges were and here’s what we found: 

Is your recruitment process broken - graph

Each of these are in some way related to process. Candidate differentiation issues come from too heavy a reliance on CVs. Bias is notably one of the most complicated things to address in recruitment, and while steps can be taken to reduce bias, it’s almost impossible to eliminate without intervention from a solution dedicated to it. Screening and assessments are time and resource intensive, and recruiters are stretched.

These challenges each present hiring managers with a distinct set of problems to respond to. And respond they must, because over half of all hires aren’t working out on some level – with a quarter not working at all.

Put simply, recruitment is broken.

Is your recruitment process broken - statistics

Over half of all hires aren’t working out in some capacity 

Broken recruitment = bad hiring decisions = lower productivity and engagement. 

Patently, hiring demands change while new ideas and innovations help recruiters serve up a better candidate experience and ensure that the right people are found for the right roles at the right time. 

We asked our own Head of HR, Gillian Ward, for her opinion as a recruitment and talent management expert and she told us that: 

“Recruiting through the pandemic threw up challenges that nobody could ever have foreseen, but generally the industry responded well to the changes needed to continue hiring smoothly. The data from this research intensifies the opinion that recruitment processes aren’t suffering from a temporary blip but rather a longer-term, well-established and universally-acknowledged shortfall in trust and effectiveness.” 

What does it all mean for you? 

We’ve been told that recruitment processes aren’t delivering candidates to the required standard or within the required timeframes. If this situation doesn’t change, the realisation of failed hires will continue. Business leaders and HR managers need to find ways of addressing their own internal challenges in order to build stronger and more productive teams.  

Key takeaways: 

  1. 57% of hires are judged as having a poor person-to-job fit today, as measured by the people who made the hire. That’s an astonishing amount of ineffective recruitment
  2. Beyond remote hiring, respondents are finding difficulties in candidate differentiation, eliminating bias, and managing high volumes of applications. Predictive hiring tools and a suite of psychometric assessments offer solutions
  3. Recruitment is on the rise in 2021 for many after a slow year, so getting things right NOW is vital

Want to know more? Download the full report, Spotlight on Recruitment 2021: Mind the Trust Gap to understand more about fixing broken recruitment 

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