How to Improve the Hiring Process: A Comprehensive Guide

6 mins

Hiring the right people is crucial for the success of any organisation. However, many compan...

Hiring the right people is crucial for the success of any organisation. However, many companies struggle with ineffective hiring processes that lead to poor candidate experiences and costly hiring mistakes. Improving your hiring process will lead to better candidate selection, higher employee satisfaction, and overall company success. 


We look at how you can enhance your hiring process to attract candidates that are the best fit for the role and your organisation.


Define Clear Job Descriptions


Why does this matter? Clear and detailed job descriptions help attract the right candidates, with the right skills, qualifications and experience, for the role being advertised. 


How to do it

The job description should provide an overview of the role and its purpose within the organisation. Be honest about what the role is and what the organisation can deliver to avoid overselling.

The job title should be clear to ensure you attract the right candidates for the role, responsibilities and duties should be listed and you should specify any necessary qualifications, skills and experience that you need for the role.


A job description details the type of work an individual will perform if chosen by the organisation. It goes beyond outlining the available position by highlighting important company details and providing information about expected benefits.


In summary, a job description is a document that provides an overview for a candidate to ascertain their eligibility and evaluate whether the organisation is a match for the next step in their career.



Harness Technology 


Why does this matter? Using technology can streamline the hiring process, which in turn reduces the need for manual tasks and ultimately enhances the overall candidate experience.


How to do it


Research suggests[1] that an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) benefits an organisation by automating and organising the hiring process. Fully automated ATS, can also help to correctly identify top talent within your selection pool, ATS can be built to ensure that you are protected from unconscious bias during the hiring process.


Unconscious bias[2] can be defined by ACAS as ‘how a person thinks can depend on their life experiences and sometimes they have beliefs and views about other people that might not be right or reasonable.’

Unconscious bias in recruitment occurs when individuals form judgments about others based on initial impressions. This bias may lead individuals to favour those perceived as similar to themselves or to hold negative perceptions of those who differ. In recruitment, it's essential to make decisions free from unconscious bias to avoid inadvertently discriminating against candidates while favouring others, using an ATS can help minimise this risk.


Numerous ATS providers incorporate automated screening tools driven by AI, along with scheduling software, to streamline the hiring process. These tools assist in screening candidates for keywords, experience, and qualifications. Scheduling software helps to schedule interviews, eliminating multiple emails to the candidate, enhancing the candidate experience.



Establish a Structured Interview Framework

Why does this matter? It ensures consistency and fairness throughout the overall hiring process.

How to do it

Most, if not all of us, have undergone interviews at some point in our careers, and it's widely acknowledged that interview questions often constitute the most challenging aspect of the candidate experience. Typically, standard questions like "What's your greatest achievement?" or "What's the biggest challenge you've faced at work?" are utilised, and candidates often come prepared with rehearsed responses.

Consider reflecting on your organisational values and question how these resonate with the candidate. However, it's important not to solely rely on interview questions.

Why not complement your interview questions with practical tests or exercises to assess how candidates might perform in the role? For instance, an inbox tray activity can evaluate their planning, prioritisation, and organisational skills.

Interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences for both candidates and interviewers alike. Therefore, exploring alternative ways to evaluate candidates' skills and behaviours can allow them to demonstrate their capabilities.


Enhance the Candidate Experience 


Why does this matter? The candidate experience encompasses every interaction a candidate encounters with an employer, spanning from the initial application to the ultimate job offer. 


How to do it


Effective communication is crucial throughout the hiring process. It's essential to keep candidates informed at every stage, even if you're using an ATS. Adding a personal touch ensures candidates feel engaged and valued, avoiding the feeling of being just another number in the process. This demonstrates the organisation's genuine concern for candidates' experiences and well-being. 


Providing constructive feedback is another vital element in enhancing the candidate experience. Even for candidates who may not have been successful, it's essential to ensure they depart the process with a positive impression. Thus, offering all candidates constructive and precise feedback is imperative for fostering a favourable candidate experience.


Some organisations such as John Lewis are even considering issuing interview questions to candidates ahead of the interview. Now this is a blog in itself, but may feel that this can enhance the candidates experience and drive better outcomes.


Constantly improve and review the hiring process


Why does this matter? This ensures that the organisation remains effective, efficient and aligned with the evolving needs of the organisation, the candidate and of the job market itself. It is constantly evolving as we have all seen.


How to do it

Regularly assessing the hiring process enables organisations to identify successful practices and areas for improvement. In today's competitive job market, organisational agility and competitiveness are essential. By staying adaptable and competitive, organisations can consistently attract and retain top talent.

Request feedback from candidates regarding their experience throughout the process, inquiring about both positive aspects and areas for improvement. This feedback enables organisations to make relevant enhancements. Additionally, organisations can implement and monitor key recruitment metrics such as time to hire, cost per hire, and quality of hire. Many ATS providers offer features to facilitate tracking of these metrics within their software platforms.


In conclusion improving the hiring process is an ongoing task, that requires an organisation to pay attention to detail, commit to fairness and be willing to embrace new technology that will improve the candidate experience. Seeking feedback on your own processes from both successful and unsuccessful candidates can be a good place to start!


By implementing these strategies, you can create a more efficient, effective, and enjoyable hiring experience for both your candidates and your organisation. 


Start making these changes today to attract and retain the best talent in the market. Make recruitment part of your business strategy!