Recruiters are the architects of an organization, fundamental to business successes. Businesses rely on them to find and hire the best people through diligent sourcing and screening, careful vetting and judicious selection of final candidates. Without recruiters, leaders aren’t able to build their businesses.
Recruiters are key to mitigating these challenges. Whether hiring a few team members or staffing an entire department, recruiters are juggling duties, balancing spinning plates and possibly standing on one foot. Their jobs get overlooked by sales and profits, but a company’s success is largely dependent on the people they hire, and the people who hire.
According to the Food Retailing Industry Speaks 2022 report, turnover rates are high within the food retail (48%) and supplier (29%) industries. Part-time employee turnover is even higher (67%). This means recruiters, grocery store and restaurant managers and other HR staff are spending significant amounts of time identifying, hiring, and onboarding at least one-third to half of their employees annually. With the right recruiter experience, leaders can see drastic drops in turnover rates by creating a positive working environment for recruiters and new hires. Simple changes to the hiring and onboarding process can help recruiters save time, identify the right employees, and quickly offer jobs to candidates.
However, before any of that happens, recruiter satisfaction needs to become a focal point for HR leadership, which then cascades to employee experience. Here’s four ways to boost recruiter satisfaction and explore how the success of the business, its people and its mission hinges on this essential group of people.
Acknowledge pain points
It’s not unusual for there to be a disconnect between leadership and recruiters. After all, the goal of any business is to turn a profit, and attention is heavily bestowed upon the sales and marketing teams to produce positive numbers. But the beating heart of any company is its people, and recruiters are the entryway through which your top performers will begin their journey. So keeping abreast of the daily challenges your recruiters face is step one to a better employee experience.
The onslaught of the pandemic shifted hiring forever, leaving recruiters burned out from outdated or broken practices, overwhelming talent demand and the lack of work flexibility. According to a 2022 study from Workvivo, 98% of surveyed HR professionals in the United States and the UK reported feeling burned out, and 78% were considering resigning. What’s more, 71% of respondents reported not feeling valued in their organization.
The first clear step to alleviating some of the stresses placed on recruiters is to create a safe space for them to air their grievances. Host open forums, either in person or virtually, and encourage recruiters to share their honest feedback. If having the chief human resources officer in the room is too much of a detractor from the purpose, choose a neutral party to stand in and take notes.
Next, consider implementing a recurring audit of existing systems. Ask your recruiters what they like and don’t like, what’s working and what’s not. Anonymous pulse surveys are often effective in obtaining unfiltered feedback and can be shared department-wide to facilitate transparency and trust.
If you end up investing in a new system, collect feedback after the trial or introductory period to assess its effectiveness and user satisfaction.
Add the “friendly” back to user-friendly recruiting
As stated, outdated or broken hiring practices can hamstring recruiters and add unnecessary complexities to tasks that could be simplified with the help of technology.
Per the aforementioned Workvivo study, 73% of HR professionals said they don’t have the necessary tools to optimally perform their job duties. But the good news is that leaders seem to be paying attention to this gap, as 50% reported focusing more on talent acquisition technology in 2022 compared to 2021, according to an Aptitude Research report from August 2022.
The new generation of applicant tracking systems (ATSes) lean into the power of automation to condense aspects of the hiring process that have historically monopolized recruiters’ schedules. One example is the calendar: Today’s ATS integrations provide access and visibility into multiple user calendars, allowing candidates to reserve time for interviews or other discussions.
In the world of high volume hiring where recruiters are tasked with hiring hundreds or thousands of workers, further automation can be applied to interviews (e.g., on-demand or prerecorded interviews) or document uploads (e.g., I-9 forms, certifications, signed contracts). And the possibilities only grow from here.
But depending on the age of the process, leaders also need to be mindful of how the introduction of new systems will affect productivity, at least initially, in terms of training times and learning curves.
Offload recruiters’ schedules
The beauty of automation means more free time in recruiters’ schedules, which they can dedicate to improving the candidate experience. Recruiters can once again be champions of their candidates, supporting their movement through the entire hiring funnel from the application, to hiring, to onboarding, and beyond.
While automation takes care of the menial tasks, recruiters redirect their efforts to the people aspects of the hiring process, starting with customization. Recruiters can use technology to infuse a personal touch into the candidate experience through templatized emails and text messages that can be personalized for each applicant and custom-built workflows based on the job requirements, hiring volume or location.
With more time to pay attention to the people piece of hiring, recruiters can reclaim their roles and put the “human” back in human resources.
Invest in their future
By now, we’ve all heard the term “upskilling” and acknowledge its importance in an ever-changing economic climate. Although this term is typically attributed to time-passing activities of the unemployed, internal upskilling is just as, if not more, important to building a top-performing recruiting team—one that feels capable, empowered and supported.
Some organizations offer virtual training opportunities that help talent acquisition teams stay up to speed not only on the latest recruiting technology but also on fair hiring practices, trends and strategies.
A team of top-performing, well-informed recruiters is more likely to find and hire top-performing employees who are capable of helping the company grow and succeed.
Recruiting can be wrought with wrenches that hinder the hiring process and make recruiters’ lives difficult. What is already a taxing job becomes even more so when the hiring team isn’t set up for success. Acknowledging your recruiters’ pain points and taking steps to ameliorate them can help improve hiring efficiency, boost morale and ensure recruiters feel supported and motivated to help build and grow your company with the right people.