Every business needs new staff at some point. But recruiting them can be expensive or painful. Both if you’re unlucky.
There’s good news for employers: The internet is ‘democratising’ the recruitment process.
Tools that were once a trade secret of expensive recruitment agencies are now available to anyone online – at a low cost, and often free!
The trick for most businesses is knowing what’s available, and where to start.
This list should help.
First, consider the traditional options. Employers typically take one of 2 approaches when recruiting new staff:
- Throw an ad on Seek (“post then pray”).
- Use a traditional recruitment agency (“pay then pray”)
If you’ve tried either, you’ll know the drill. You always pay: whether in cash money or time. And there’s generally an element of prayer. Both can be deeply unsatisfactory.
Now, let’s consider the full recruitment cycle, simplified into 3 key phases:
- Selection; and finally
Here are 15 online tools that can make recruitment cheaper, easier and faster for any business.
The job board isn’t quite dead. For many roles it’s still the primary source of hire. But smart employers no longer just post and pray. They actively source candidates through a range of other channels.
LinkedIn is the obvious alternative to job boards, but many employers are still confused about where to start. Here are 5 tips for beginners. You can search candidates, post job ads, join groups, and promote your organisation.
Long the domain of professional recruiters (who provide half of LinkedIn’s revenue), companies are now wising up to the potential themselves.
An example? Deloitte have cut $6M from their annual recruitment bill through more active sourcing on LinkedIn.
Facebook is approached with a mix of enthusiasm and cynicism when it comes to recruitment. Whatever you think, you can’t ignore it. Creative employers can now target job ads to specific types of users like a laser.
Don’t forget a call to action! You can easily insert a LinkedIn ‘Apply Now‘ button on your blog. Potential candidates can register interest with a single click.
4. Meetups (www.meetup.com)
What’s your ideal candidate passionate about? What’s their area of specialty? Meetups are taking off globally, allowing people with similar interests to get together in person. Yep! TRW (the real world).
Here’s a secret no recruiter would share with you. You’re looking for a Ruby on Rails specialist? There’s a meetup for that. Why not go along, introduce yourself, and meet potential candidates in person?
A few hours at a meetup could save you $20,000, which is what a specialist recruiter would charge when they find you a candidate this way.
This is an online version of a meetup. There’s a forum for almost any industry or niche. You’ll see people displaying their knowledge, expertise, and even complaints or frustrations about their current employer. Examples:
Now you’ve got a shortlist of candidates. How do you select the best one?! Don’t ignore the traditional interview. But these other online tools can make your interviews more efficient and targeted.
6. Video Interviews
Anyone who has interviewed more than a handful of candidates in person will have experienced ‘the dud’. Within 5 minutes you know they’re clearly not right for the role, but you continue the interview to avoid appearing rude. Video interviews can solve this problem, whether:
- Live interview – eg through Skype
- Recorded interviews – Automated video interviews, with candidates recording their blind responses to questions via webcam. (This is a tool we offer at RecruitLoop).
7. Psychometric Testing
Learn about behavioural, leadership or decision-making traits before hiring anyone. Psychometric testing used to be expensive, but affordable online options include:
Note: A psychometric test should only be one data point to your hiring decision and certainly not the decision-making tool. Make sure your provider gives you a solid and pragmatic interpretation in a report from a qualified psychologist.
8. Skills Testing
Got a role with technical requirements? You’d want to be sure your candidate is up to the task. You might even want to test a candidate before deciding whether to interview. Examples:
9. Reference / Background Checking
We recommend conducting two reference checks before making any hire. But it’s a thankless task, sometimes suited to outsourcing. Examples:
10. Social Media Checking
This is a controversial, but growing area (see: Should employers check Facebook before making a hire).
At one extreme, some web-savvy employers ask candidates to only submit their online social profiles when applying for a job. Used with caution, a candidate’s online presence can tell you a lot about their personality and cultural fit.
Awesome! You’ve made the hire. Now the most important part is keeping them satisfied, engaged and productive. Employee retention is one of the biggest ‘white space’ opportunities for companies to save time and effort.
11. Employee Attachment
Did you know that during the first 120 days of your new recruit’s employment, they will actively assess whether they have made the right decision to join your organisation?
The cost of poor attachment is beyond the cost of recruitment. The direct and indirect costs can add up to over $100,000 over the first three months for a new employee.
Our friend Anthony Sork has patented a survey measure to test exactly this. Used properly, it gives employers an opportunity to intervene before losing a new team member.
12. Ongoing Engagement
Measuring ongoing employee engagement used to require expensive consultants and surveys. We’ve been watching an Australian startup with interest – CultureAmp – which makes engagement surveys more accessible, affordable and actionable.
13. Performance tracking
Performance management is a critical process but one that unfortunately most companies ignore. It’s also a process often run poorly, giving staff the impression that the organisation doesn’t care about or invest in their performance and professional development. Two fantastic local startups are making performance management easy and (dare I say) fun!
Often a hard area to get right, both individual and team recognition can have a huge impact on productivity and morale. Check out Sydney-based startup:
15. Internal Collaboration
Get your team talking! Break down the silos and bring social into the enterprise. A great tool in this space includes:
The Reality Check
I should report an unfortunate truth: none of these tools is a magic wand.
Recruitment is a mission critical process, requiring real effort, resources and focus. Then throw in some human touch and old-fashioned gut feel for good measure. But the good news is that every company can now access tools that agencies once used to justify fees in the tens of thousands of dollars.
The internet now makes it possible for any company to recruit like a Google (or any recruitment agency) as long as you’re willing to dedicate the effort into doing it properly.