4 simple tweaks that could supercharge your recruitment processes

Interview process

Recruitment is essential to the growth of your business. It’s also difficult, expensive and exhausting.

Here are four simple tweaks to help you get the most of the process.

Look where others aren’t looking

It’s easy to overlook potentially fruitful talent pools, because you’re used to looking elsewhere. A fine example of this happened in the UK in 2019. According to research by property maintenance specialists Aspect, while school students were receiving their A-level results), there was a spike in Google traffic for terms including “plumbing apprenticeships” and “electrician training”. These students had obviously taken their exams, got their results and were considering other options, aside from higher learning. Recruiters too often focus their efforts on established channels, such as LinkedIn, while neglecting to pay attention to the behaviors of the people they’re trying to reach.

In this case, while most people were focused on where these students would be going to university, savvy recruiters could have anticipated this spike in interest and capitalised. A few targeted Google adverts would have done the trick and tapped into a potentially huge reservoir of talent.

Don’t overlook what you’ve already got

When organisations are looking to recruit, they often overlook two very important sources of talent; their existing staff and their customers.

With regards to existing staff, it can be cheaper and more effective to recruit from within and re-skill staff from other roles to fit the role you need now. This also promotes a culture of reward and progress. With regards to customers, some roles are made for them. Customer service, marketing or any position that requires an understanding of and enthusiasm for the product or service are often ideally filled by people already use your product or service.

Plant easter-eggs

Have you ever heard the story of Van Halen and the brown M&Ms? It’s often told as a tale of rock star excess, but it’s actually a very teachable moment about quality control and risk management. It’s not a myth. Van Halen really did have a clause in their contract rider about brown M&Ms, but it wasn’t because they were picky eaters. It was an easter egg so they could easily check which promoters had fully read their contract and which hadn’t. Whenever the band found brown M&Ms, they knew they needed to do a full production inspection to see what else had been missed.

Employers can do this too, to ensure that unsuitable candidates don’t end up clogging up the interview process and to help the best ones to shine. A great trick is to include a relatively obscure but entirely achievable request in the job ad. For example, as well as asking for a resumé, ask applicants to send you a link to an article they found interesting recently. This way, you get to see who pays attention and follows instructions and who just skim reads and phones it in. You’ll also get a little look at what interests each candidate.

Avoid cognitive bias in interviews

Studies have shown that when people have to absorb a lot of information, such as interviewers, the more information they take in, the less likely they are to fairly analyse it. Parole hearings are a great example of this bias at play.

Researchers analysed the success rate of parole applications and found that applicants were more likely to be granted parole either at the start of the day or immediately after the panel had taken a break – in other words, when the people making the decisions are fresh.Avoid this by timelining your recruitment process so you can spread interviews out over a few days.

One or two interviews a day is fine and gives you chance to absorb all of the information you need to, without making judgements based on how you feel at a particular time.

The best recruitment strategies should be focused on getting more for less. More talent for less effort, less stress and less cost. And while modern recruitment focuses on eliminating unsuitable candidates from that process, a smarter way is to focus on identifying and attracting the superstars that will boost your growth.