Recruiters know that time is a precious resource. Time with hiring partners and candidates is invaluable to achieve hiring success. But the many variables we juggle — changing requirements, shifting timelines and candidates’ busy schedules — can easily eat up that time. Simplifying applications, improving your processes and leveraging technology to help automate the repetitive tasks free you up to do what you do best: help people get jobs.
Here are five ways to improve your productivity right now.
1: Streamline your application process
Your application system is often the candidate’s introduction to your company and window into your overall recruitment process. If the process is simple and intuitive, qualified applicants are more likely to complete it. If it’s clunky or labor-intensive, job seekers may give up, and you may lose out on some great talent.
Take a look at the number of incomplete applications on your career website or check out the bounce rate (the percentage of people who leave your site after viewing a single page). This will provide insight into how many people are staying to complete the form and how many are giving up on you.
Try your application process yourself. Focus on usability and completion time. If you get frustrated, your applicants will, too. What to do? Simplify, simplify, simplify! Ask for what you really need to know and leave the details for later in the process.
Netflix is a good example: Applicants upload their resumes and then enter their names, emails and phone numbers. Submit, and that’s it. No timeouts, no reentering information and no spinning icon of death. A streamlined process makes for happier applicants and great word of mouth as they share their experience with their networks.
2: Create email alerts to notify you of qualified resumes
Vetting resumes can eat up your day—but have no fear! There are tools you can use to reduce the time you spend on this repetitive task.
For instance, Indeed Resume is a searchable resume database with over 100 million resumes. Its advanced search functionality allows you to filter by candidates’ job titles, skills, companies they’ve worked for and even fields of study. You can also search by city, state or ZIP code.
Once you’ve submitted your search terms, you receive a filtered list of qualified resumes. You pick the ones you want to view in depth and can save those you like best for later.
You can also create automated email alerts for each set of search criteria. Each morning, you’ll get an email with links to all new and updated resumes so you can quickly update yourself on the talent that’s out there.
It’s a lot more efficient than the old method of sorting through resumes manually.
3: Use a scheduling tool to efficiently book interviews
Arranging interviews takes time and effort. And it’s tough to keep everything straight when you have multiple roles to fill. You can make your job easier by letting candidates schedule their own meetings.
This cuts down on the back and forth and is much more efficient. It may also lead to fewer no-shows. Why? Because candidates schedule a time that is convenient for them versus having a recruiter provide them with one based on the recruiter’s ideas of what’s a good time.
Tools like Calendly, Pick and Vyte.in put the power in applicants’ hands by showing available meeting times and letting them choose their own slots. Most tools are compatible with multiple calendars, and some also offer mobile versions, making it quick and easy for everyone to get on the same page with just a few clicks.
4: Create email templates for frequently used messages
If you’re constantly writing and rewriting the same types of emails to candidates, reduce the hassle by creating templates for the ones you send most frequently (e.g., scheduling an interview, interview confirmations, asking for references, and so on). While you should make sure to include personal details in each email specific to the candidate you’re contacting, many elements can remain the same.
Keep track of emails you tend to write over and over. Save them in a spreadsheet, your favorite note-taking app or your ATS to store and use at will. I’ve found it helpful to create “if-then” categories for templates to make them easy to find, such as “if offer,” “if no offer,” “if experienced,” “if entry,” “if re-lo” and “if local.”
Here’s an example of an offer template :
“Congratulations! [Company] is pleased to offer you the position of [title]. Your skills and experience are an ideal fit for the job. As discussed, your start date is [date]. The starting salary is [$XYZ], and you will report to [first last]. If you accept this offer, please sign, date, and return this letter along with the completed paperwork (attached). We know you will be a great addition to [company], and we look forward to working with you!”
Think carefully about these situations and what stays constant across them, and then include that in a template that reflects your tone of voice and company identity.
5: Build a feedback loop to learn and improve
If you want to gauge your performance and find ways to improve your recruiting efforts, put together a short survey for applicants to complete once the job is filled. This will provide measurable insights to help you tweak your application and interview processes. Include an open field for comments, and be sure to thank each candidate both for applying and for completing the survey.
At Indeed, we ask every applicant for feedback. Keeping it brief and simple is important if you want to get a good response rate. Our candidate experience survey has 10 items that we survey; this is effective for delivering actionable information about how we communicate, how satisfied applicants are and whether they would recommend us to their colleagues. It provides us with valuable insight into what’s working well and what needs to be changed.
Hiring the best candidates for your open roles is what matters most. The more you can automate and refine your application and recruiting processes, the more time you’ll have to focus your efforts.
Tools such as intuitive online applications, email alerts, schedulers, templates and surveys help you discover new ways to improve your processes while saving time for the human aspects of recruiting, such as evaluating the experience of potential employees and connecting with candidates to build long-lasting relationships.
Ed Delgado is Director of Global Sourcing at Indeed.