So much is discussed, debated and written about how HR can improve the process of finding, hiring and retaining talent, I was surprised to see the results of The McQuaig Institute’s recent Global Talent Recruitment Survey as it relates to the top recruiting challenges. According to the survey, 68 percent of HR professionals identified issues with hiring managers as a top challenge. In particular, the specific issues were:
- Getting hiring managers to make time for interviews (33%)
- Getting agreement from the hiring managers and stakeholders (20%)
- Making a decision on the candidate (15%).
This can certainly be a challenge with federal agencies. There are many underlying managerial, organizational and personnel issues that lead to these results. None of them can be fixed with the flip of a switch. For example, when hiring managers don’t make time for interviews, they may not even understand the huge cascading consequences this can have on not just the hiring process, but the entire agency if one of the results is missing out on talent that would have moved the organization forward.
That’s just one example of the potential severity of the problem. Fixing that issue will take some philosophical and organizational changes – and perhaps some training.
But beyond the long list of underlying causes and problems, there is an opportunity for technology to help. No, technology can’t give a hiring manager a sense of urgency when it comes to investing the time to interview. But technology can help simplify much of the process, and eliminate procedural issues and logjams as a contributor to the problem.
If you can remove some of the headaches that hiring managers dread, then you’ll take a big step toward getting them to step up and help with the recruitment process. Without them onboard, the task is that much more difficult, if not impossible.
What are some key capabilities of talent acquisition software that can help hiring managers, while at the same time help HR and the entire agency? Here are 8:
1. A simple, intuitive user interface
Your personal life and work life are intertwined in terms of your devices, as you often use the same smart phone and tablet to communicate with your friends as well as perform some work tasks. Hiring managers are no different, and if they see a system that is hard to use, they just won’t use it, or will do so only begrudgingly.
2. Matches your current workflow and processes
Perhaps the only thing more intimidating than a difficult-to-use system is a system that requires everything to change. The best technology adapts to the way you do business, not the other way around. If hiring managers are not forced to change their workflow, there is a much better chance for success.
3. Simple requisition and job approval process
No hiring will get done – no interviewing will get done – unless the requisition for the job and the job approval process get done. For that to happen, these processes need to be simple and not create unnecessary work.
4. Interview and schedule management
A cumbersome part of the interview process is scheduling the interviews with the candidates and matching various hiring managers’ interview times and schedules. This is an area where technology can help by simplifying the process and handling the coordination, scheduling conflicts and time management. All the hiring manager needs to do is check his or her calendar, not worry about other hiring managers’ schedules.
5. Job management
Once a job approval has been granted, hiring managers want an easy way to track the status of the job and the vacancy, including checking on the candidates that have applied for the position. A talent acquisition system should allow hiring managers to easily view and report on this information.
6. Simplified Assessment
An obstacle to moving potential candidates from the interview process through to an offer is often properly and efficiently assessing all the potential candidates. Today’s advanced recruitment systems simplify the assessment process by providing templates. These templates coincide with steps which capture appropriate data, assigning scores and weightings to automatically score candidates based on responses captured in the application forms.
7. Help for Onboarding
Beyond the chore of job posting, the chores associated with onboarding can often put a fear in hiring managers, as they recognize what is involved on their part to bring an employee up to speed quickly. Technology can help here through the automation of tasks such as task emails, configurable forms for candidates, and new-employee portals.
8. Easy-to-Use Dashboards
At any time in the interview and assessment process, the life of hiring managers can be greatly simplified with access to up-to-the-minute information on candidates and vacancies. A non-intimidating dashboard that provides useful information can further ease the entire hiring process.
With the competition for talent among agencies and with the private sector greater than ever, HR professionals within federal agencies need to look at every aspect of the hiring process to stay a step ahead. An important area to look at is actually outside HR – the hiring managers.
Fortunately, today’s technology can help get them involved more than ever.
So they are helping, not hindering the process.