Spotlight on Hiring Automation
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Did you know that over 98.8% of Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking systems to ensure their hiring processes run smoothly? Hiring automation is the buzzword in talent acquisition that every business needs to know about.

Have you ever heard the saying, ‘work smarter and not harder’? Well, this is the processes that embodies that motto by giving companies the tools that they need to secure talent in competitive markets. Once upon a time, HR teams spent as long as 28 days hiring a new employee. That is a length of time that simply wont work in today’s markets, with top talent being snatched up in record time thanks to intelligent hiring systems.

So, what is hiring automation and how can it benefit your business? Keep reading to find out more.


Books in a Library Shelf

What is Hiring Automation?

Hiring automation is just one of the many methods that companies can adopt to streamline the employment process and bring in talent much quicker than ever before. This is a technique that at least 75% of hiring managers have adopted as it allows for efficient candidate processing, with money and time saving benefits amongst the many merits that are on offer.

The practice involves adding digital tracking and procedures into every element hiring, with the end goal being to fill positions quicker. Hiring can be a lengthy and manual process which takes up a lot of time and energy. By automating the following elements, you can benefit from being matched with the right candidates as soon as their applications are submitted.

Hiring automation aids recruitment in the following areas:

Job Advertising This is the first experience that a candidate has of your company, so the advertisement must be just right to grab attention and stand out.

Automation of the advertising process consists of creating digitally optimised adverts that are place directly where your ideal candidates will see them. Take job-listing website, Indeed for example. As the number one source of online job advertising, there are more than 3 million companies you use the service! When you harness the power of automated recruitment, this competition doesn’t need to intimidate you as a balance of skilled copywriting, algorithm know-how and keyword harnessing means you will still receive high results to your advertisements.

Candidates want to know about a role, understand the company, and have their questions answered within a job description which the elevated features of automated hiring can ensure.

Applicant Sorting and Monitoring Once you have secured the applications from top talent, automation software can fairly sort your responses so that top candidates stand out.

When processed manually, hiring managers only spend around six seconds looking at a CV which means there is a high chance of quality people slipping through the net. By automating the process, you can see your suitable applicants and start the process for interviewing before they are snapped up by anyone else.

No more lost opportunities. Hiring automation shows you who is best for your open vacancies based on criteria which is unique to a business.

Candidate Assessments Using tests to assess the suitability of a candidate is a common way to further vet them before interviews take place.

With automation software, you can incorporate these tests seamlessly and have a clear view of all results. This data can then be stored on the candidates HR file, if they are successfully chosen, and be used to form their own training records which lends itself to automation of wellbeing and development objectives. This highlights just one of the many examples of how digital transformation which departments can align.

Interview Management and Follow Ups When you are happy with the candidates that you want to take the next stage, automation software can manage the interview admin process.

Removing the need for HR professionals and hiring managers to spend lots of time manually setting up meetings, automation can ensure a time is booked in when most suitable for everyone involved.

This also enhances communication and in turn employee experience which ensures that the candidate is given a good impression of what the hiring company are about.

Pre-hiring Checks and Onboarding Once candidates are selected, pre-hire checks and company onboarding can be managed seamlessly with automation software. The data-safe process means that all information is already obtained, taking away the lengthy process of gathering candidate information.

What is Recruitment Automation Software?

Automation Software

Automated recruitment software is a digital tool that can elevate hiring procedures from advert outreach through to candidate onboarding. By automating tasks and workflows, companies can accelerate candidate placement and derive the screening information needed to make quick yet informed decisions.


Hiring automation is a great tool to incorporate within high-volume hiring as it allows large numbers of candidates to be dealt with rapidly. It also provides a brand-introducing process which allows candidates to get a better idea of what a company is about. This is essential to bringing individuals on board as 89% of people assess a brand or business before accepting a new role.


Automation, therefore, allows you to not only run streamlined hiring but also share all relevant information required so that candidates have everything they need to decide about whether they want to work for a company. This eliminates any timely question/answer period and ensures a higher rate of successful hires.


Within high-volume industries, such as security, hospitality, and warehousing, the other benefits of using hiring automation including the following:


  • Increase the quality of hire as candidates are likely to be more closely matched to your values and skill needs thanks to the automated screening process.
  • Enhanced candidate experience which not only improves your chances of securing top talent, but also makes for a happier workforce which is essential for achieving a productive company culture.
  • Efficient hiring which is based on skills and suitability. The automation allows for non-biased candidate placements and ensures that teams will be able to work together more cohesively.
  • Quicker onboarding to ensure that seasonal hikes are properly staffed.


How does Hiring Automation Improve Employee Experience?

Workers cheering and smiling

78% of candidates believe that the experience they receive during the recruitment process is indicative of how a company treats is employees. This highlight just how important it is to get the hiring process right if you want to secure top talent.

Automated hiring allows employee experience to be placed at the centre of everything, with the main purpose being to provide a streamlined and elevated hiring practice that represents the efficiency of the company.

Automated recruitment helps companies achieve a positive candidate experience in the following ways:

  • Simple to use application software which is catered to all skill levels and different devices.
  • Automated responses and updates to keep candidates informed. These can be adapted to the tone of voice which best suits your brand to ensure continuity from the very first stages of communication.
  • Workflow processing which allows screening, interview requests, and feedback to be shared in a timely manner.
  • Integrated information sharing to ensure candidates are given information about the company.
  • Data storage to allow for simple onboarding and to eliminate the need of asking for the same piece of information more than once. This makes companies look more professional and means the candidate has a stress-free experience.

Does your high-volume hiring strategy need to be elevated? Find out more about hiring automation in our e-book which can be exclusively downloaded here.

Smart Recruit Online

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

Challenges of High-Volume Hiring in the Current Climate
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


The past few years have shaped our current reality and future irrevocably. 2019 saw the UK follow through with Brexit and leave the EU. 2020 followed with a global pandemic, stringent lockdowns and job losses that left entire industries devastated. Now, the cost-of-living crisis followed by war in Europe adds further strain to an already strained economy, leaving the workforce in a precarious position.


Though the pandemic brought about some changes for the better, such as remote and hybrid work schemes, the impact on industries where that simply isn’t possible, has been felt. In a bid to attempt to re-attract workers to full time office work, some companies have begun to cut down salaries for full time workers, or at least threaten to do so. But this has failed to deter workers, who now have the upper hand in the current climate and have since prioritised a work-life balance after the introspection the pandemic allowed.


One of the reasons current workers are able to be more demanding now compared to the past, is that we’re now facing a shortage of qualified candidates in the UK. Whether it’s workers who were made redundant and furloughed (leaving entire industries in tatters), early retirements, or migrating abroad, these factors combined mean that nearly 1.5 million active job vacancies have been left unfilled, the highest on record. That leaves employers and businesses facing a growing staff shortage, struggling to replace experienced workers that have left the workforce.

The past few years have shaped our current reality and future irrevocably. 2019 saw the UK follow through with Brexit and leave the EU. 2020 followed with a global pandemic, stringent lockdowns and job losses that left entire industries devastated. Now, the cost-of-living crisis followed by war in Europe adds further strain to an already strained economy, leaving the workforce in a precarious position.


Though the pandemic brought about some changes for the better, such as remote and hybrid work schemes, the impact on industries where that simply isn’t possible, has been felt. In a bid to attempt to re-attract workers to full time office work, some companies have begun to cut down salaries for full time workers, or at least threaten to do so. But this has failed to deter workers, who now have the upper hand in the current climate and have since prioritised a work-life balance after the introspection the pandemic allowed.


One of the reasons current workers are able to be more demanding now compared to the past, is that we’re now facing a shortage of qualified candidates in the UK. Whether it’s workers who were made redundant and furloughed (leaving entire industries in tatters), early retirements, or migrating abroad, these factors combined mean that nearly 1.5 million active job vacancies have been left unfilled, the highest on record. That leaves employers and businesses facing a growing staff shortage, struggling to replace experienced workers that have left the workforce.


Workers Needed


So what can be done? How can businesses replace those experienced candidates that have left without spending significant amounts of money and time to train new and under qualified candidates? They may choose to focus on offering competent and above market salaries, or increasing employee benefits, such as holiday days, pension schemes, bonuses, gym membership as well as a focus on the employee’s well being (such as policies in place for bereavement or pregnancy) for example. These things are great and may well work for companies that need to hire occasionally once or twice a year, but what if your business requires high volume hiring at a constant rate? If you need to hire ten people one week, five the next, always for the same job or a handful of the same. What do you do then?


Many of the high-volume hiring industries, such as Care, Security, Warehousing & Logistics, require exactly just that. On top of that, most (if not all) the jobs in the above sectors are impossible to do remote or hybrid, and nearly all struggle to retain new employees. In the UK care sector for example, one in four new recruits leave within their first year of joining.


Although a complete change to government policy and its points-based immigration system is necessary in the long run to alleviate the pressures on all these industries, (whose workforce is made up of predominantly foreign workers) there are things that can be done to help overcome the challenges of the current climate.


Post Your Openings in the Right Places

If you’re looking to hire back-end developers, you may have to advertise in a different place than if you were looking for lorry drivers. To overcome the challenge of attracting the right applicants for the high-volume hiring industries, you need to know where to look for them and how to target them. Combined with data and analytics, a recruitment tool can help identify what are the most successful job boards, you can track how your job posts are interacted with on social media and more. By doing this, you not only save money and time, but you’re able to reach a larger network that will be more likely to become applicants.


Job Board Notice


Speed up the Application Process 

Almost ¾ of applicants drop off in the application stage if the application process is too long. Anything between 30-45 minutes application time will see reduced applicant numbers and higher drop off rates. It’s important that the time to offer is quick, mobile-friendly (to account for a large proportion of applicants who are likely to apply from their phone). This is even more important when dealing with High-Volume work, which tends to focus on a few select industries, such as Logistics, Warehousing, Care and Security for example. To work in these industries, lengthier recruitment processes are unnecessary. Rather, a recruitment automated system that can mine out CV’s, pick up relevant experiences, process background checks should be in place so that you can progress candidates faster and have them do a skills test instead, such as HGV driving test for logistics, or operating a forklift truck in a warehouse etc.


Automate the Process

It’s even more important for hiring managers working in high volume industries to automate as much of the process as they can. With constant recruitment cycles and high levels of applicants each time, it’s impossible for a hiring team to dedicate themselves to anything other than reading CV’s all day. That leaves them outsourcing much of their hiring, but that comes with other consequences, often financial, putting strain on a companies already tight spending budget and in many cases putting the hirers own job at risk. That’s why a recruitment software, that helps your job ads by posting them on the right platforms, optimising them for keywords, and then automating much of the process for you, will help you save time, money, all the while helping you reach more people.


Understand Your Software

Some companies already use an ATS or a recruitment automation system, or sometimes a few different technological tools, but by having metrics and data spread across various platforms, you leave a hiring team confused and frustrated. Often new members of a hiring team may start a position having taken over from their predecessor and find their organisation is already using a particular software which they then have to scramble to understand. By understanding your software and keeping as much of the recruitment process as you can on one platform, you make it easier to collaborate with your team and you create a simpler hiring process. That way, you can access all your metrics in one place and see what your cost per hire is, the time it takes, the drop-off rate, and other metrics, allowing you as a team to improve on the areas that require improvement.


High Volume Hiring is always going to demand a lot from any hiring team, but here at SmartRecruitOnline, we’ve helped many Hiring Managers save thousands of pounds and hours of time with our all-in-one recruitment software and built in ATS, some of which you can see here.


To find out more about how we can help you with your High-Volume Hiring needs, click here, and don’t forget to subscribe for all our latest content!


Smart Recruit Online

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

5 Tips to Write Powerful Job Ads that Work!
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Imagine a world with no internet. For many people still alive today, they don’t have to imagine it – they lived it. Prior to the invention of the internet, jobs were first advertised by sticking a notice outside an employer’s window or by newspaper. An employer would call a paper, buy ad space and wait for inbound enquiries to pour in. This provided great revenue for the papers, but often there was no guarantee of how many enquiries they’d get and if they were even right for the vacancy at all.


Newspaper with Magnifying Glass Searching for Jobs


Flashforward to the age of the internet, and many companies still have the same problem.

How do you attract the candidates you want, and give yourself the best possible chance of a successful hire?

Though there’s different ways to advertise a job, (which vary industry to industry) there are a few proven methods that you can incorporate into your recruitment process, to give yourself the best chance of hiring the right candidate in a competitive job market. Below are 5 helpful tips that you can use for your future hiring:


1. Recognisable Job Titles

Creating a job title that reflects the position you’re looking to hire is probably one of the most important tips you can incorporate into your hiring process. A job title that doesn’t reflect the role could prevent potential applicants from applying, or a misleading title that conveys too much seniority, or not enough, again, can put off eligible candidates that would otherwise apply. Not only is the job title one of the first thing applicants see, but the title is one of the first things applicants’ search. As such, your job title must include relevant keywords. So, if you’re looking to hire a ‘Video Editor’, be clear and specify the keyword ‘Video’. If you simply list your vacancy as ‘Editor’ or ‘Final Cut Pro Genius’, you’re risking your job post not being seen and responded to. It’s also important then to remember here, that you should stay away from using internal job titles, and stick to universally known titles, e.g., Website Manager instead of ‘Digital Overlord’. If ever you’re unsure, it’s always advisable to research the job market and pay attention to how competitors are wording their ads, as well as testing what gets the more relevant responses before making any final decisions.


2. Show Me the Money!

Posting the salary helps eliminate any doubt or hesitation a potential applicant may have about applying. They may not wish to put in considerable time and effort to apply for something that is unsustainable for them, and they may not wish to enquire before applying out of embarrassment or for fear of being ostracised for mentioning salary before even applying. By posting the salary, you eliminate doubt and any back-and-forth hassle that might put off potential applicants. Alongside that, salary can help determine seniority level if a Job Title is slightly different to what a candidate is expecting or is unclear (see point above) as well as being one of the first things candidates look at when they see a vacancy. Jobs with salaries posted get twice the number of applications and salary is cited as a reason to move job for 81.6% of candidates according to CV library. If you’re looking to get a larger quantity of candidates apply, there’s no reason not to be posting that salary.


Tom Cruise Shouting "Show Me the Money" from Jerry Maguire


3. Internal Job Descriptions – You Need One

Even if it’s only for internal use, the importance of having a clear and concise job description cannot be overlooked. Not only does it outline the position and the responsibilities of the role and how they’ll fit into the team, but it also means the company is fully aware of clearly defined tasks and responsibilities that the new role will incorporate, and as such, it creates better defined progression opportunities as well as measuring the new employee’s performance. Without the job description, this is much harder to do. It will also help in drawing up the employee’s contract and assigning who they’ll be responsible to and who they may be responsible for.


4. Sell Yourselves…and Your Company

This is where the previous step will come in handy. Now you’re armed with a detailed job description for your own internal benefit, you can focus on converting that information into what’s called a Job Posting, and advertising it to candidates on multiple job boards. This is where you give the candidate a taste of your company brand, perks and benefits of working for you or your company, what’s exciting about the role, progression, and what’s in it for them. It’s important here to be as snappy and concise as possible. On average, candidates browse job posts for less than a minute, with a study by ladders showing that the majority of applicants pay closer attention to the top of the job post, and only skim the bottom, so you only have a short window to hook and interest them in your job post before they keep scrolling. Let that inform your formatting on how and what you choose to convey.


5. Optimise and Post Wisely

Given the fact most candidates don’t scroll past the first page, you’re going to want to get your ad on the first page of any job board. In order to do that, you need optimise it with relevant keywords that are likely to be searched by the candidate. Along with the keyword relayed in your title, you should look to incorporate related or similar terms and make sure that these are relayed throughout the post, as this increases the chances of your job post appearing in the first page of a candidate’s search. It’s important to note here that in a post pandemic world, work from home jobs increased by 300%. Even if that might not be an option, it’s important to note if it’s remote, hybrid, or fully on site, in which case a location is important. With that in mind, you should then begin to think about what boards you would want to post to. You can of course test and research platforms individually, or start by using two or three, but another option would be to use a candidate sourcing software platform that has access to multiple job boards at a discounted rate.


Though there are many other methods of increasing your job post success, the above tips will be a helpful starting point for any business looking to start posting more effectively. At SmartRecruitOnline, we’re experts at helping customers’ make the most of their hiring and we’ve been doing so for over a decade, with proven track success for many of our clients. If you haven’t already, check out our FREE checklist for writing Job Ads that get noticed here.

If you’re interested in seeing how we can help you with your Job Posts, click here, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for all our latest content.

Smart Recruit Online

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

How to Improve your Recruitment Efficiency
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Want to improve your recruitment efficiency? Here we give you some top tips you can start implementing into your business.


Every recruiter knows how difficult it is to find, recruit, and retain top talent. This is especially true of today’s tight labour market, which is finding employers struggling to keep their businesses optimally staffed.


However, it’s not only attracting and keeping talent that’s proving formidable for businesses today. Even when you find the best candidates, you’re still often facing an unnecessarily long and arduous hiring process, and that can be a significant drain on company time and resources. Worse still, a lengthy and difficult screening and onboarding may well result in the loss of a highly qualified applicant.


Fortunately, there are ways to improve your recruitment efficiency, making the hiring process more seamless, effective, and efficient. This article describes the best strategies you can implement today to optimise your recruiting efficiency and onboarding practices for years to come!


Prioritise Automation

One of the best ways by far to improve your recruitment efficiency and efficacy is to harness the power of technology. Automation tools, such as a good recruitment platform, can both speed up and streamline the entire process, from initial applicant screening to onboarding.



For example, artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are increasingly being integrated into recruitment processes to automate the analysis of candidates’ application materials. Using AI to winnow down the candidate pool frees recruiters to focus only on applicants whose training and experience actually meet the job criteria.


Automation can also enhance recruiting and onboarding by providing a unique and memorable hiring experience that reflects your company brand and enables you to better evaluate a candidate’s fit for the job role and the organisational culture.


For example, you might use gamification in the candidate selection and onboarding process to help you evaluate soft skills, from creative problem-solving to effective communication and collaboration. At the same time, you will be providing candidates with a fun experience that promotes their engagement with the company.


These tools support recruitment efficiency because the technology enables you to evaluate applicants quickly and accurately, decreasing the likelihood of a bad hire and the need to begin the search all over again.


Additionally, a more engaged applicants is more likely to continue the hiring process, making it less likely they’ll drop out and make the time you invested come to nothing.


Thinking Like a Freelancer

Another important path to recruiting efficiently is to think, and work, a lot more like a freelancer. Because freelancers depend on being able to land gigs and maintain productivity, they’re superb not only at automating job duties but also at consolidation and jettisoning of tasks.


In other words, they’re going to focus on tackling the tasks that best suit their particular strengths, while delegating or automating those in which they may be relatively deficient. Thus, a freelancer who is a superstar in landing gigs at in-person business meetings but who can’t craft an effective pitch letter to save their soul may focus their time and efforts on face-to-face networking while outsourcing proposal writing to a fellow pro.



Similarly, because recruitment efficiency is key to maximising revenues when you’re a freelancer, the savvy independent contractor may deploy technology, such as time tracking and invoicing technologies, to facilitate record-keeping.


An HR manager seeking to improve their recruiting efficiency can borrow similar strategies. This might include creating a library of modifiable templates for the correspondence that often takes up so much of a recruiter’s time. This might include prefabricated, but easily customisable, boilerplates for invitations to apply, solicitations of additional applicant documents, and interview scheduling.


In addition to the creation of a curated correspondence library, a recruiter can use automation technologies to schedule the sending of emails, track transmissions and responses, and schedule automated follow-ups.


Consolidating and Curating Resources

In addition to automating and consolidating as many tasks as possible in alignment with the freelancer’s model of efficiency and productivity, it’s also beneficial for recruiters to consolidate and curate their resources and work products.


For example, a good recruitment management platform will enable you to archive, access, and adapt your resources easily and efficiently from a single system. This will save significant time because you will no longer need to transfer work product from one platform to another.


Everything you need to do your work effectively, from candidate screening to applicant outreach to the publishing and promotion of job ads, can all be found on a single, secure, and cohesive system.


Optimising Onboarding

In addition to making the hiring process more streamlined, improving your recruitment efficiency can also significantly improve the onboarding experience for new hires. Once again, this is an arena in which the profound benefits of automation truly shine through.


For instance, by automating onboarding processes, you will have the tools you need to personalise the experience for your recruits. Onboarding automation enables you to craft individualised welcome packets uniquely tailored to the job requirements and the specific needs of the new hire.


This offers an unprecedented opportunity to create a stellar first impression on new hires, which is often instrumental to retention. When your new employees feel well-supported from the beginning, when they feel that they have been equipped from day one with the tools they need to succeed, they’re more likely to quickly evolve into highly productive and loyal team members.


Whilst you are giving your new hires an excellent start to their new career with your company when you automate the onboarding process, you are also freeing yourself to work on other aspects of the recruiting process.


This makes for a more efficient workflow because tasks are both automated and consolidated. You can be reviewing applications, performing background checks, writing job ads, or conducting interviews, while at the same time using your automation tools to train new hires in their job roles and introduce them to company policies and procedures. Such task consolidation isn’t just going to accelerate the hiring process, it’s also going to make it more cost-efficient.


Tracking Recruiting Performance

Another critical aspect of improving your recruiting efficiency is understanding exactly what is working in your process–as well as what isn’t. For this reason, it’s imperative to track key metrics throughout the recruiting process.



This would include indicators such as the number of responses per job ad, ad type, and recruiting platform, the number of replies and number of non-responses to invitations-to-apply and related outreach, the number of new hires retained versus those lost during onboarding, and new hire retention rates for the first year and beyond.


Understanding which recruiting strategies and channels are the most effective can help you focus your time, efforts, and resources only on the techniques that work. Recruitment software like the Smart Recruit Online platform can help you collect and analyse the key metrics you need to substantially reduce time-to-hire and hiring spend.


The Takeaway

Efficiency isn’t just crucial for profitability and productivity. It’s also essential to effective recruiting. Fortunately, there are many strategies and tools recruiters can use to make the hiring process more streamlined.


Smart Recruit Online helps you take advantage of recruitment technology to do just this, with a range of recruitment automation tools and tracking software. Interested? Get in touch with us today.

Luke Smith

Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. When he isn't writing you can find him travelling, hiking, or gaming.

Building an Employer Branding Strategy
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

This guide teaches you why employer branding is critical for your business, and how you can build an employer branding strategy that works.


Recent research on employer branding suggests that “Over 90% of people would consider leaving their job if offered a position in a company with an outstanding corporate reputation.”


90%! This shows just how crucial employer branding is for any company looking to bring top talent on board and keep them.


Excellent branding can absolutely help you in the recruiting and hiring process when done right. From attracting quality candidates to providing a memorable hiring experience, employer branding can make or break the strength of your internal teams and operation overall.


Before we help you build your own branding strategy, let’s explore the definition of an employer branding strategy and why it’s important to improve continually.


Employer Branding Strategy Definition

Experts say, “At its most basic, employer branding is how you market your company to job seekers and what employees say about your company as a workplace.” An employer branding strategy allows you to shape the conversation about your brand and what it’s like to work for your company into a more positive one that makes you more appealing to potential employees.


An employer branding strategy differs from an employer branding tactic. A strategy is an overall plan to achieve a goal, while a tactic is an action taken to achieve that goal. However, both are vital for a solid employer brand.


Next, let’s explore why an employer brand strategy is worth improving.


Why an Employer Branding Strategy is Worth Improving

An employer branding strategy is worth improving because it directly impacts your ability to attract top talent, bring down hiring costs, and significantly reduce employee turnover.


A strong employer brand can also help you reduce candidate dropoffs in the hiring process and create an experience that candidates remember as positive, low-pressure, and seamless. In addition, you’ll be able to fill your teams with members that are a perfect match for your company’s culture, organisational direction, and preferred experience in candidates.


Furthermore, an employer branding strategy could result in lower spending on recruitment. Recent research on branding revealed that “Having a great brand can bring the expenses related to hiring and training down by as much as 50%.”


Read on for how to build an employer branding strategy that works for your company.


Building an Employer Branding Strategy


gif of a man saying he likes to plan a strategy


Building an employer branding strategy isn’t as complicated as people believe. By making a few crucial considerations and taking your time drafting the details of your strategy, you can be well on your way to an employer brand that stands out.



Here’s how to build an employer branding strategy:


What do you want your brand to communicate?

First, a considerable part of building an employer branding strategy is finetuning exactly what you want your brand to communicate to potential workers. In other words, what makes your company a desirable place to work? Why would someone love going to work every day at your company?


Be sure to polish your employee value proposition so that what’s expected from the company and prospective candidates during the recruiting, hiring, and onboarding processes is out in the open. Ultimately, you want to ensure you’re highlighting your company’s unique culture, mission, vision, and values.


With a clear understanding of what you want your brand to communicate to the outside world, move on to defining your ideal applicants.


Who are your ideal applicants?

Defining your ideal applicants is essential. To bring on team members who are perfect for the company, you must know who they are, how to communicate with them, and what will make your company attractive.


five people sitting in a waiting room


Instead of a buyer persona, create an ideal applicant persona. Map out the details of your perfect applicant and how they would move through their journey with your company, from introduction to hiring to onboarding. This way, you can craft a strategy and content tailored to the people you want to work for your company.


Next, define your employer branding goals.


Define employer branding goals

What do you want to achieve regarding employer branding? For instance, are you looking to reduce your hiring costs? Do you want to decrease candidate dropoff during the application process? Are you hoping to better your employee retention rate?


Whatever employer branding goals you have, write them down and make them visible to the entire HR team. You’ll also want to attach Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to your goals so that you can easily track your progress toward them.


Choosing suitable tools is next on the list for creating a killer employer branding strategy.


Choose suitable tools

Implement tools and platforms that help you find and hire the best talent out there. This will help free up your HR team’s time so that they can work on more pressing needs. Be sure your tools help keep your branding consistent and streamline your efforts throughout the hiring and recruiting process. They should do things like:


person typing on a laptop with faces in the background


  • Organise your branding elements
  • Help you find the most talented candidates online
  • Create job advertisements that help your company stand out
  • Post to job boards and sites automatically
  • Automate communication during vital parts of the process
  • Organize your relationship with a candidate so that you always know where you are with them
  • Screen resumes and covers letters
  • Video interviewing and virtual onboarding


Now it’s time to draft your strategy.


Draft your strategy and develop employer branding materials

Once you’ve defined your goals, draft your strategy either on paper or digitally. Be sure to include details like what communication channels you’ll use, your budget, who’s in charge of what, deadlines, content calendar, and how you’ll make the strategy visible to everyone in the company.


You’ll also want to address the content you create and employer branding materials necessary to carry out your strategy. For example, you’ll likely need extraordinary brand photography to give people an inside view of the atmosphere and culture in the workplace. Or maybe you’ll need to create employer branding videos to showcase a genuine and exciting side of your company.


Lastly, be sure to track your strategy’s performance.


Track your strategy’s performance

Implement analytics tools so that you can monitor the performance of your employer branding strategy and pivot when necessary.


Analytics tools can help you take advantage of new opportunities, address weaknesses in your strategy, and ensure you’re still meeting your company’s needs.


Do ample research on any analytics tool you’re considering. Be sure it’s the right fit for what you’re trying to track and the people who will be working with the data. Ultimately, it’s all about refining your approach to ensure your employer brand is the best it can be.



Creating a killer employer branding strategy is one of the best investments your company can make. Not only will you have a better chance at attracting top talent, but you’ll also create a company culture that’s a joy to work in.


The strategies discussed in this guide are made easier when you use the right recruitment technology. Why not get in touch and find out how our recruitment software can help you make better hires with a great employer branding strategy?

Luke Smith

Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. When he isn't writing you can find him travelling, hiking, or gaming.

HR Academy Live – Event Key Takeaways
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Last week, Smart Recruit Online hosted our first free HR Academy Live event.


This is the first of a series of live online events bringing HR & Recruitment thought leaders and specialists together to share insights around the biggest topics impacting the industry, and giving attendees the chance to have their questions answered with a live Q&A.


This week’s session covered three trending topics affecting the recruitment and HR space: Talent Attraction Strategy, HR & Recruitment Technology, and Diversity, Equality & Inclusion.


Talent Attraction Strategy

So many businesses struggle to attract quality and a high enough quantity of applicants, even for mainstream unskilled roles. Our first session covered the art behind a truly effective talent attraction strategy.


Measuring how effective your current talent attraction strategy is, is the key to improving it. This all depends on your business goals, measuring meaningful metrics around these goals, and then highlighting where improvements can be made – for example, is recruiting at any cost more important than keeping costs down?


Here are just some of the meaningful metrics highlighted:

  • Cost per application
  • Time to offer
  • Cost per hire
  • Applicant drop off
  • First-time fill rate
  • Attrition levels


Based on their own experiences, our panellists also discussed the most counterproductive pitfalls in talent attraction. Common ones included advertising your roles on the wrong channels, poor job advert copy, and redirecting applicants away from a job board onto a careers page, causing drop-offs to soar.


Top tips on what to implement into your talent attraction strategy included:

  • Choosing the correct job title using keyword research tools
  • Avoiding job titles exclusively used internally
  • Adding ‘work from home’ after the job title if you offer it
  • Ensuring to include a salary banding
  • Use of automation to fast track you to the best applicants e.g. CV parsing, AI ranking, bulk candidate communication tools
  • Using email and SMS communications in conjunction to create a seamless candidate journey
  • Regularly re-engaging with your talent pool with creative forms of communication


Poll Results


HR & Recruitment Technology Selection

The second session covered vendor selection strategies for HR & Recruitment technology. Choosing the right technology for your business is challenging, but anyone who takes talent recruitment seriously knows it’s essential.


Our panel looked into the reasons vendor selection has become harder, including the volume of solutions now available in the market, and the need to select a solution that works for your business.


A simple Google search won’t work, and recruiters need to do their homework to find the technology that solves their issues.


Other key frustrations of recruiters include:

  • Lack of platform flexibility
  • Lack of configuration options
  • Expensive development costs
  • Lack of ongoing support from vendors
  • The cost of add-ons like additional reporting tools or email templates


Selecting a recruitment technology can be broken down into several steps:

  1. Map out every part of your candidate journey and the touchpoints e.g. what communication tools you’ll need, who is responsible for each part, the impact on the candidate experience
  2. Define your technology must-haves and nice-to-haves
  3. Stick to your list throughout the vendor selection process. Don’t get side-tracked!
  4. Look at the core products the system offers, what’s included in the initial package, and any add-ons
  5. Look at the ongoing customer support, training and implementation plan offered. How will your hiring managers be supported? What are the cost implications of training? Would your team work well with the vendor on a regular basis?
  6. Ensure it will be a smooth adoption process for your whole team. Are managers happy with the system? Does it add or improve upon what they’re already doing? Will they actually use the system?


Poll Results


Diversity, Equality & Inclusion

The final session covered DE&I in the workplace. Diversity and inclusion are more than just making tick box hire and filling a quota – no candidate wants to feel like a token hire, and will likely be able to tell if they aren’t being hired on merit.


The benefits of hiring a diverse workforce are numerous. People want to work with good people, but they also want to work with different people; showing how diverse your company is will attract more talent.


It also enables your team to think more innovatively, and has been shown to improve employee retention. These all point towards a much more profitable business that reflects the kind of customers you’re serving.


Some top tips to improve your workplace diversity include:

  • Training staff to accurately understand what diversity and inclusion is, and how to avoid bias
  • Don’t rely on referral recruitment, as you may end up with all the same types of people
  • Ensure your job descriptions are inclusive
  • Reflect any values around having a diverse and inclusive workplace in your culture
  • Don’t make assumptions that candidates don’t have a protected characteristic – some disabilities are invisible!
  • CV anonymisation tools are useful for removing bias in the initial stages, but education needs to take place with your recruiters on diversity


Poll Results


If you didn’t get a chance to attend HR Academy Live this time around, you can watch the recording here.

Smart Recruit Online

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

How to Use Onboarding Automation Effectively
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Onboarding automation has become an essential part of the recruitment process. This guide gives you the top areas you should focus on for successful onboarding.


Strategic employee onboarding continues to be a major focus for many businesses, and yet, research has found only 12% of employees agree their company does a great job at it. This leaves a staggering 88% that don’t think there is room for improvement in their company.


As a positive candidate experience becomes more and more vital for successful recruitment, its importance is clear even after you’ve made a hire during the onboarding process.


The benefits of effective onboarding

Businesses that invest in improving their onboarding experience see numerous benefits. An effective onboarding programme can increase employee engagement levels, foster quicker productivity for new hires, and decrease employee turnover.


In fact, research by Brandon Hall Group found companies with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. It’s no secret that an engaged workforce is a key driver of business success, so it’s important to engage and retain employees from day 1. An effective onboarding process is the first step to achieving this.


Why automate your onboarding?

Over the years, automation has become one of those business buzzwords you hear tossed around at almost every meeting. And yes, it can be just a buzzword if you don’t implement it into your organisation, but it can also be a solution that transforms every department and every process in your company.



Automation encompasses a myriad of software and hardware solutions that aim to cut extraneous business costs, elevate efficiency and productivity, improve compliance and security, and bring numerous other benefits to the table. This includes improving the employee onboarding experience. 


When you implement onboarding automation, you can turn newcomers into productive team members in no time. But that’s just one of the ways that automation can improve the onboarding experience.


Let’s take a look at how you can automate onboarding to achieve better business results in the years to come. 


1. Ensuring data security and confidentiality

Let’s start with one of the benefits of onboarding automation that managers tend to forget about – the security and confidentiality of new employee data.


Data confidentiality is another broad term that encompasses the security of personal devices, new accounts, and all the software that your new employees use to get the job done. Remember that newcomers are inexperienced with your processes and how you use all of these devices and software, so they might inadvertently create potential security holes while they’re getting the hang of things.


You can’t be expected to check for these security risks manually, especially when you don’t even know if they exist. So, a big part of onboarding automation is to automate password creation, implement early warning systems, and automatically balance access rights. The last one is super important for controlling which employees have access to which data stores and features in your system. You can use automated access rights to delegate access easily according to their level of clearance.


2. Personalised and comprehensive welcome packets

Welcoming a new employee into your organisation is nowadays much more complex than a firm handshake and a smile. Whether your employees are working in a physical office space or if you’re currently hiring remote workers only, the way you welcome them can make all the difference.


You should use this opportunity to create a personalised welcome package that will boost onboarding and help make the newcomer into a productive team member as quickly as possible. This package can be completely digitised, thus automating this part of the onboarding experience, and you can drop it into their inbox.


It can contain a heartfelt message from you or the team lead, but more importantly, it should contain all the information, guides, and materials the employee needs to learn the ropes quickly. Take the time to craft these packages for every employee and their position in your company and you will invariably improve their productivity from day one.


3. Automated background checks 

Many employers may choose to conduct background checks on new hires post-offer as part of the onboarding process. With automation, you can get these checks sent out to the new hire before they start, so their first day can be spent with introductions and training, rather than going through paperwork.


Some centralised recruitment systems allow you to send automated requests for background check authorisation, driver’s license copies, and anything else you may need ahead of time.


Webforms, email and eSignature tools can then be used to make the process easier for the candidate, and the completion of these tasks is automatically tracked on the system. This makes the screening process much more efficient for HR and hiring managers, and creates a seamless candidate experience.


4. Monitoring time, work, and attendance for new hires

One of the biggest productivity killers for new hires and the reason why it takes so long for them to get a handle on things is that managers fail to monitor them and their work.



Remember, one of the secrets to successful onboarding is making sure that you have real-time visibility of all your teams. This allows you to make better decisions quickly, support newcomers in their work, and delegate more efficiently.


Of course, this is not something you should try to do manually, because it’s time-consuming and financially impossible. Instead, you should automate the process with the right time and attendance solutions that give you comprehensive team visibility along with real-time insights into their status, location, and work.


This allows you to automate various different parts of the onboarding process and better manage your new employees no matter where they are in the world.


5. Improving productivity and efficiency

As you might have guessed, one of the biggest benefits of onboarding automation is improved productivity and efficiency in general.


If there is anything that newcomers rightfully struggle with, it’s maintaining high levels of productivity, especially if they are new to the tools and processes you use. If you want them to be engaged and motivated, automation should be one of your priorities. 


That said, the more intuitive tools you use and the smarter the software, the easier it is for newcomers to get the job done without making any mistakes along the way. So, using a project management tool with a variety of intuitive and automated features, for example, allows new team members to handle tasks more easily and consistently, track progress, and stay in touch with their colleagues. 


6. Providing continuous guidance, training, and support

Last but not least, there is no way to avoid an occasional blunder or getting your inbox flooded with questions from newcomers on a daily basis. Don’t blame them, they’re new to your organisation, so it’s natural that they have a lot of questions.


Continuous support and guidance on your part are instrumental in making them independent and successful in their work, but it is time-consuming. That’s why you should automate these processes as much as you can.


By crafting detailed FAQs, video tutorials, and even integrating a chatbot into your internal support tool, your employees and new hires will have an easier time resolving every issue they come across without bugging you. It saves you time, but it also makes the whole workflow more efficient.


Wrapping up

Automation is a big deal nowadays, and when it comes to onboarding, it can be a lifesaver. Be sure to automate onboarding and employee management as much as you can to create a more efficient and productive employee collective.


Looking for more ways to automate your recruitment process, and save yourself time and money? Our talent acquisition platform can help. Get started by booking in a chat with one of our experienced consultants.


Pink book a demo button

Lauren N Wiseman

Lauren is a regular SRO Blog and Bizzmark Blog author that has many articles published with the main focus on clients who want their brands to grow in the fast-changing and demanding market. Her personal favorites are successes of small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs. She goes through life with one strong moto - Kindness, always.

Top Recruiting Trends for 2022: The Complete Hiring Guide
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

It’s time to take a fresh look at your recruitment strategy in 2022. Get a head-start on your competition by following these recruiting trends.


Keeping up with the change in the recruitment space may seem impossible, but with CEOs listing acquiring the right talent as a top concern, you can’t afford not to. Recruitment technology is often central to these changes. Investing in this technology is now vital if you want to succeed and hire effectively.


This guide covers the top recruiting trends entering 2022, and how your business can follow them.

1. Evidence-based recruitment

Decisions are made at every stage of the recruitment lifecycle. From how you write a job advert, to selecting to best advertising channels and candidates.


Instead of just going with your gut, technology helps you make important decisions based on hard facts. This is known as evidence-based recruitment, and many companies don’t apply it.


Artificial intelligence, predictive algorithms, and big data are all evidence-based tools readily available to help you find and hire the right talent.


Search engines

Search engines like Google are a quick way to get insights into where relevant applicants are looking for jobs. This helps you select what job advertising channels you want to post on.


Simply search for roles in your sector, and see which websites appear first on the results page. Ensure you advertise on these websites, but rather than going to each job board directly, use a job multi-poster to save time and money.


Check job boards

Check relevant job boards for competition in your sector. If competition is high, you’re in the right place. Increase chances of beating your competitors by optimising your job adverts to appear first, and be appealing to applicants.


Checking job boards also help identify what your competition is offering, and if you can match or exceed this.


Seasonal recruiting trends

Consider seasonal recruiting trends before advertising your jobs. For example, job search activity tends to increase in January, but competition for candidates drives up costs. Consider advertising in December instead, and pay less for the same hire.


Gif of man tapping his head


2. Plugging the skills gap

The skills employers need are changing with the emergence of new technologies and disruptive forces. A Deloitte report suggested this ‘skills gap’ could leave around 2.4 million roles unfilled between 2018 and 2028 in the manufacturing industry alone.


Whether it’s the need for soft and digital skills rising with remote working, or automation and AI continuing to leave their mark, employers are struggling to hire appropriately trained staff.


Internal training

Internal training programmes with experienced team members help get new and existing hires up to speed.


This may include:

  • Mentorships with senior staff
  • Creating a talent development programme that focuses on specific skills an employee lacks
  • Performance reviews to monitor progress


Upskilling & reskilling programmes

Industry giants like Amazon and PwC have invested heavily in upskilling and reskilling programmes well before it became a recruiting trend.


These programmes have numerous long-term benefits, improving employee engagement, retention, attracting new talent, and speeding up the adoption of new trends in the business.


This may include:

  • Job shadowing or swapping between teams
  • Investment in industry courses and qualifications
  • Time away to attend relevant seminars and events
  • Group sessions with external training providers


Woman stood in front of a board presenting


Apprenticeship & graduate recruitment programmes

Apprenticeship and graduate programmes are a great way to recruit from the ground level up.


Most people coming out of education won’t have the precise industry experience that you can evaluate them against, but that also means they don’t have bad habits either. Considering prospective candidates using behavioural assessment techniques ensures you recruit people that are motivated and engaged in the type of work that you want them to do.


Creating your own graduate program or using an aligned apprenticeship course, can help develop individuals quickly and at a far lower cost than recruiting with existing experience. If you are aware of skill sets that will be in demand by your organisation on a longer term basis, then this strategy can have massive benefits.


Use of learning technology

E-learning has become a very popular way to plug the skills gap. This is because it can be done in a microlearning format at the employee’s convenience, making learning more flexible and engaging.


This may include:

  • Social media learning
  • Video learning e.g. webinars or training videos
  • Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs) that create a personalised, social, online learning experience for employees from a singular platform


Use of assessment tools

Using assessment tools to test skills and behaviours before you make a hire is also important.


Getting this stage wrong can be costly, so using a recruitment system with access to assessment tools will help you manage admin and pinpoint top talent.


This may include:

  • Behavioural assessments to find genuinely motivated and engaged candidates, likely willing to continue to learn and improve in their field.
  • Employment scenario testing tools to identify how well they will fit into your organisation.
  • CV parsing and AI technology to automatically scan CVs and assess applications for relevant skills and experience.


3. Diversity & inclusion

Everyone is talking about diversity and inclusion (DE&I), but why is it important?


Statistic that 76% of job seekers consider diversity when searching for a role


A diverse workforce attracts highly competent talent from around the world. In fact, a Glassdoor survey found 76% of job seekers consider diversity when searching for new opportunities.


Other research shows that diversity boosts employee productivity, motivation, and helps your business come up with innovative solutions that target the global market.


A more ethical and fairer approach to recruitment will also be attractive to attracting and retaining top talent.


Unconscious bias awareness

Bias in the hiring process may not always be purposeful, but it can seriously impact the candidate selected for hire.


Proactively speak to your recruiters about unconscious bias when selecting candidates for interviews or writing job adverts. Find out what preconceptions people hold and why. Increasing conscious awareness and challenging these beliefs is the first step to creating greater inclusiveness.


Blind CVs

Blind CVs eliminate bias by not having any identifying factors, including candidate names, gender, age, or race. They help you pick the best of the best, and create a more diverse workforce.


The steps to anonymising CVs are:

  1. Decide what information you want to remove.
  2. Anonymise the data with an automation tool or colleague.
  3. Review your blind CVs and select candidates for interviews.


Woman with a blindfold on


AI ranking of candidates

AI ranking technology can be used during the screening process to automatically rank candidates for role relevance. AI simply scans CVs for keywords and phrases related to the job criteria, and evaluates career history. This is completely unbiased and avoids any human error.


DE&I forms

You can create DE&I forms that gather diversity information about candidates. This helps measure applicant diversity, and ensures the recruitment process is inclusive.


4. Proactive & accountable tech providers

A common complaint amongst recruitment technology customers is a lack of proactive support and accountability. Companies sign up for an expensive ATS, but once the system is installed and they’re trained to use it, the vendor seems to lose any interest in them.


Providers that take a more proactive approach will now do better – after all, customer acquisition is only as powerful as customer retention.


What can you do?

Companies should actively look for providers offering ongoing customer support. This is especially useful if your team is new to using recruitment technology and needs extra support to create high-performance campaigns.


This may include:

  • Assistance with job advertising media selection
  • Copywriting support & training
  • Monitoring of job advert success
  • Effective candidate screening
  • Interview management
  • Use of reports to review and analyse what’s working and what isn’t


5. Workplace perks

A Glassdoor Employment Survey found 60% of job seekers greatly consider benefits and perks before accepting an offer. Think about what perks are popular, and whether you can offer these. At the moment ‘time perks’ are an especially popular recruiting trend.


Colleagues sat down laughing


Flexible hours

A Deloitte survey found lack of work flexibility as the most common reason millennials quit. The demand for flexible hours has also increased along with the pandemic.


If the role allows, and your competitors are offering it, this is a good perk to include. This could be hybrid working, earlier finish times, longer lunch breaks, and so on.


Burnout breaks

Employee burnout is a very real and damaging issue. It can cause decreased productivity, output, and collaboration. Chronically stressed staff create a slew of negative business outcomes.


Big companies like LinkedIn and Bumble have introduced ‘burnout breaks’ for employees. This involves staff shutting down for a week’s paid holiday to re-set.


Concerns around mental health are more prominent than ever, but should we wait for employees to get to breaking point before introducing these measures?


Remote working

An Expert Market survey of 100 business owners and CEOs found 72% anticipated employees wanting to keep working remotely, even once the pandemic is over.


There are many benefits to offering remote working, including happier employees and fostering trust. But there are challenges too, including team innovation, productivity, and accountability. Decide as a business what balance you want between remote and office-based spaces.


6. Caring culture

Colleagues gathered around a laptop The kind of workplace culture employees value frequently shifts. Between 2000 – 2010, a ‘cool culture’ of casual Fridays, ping pong tables, and beer fridges ruled.


The corporate culture valued has now shifted from ‘cool’ to ‘caring’. The newer workforce is more focused on companies that take wellbeing, environmental issues, and corporate responsibility seriously.


A caring culture might seem like a ‘nice to have’ too many leaders, but the recruiting trend towards ‘must-have’ is in full effect. Top talent is not willing to compromise on this.


Wellness & mental health initiatives

With the demand for mental health support is increasing, companies need to be more proactive and offer strong wellness & mental health package.


Providing support here is not completely selfless, as depression and anxiety are thought to cost the global economy more than $1 trillion in lost productivity every year.


In the workplace

  • One-to-ones: Regular one-to-ones with managers helps identify any issues with workload or mental health early.
  • Limit micromanaging: Micromanagement creates stress and distrust.
  • Recognise symptoms of burnout: If your employees are unable to concentrate, easily upset or angered, or have recurring sickness, you could be dealing with employee burnout.
  • The ‘stop exercise’: Encourage your employees to stop for 60 seconds – 3 minutes three times a day. Make this part of your company policy.
  • Get outside: The benefits of taking a 15-minute break outside in the fresh air and exposed to sunlight just twice a day are enormous when it comes to wellbeing and productivity.
  • Flexible working: Research has shown flexible workers have higher job satisfaction.
  • Zero-tolerance policies: Maintain this for any workplace bullying and harassment.


Man and woman sat down at a desk talking


Additional support

  • Encourage learning & development: Have an afternoon every week dedicated to self-development, or group meetings to solve business challenges.
  • Encourage exercise: Exercise boosts your mood and reduces stress and anxiety. Provide gym membership schemes, running clubs, or even a brisk walk 5 minutes a day.
  • Provide counselling services: If you can, offer to pay for counselling sessions for those who need them.
  • Corporate retreats & workshops: Give employees the tools to manage their mental health and reward them for their hard work.
  • Support groups: Have support groups ranging from those specifically for LGBTQ staff, to mental health aid.


Proactive environmental and social responsibility

You’ve likely heard the bulk of ways to improve your environmental and social responsibility, so we will list the key ones here.


  • Recycling scheme: Offer rewards and recycling incentives. Discuss what would motivate staff to recycle and experiment with a range of schemes.
  • Green commuting: Encourage staff to choose alternative commuting methods like walking, cycling, or car sharing.
  • An energy audit: Assess if there is anything in the office that can be switched to an energy-efficient alternative e.g. lightbulbs, use of natural light, water-saving practices in the kitchen and restrooms, and rainwater storage.


7. Highly configurable & customisable recruitment software

A common issue for ATS or HRIS system users is they offer minimal configuration, and customisations are usually slow and expensive. Users get stuck with a complicated one-size-fits-all platform for several years.


The best modern recruitment systems are cloud-based, plug & play, and act like a configurable web application rather than a website. This means they can be updated regularly with new and improved features, and user requests can be fulfilled quickly and without incurring cost.


What can you do?

Look for vendors that operate within ‘Continuous integration and continuous delivery’ (CI/CD) model, as this means more responsive development, usually better code quality and shorter development cycles and more regular updates to users.

Other tips include:

  • Look for cloud-based recruitment technology providers that offer configuration capability
  • Providers that are openly flexible about how you use their software
  • Choose regularly updated systems
  • Providers of custom features for clients in the past (indicated in case studies or product pages on their website)


8. Remote working v hybrid v office based

The pandemic has upended how workplaces operate. Employers have been forced to adapt to remote working (Work From Home), or to offer a hybrid-based model.


Additionally, employees are keen to join businesses that are clear in their intentions around which of these models they adopt.


What can you do?

Be clear on if employees will work remotely, hybrid, or from the office in your job adverts. This is a key factor job seekers look for, and you may miss out on talented candidates by not including it.


Split screen between working from home and in an office


Decide which model is best for your business. Do you prefer your staff to come into an office for collaborative work? Or perhaps you’re happy for employees to work completely remotely.


Office-Based Remote-Based Hybrid-Based
Commuting Staff will spend time and money travelling to the office Less time and money spent travelling for staff  

Staff only required to commute some days when teamwork is required


Hiring Challenges recruiting talent who aren’t local Recruiting based on skills not location

More flexibility around hiring outside your location


Collaboration Collaboration is more direct, easier, and more effective for new starters Proper communication needed and systems set up for collaboration

Collaboration can be done during office days and remote days more solo work


Productivity Largely depends on the office environment i.e. are there quiet spaces to work? Can be more productive when working on projects and tasks that require no team input

Having the choice to select the work environment may improve productivity


Communication Communication is done easily in the office space If all employees work remotely, a uniform system to communicate A mix of in-office and video tools when working remotely


9. The top 3 drivers for attracting talent

When advertising your jobs, there are 3 areas you should aim to include in your adverts if you want to convince top talent to apply.


  1. Salary & Role
  2. Culture
  3. Opportunity to grow and develop


Naturally the best candidates are looking for roles that sound exciting and challenging with fair pay as standard, so it’s vital you include both in your adverts.


Having a clearly defined ‘caring’ culture that is ethical and environmentally sensitive is becoming more and more important as the younger generations enter the workforce, as well as the ability to learn and grow within the role. These are now necessities to include if you want to win the best candidates.


As job hunting becomes more of a social exercise, around 80% of applications come from people already employed with a lower level of commitment to changing jobs. Once you have received an initial application from these candidates, they will be placing a lot of emphasis on your recruitment process to assess your company before accepting any offers.


This is where it’s vital to make your overall candidate experience as positive as possible so you retain top talent. There are lots of ways you can create a great candidate experience by simply reading our guide on this topic.


10. The future of ATS

The use of applicant tracking systems has been a recruiting trend for some time now. With 98% of all companies falling within the SME category, it’s likely that the ATS market will continue to adapt towards satisfying this portion of the market.


Smaller companies are likely to have fewer resources and want all encompassing systems that come pre-integrated and ready to go.


The pricing and functionality of applicant tracking systems are likely to align with these needs. They will be offering more pre-integrated services, automation and self-serve options, and be developed with more configuration options that allow users to adapt to their own preferred ways of working.


Low cost, quickly activated plug-ins that meet these user needs will be accessible via market-place (think Salesforce, Bullhorn, Hubspot etc.).


Buyers of recruitment technology in the future will be looking for more reliable, proactive, and accountable solutions that measure meaningful recruitment outcomes and metrics. There will be no hiding for vendors as they become more transparent about their product and what it can help recruiters achieve.


Want to make hiring easier?

A new year is a great time to follow current recruiting trends and optimise your processes. Make this less daunting with the Smart Recruit Online talent acquisition platform, designed to make recruiting easier, faster, and more effective than any other ATS in the market.


  • Simple and easy to use
  • Automates large portions of recruitment
  • Access to the widest online advertising network in the world
  • Make the right hires with built-in candidate screening tools
  • Build a diverse workforce with blind CV and CV scanning tools
  • A proactive team to help optimise your recruitment campaigns
  • Experienced copywriters to help optimise your job adverts
  • Fully customisable software to meet your recruitment needs


And much, much more. Interested? Book a demo today.


Pink book a demo button

Smart Recruit Online

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

The 8 Biggest Recruitment Challenges for 2022
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


When you’re looking to hire the best talent for your business, it’s inevitable that you’ll run into a few recruitment challenges along the way. Here we discuss what some of these biggest challenges are, and some useful tips that help solve them. 


1. Market Fragmentation

One of the biggest recruitment challenges is understanding the different tools are services out there, and which are most effective for improving the recruitment process. This can be a daunting task, with hundreds of potential solutions out there that claim they can get your job filled, making it hard to distinguish which are best for your recruitment needs.


From job boards and aggregators, to social media, sponsored advertising, agencies and RPOs, it can be hard to know where to start, as amongst the very good solutions, there are some very poor ones too. Each job will need a different set of solutions, so finding the ideal combination of advertising media, technology and processes is the best way to get your job filled efficiently and cost-effectively.



Luckily, there are now recruitment services available that let you centralise all your recruitment activities. Many of these services have integrated 3rd party tools so you can get several recruitment solutions in one, giving you better value for money.


A key tip to establish which is the best service for you is to first list your company objectives, then you can think about the tools you need to achieve them. For example, if you want to reduce recruitment costs, selecting tools that reduce your dependency on agencies could be the best option.


2. Efficiency During The Recruitment Process

Inefficient administration processes and duplication of effort are what soak up the vast majority of a recruiter’s time. For example, sourcing potential applicants and reviewing CVs and profiles can take hours, if not days.


When lots of time is spent inefficiently on recruitment admin, it can actually create a substantial cost to your business. Yet, when calculating the cost-per-hire metric, many businesses don’t factor in the time and resources spent on these kinds of tasks.


Creating an efficient recruitment process is essential for getting high-quality applicants into your shortlist, as quickly as possible. It’s also important for managing efficient ways to reject unsuitable applicants quickly, while protecting the corporate brand.


Three efficiency graphs



A good recruitment management system is essential for improving your recruitment efficiency. Recruitment management systems let you coordinate all your processes from one single platform, where you can easily identify what tasks are the most time-consuming, along with many other tools that automate and simplify the recruitment process.


This will dramatically reduce time spent on manual admin tasks, and save on long-term costs to your business. For example, you may notice screening applicants is taking far longer than necessary, so you could benefit from implementing tools like behavioural assessments, video profiling and technical assessments.


3. The Candidate Experience and Protecting the Company Brand

Company brand is all about reputation, and this can be significantly affected by the candidate experience throughout the recruitment process. This can be seen in research that found 80% of candidates who have a bad recruitment experience will openly tell others about it, with many proactively doing so.


A poor candidate experience can damage your brand image, impacting how both candidates and customers may see you in the future. Yet understanding how to execute a positive candidate experience seems to be one of the biggest recruitment challenges.



Improving the way you communicate with candidates is one of the best things you can do to improve their experience and protect your brand. This can easily be done with personalised automated email and SMS responses at each stage of the application process, acknowledging applications and providing additional information about your job opportunity to keep them engaged.


This is important even for candidates who aren’t suitable for your roles. According to a PwC survey, 61% of candidates have experienced recruiters withdrawing from all communication suddenly and without explanation, even after they have had an interview. This can leave candidates feeling negatively towards your brand, increasing the chance of negative word-of-mouth.


Download banner for eBook on ways to improve the candidate experience


4. Avoiding Bad Hires

The person doing the recruitment may be under pressure to get the job filled quickly above anything else. This can lead to unsuitable candidates being selected, and bad hires being made. Bad hires can cost your business almost a third of the employee’s first-year earnings, and affect your team’s overall performance and productivity, so naturally this is something you want to avoid.



Applying due diligence even in the earliest stages of recruitment is key for avoiding bad hires. This can be done in the form of sophisticated candidate screening tools, such as CV parsing, behavioural assessments, and video profiling. Tools like this will help closely match candidate experience, behaviour, and cultural fit to your role and business.


5. Direct Applicant Quality

Every recruiter is looking for the secret sauce to this recruitment challenge. Attracting quality candidates is important, but something many businesses struggle with. This isn’t helped by the fact that the typical drop-off rate during the application process is 80%, and this tends to be the strongest applicants passively searching for a new role.


Speech bubble with the words 'we are hiring'


Poorly optimised job adverts that don’t include appropriate keywords are often the centre of this problem, as the right candidates aren’t discovering the role. Many job adverts are also poorly written to convert, creating the challenge of turning a view into an actual application.



There are short and long-term solutions to this challenge. A short-term strategy would be to ensure your advert will be displayed by search engines like Google by using the most effective job title and relevant keywords that your ideal candidate will be searching for. Make sure to include these keywords in your ad copy, page title and meta description.


Once candidates find your job ad, making it engaging and well-written will help improve conversions more than a simple job spec.


More long-term strategies that will help improve direct applicant quality are to improve your company brand and reputation using the tactics mentioned for improving the candidate experience.


We also recommend building your talent pool and establishing relationships with quality candidates ahead of trying to recruit them, for example those that have previously applied at your company, follow you on social media or have joined groups you manage on LinkedIn.


6. Improving Time to Hire

With 81% of candidates expecting the hiring process to take 2 weeks at most, improving time-to-hire is a recruitment challenge increasing in importance. This is because candidates are far more likely to drop-off the application process if it is taking too long, or get snapped up by another company.



Instead of measuring your time-to-hire, use the time-to-offer metric instead. This is much more sensible to assess your performance on, as things like candidate notice period are beyond the recruiter’s control.


If you find that your time-to-offer is still too long, then you need to start looking for ways to speed up your recruitment process so you don’t miss out on talented candidates.


Some ways to do this include posting your jobs to a wide enough network, writing optimised ad copy, communicating with the best applicants continuously, and automating manual processes through technology like CV parsing, to name a few.


Woman shaking hands with a man at an interview


7. Measuring Performance and Results

What doesn’t get measured, doesn’t improve. Tracking data like application completion rates, drop-off rates, and declined offers is important for identifying areas where you might need to improve your recruitment process. It’s also useful for spotting what campaigns perform well, so you can replicate these in future and save on the cost of weak recruitment.


Recruiters need to generate simple, accurate reports that give this kind of information, and the recruitment challenges lies with what tools are most effective for doing this.



A good recruitment management system is once again an easy solution to this challenge. These systems provide you with detailed reports across all your recruitment activities that you can then analyse for performance and pinpoint areas for improvement.


8. Reducing Recruitment Costs

Perhaps the most prominent recruitment challenge concerns reducing your recruitment spend. Many companies look to cut back on agency costs, which is unsurprising given standard fees range between 15 – 20% of the candidate’s first annual salary. Hiring directly in-house is one of the most effective ways to reduce these costs, but hiring the right candidate is what will repay that cost several times over.



Having the right tools, systems, and processes in place is critical to improving your in-house recruitment process, and reducing overall recruitment costs. Our Guide to Reducing Recruitment Costs covers this in more depth, and will give you all the tips you need to do this.


Many fixed price solutions are able to offer extremely good value for money when it comes to your media advertising, and some come with outstanding management systems that can help you to address many of the other challenges that recruiters face.


Gif of woman saying 'I'm not paying that much'


Ready to solve your recruitment challenges?

You may have noted that many of the biggest recruitment challenges can be solved using recruitment technology and services.


Smart Recruit Online offer free online demonstrations of our talent acquisition platform. Our platform comes fully equipped to solve the challenges we’ve spoken about here, with recruitment management software, candidate communication tools, screening tools, job advert optimisation tools and so much more available on one, easy-to-use platform. So, why not book a demo with us today?


Pink book a demo button

Mark Stephens

Mark has worked in and researched the HR & Recruitment landscape for over 20 years. His key focuses are how recruitment technology, evidence-based processes, and human behavioural science can be used to optimise recruitment performance. He is a serial entrepreneur, previous winner of the prestigious Chambers of Commerce 'Innovation in Business' award, and founder of Smart Recruit Online Ltd, and Corporate Wellness & Mental Health UK Ltd (Corpwell).

Ready to Get Started?

We guarantee, you will not use any other service like ours. It’s that good!