5 Best Practices For Candidate Vetting in 2019
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

5 Best Practices For Candidate Vetting in 2019 By Rick Witherspoon.

Recruiters are getting smarter about how they filter out applicants during the hiring process. Scary stats like the cost of making the wrong hire motivate in-house recruiters to be more careful about whom they extend job offers. The cost of hiring the wrong fit can be up to 2.5x the salary – as much as $240,000, according to one report.

In a job market where roles require specialized technical knowledge, vetting processes must keep up. Fierce competition over the best candidates, as well as pressure to perform on key metrics like employee turnover and cost-per-hire, encourage in-house recruiters to spend more time in the vetting phase of the hiring process. Here are the best practices smart recruiting teams follow to vet candidates in 2019.


Use the right software

Software tools and platforms are critical to helping recruiters filter out candidates in the early phases of their hiring process. “A vetting process should allow you to filter out candidates who don’t have the skills necessary to succeed in the role. To do this, you’ll want to start by vetting the applicant’s resume, cover letter, and other application materials they’ve submitted for review,” recommends Smart Recruit Online.

Likewise, these tools can positively impact diversity hiring and help an HR team be unbiased when evaluating resumes. Testing and assessment tools like Codility, HackerRank, pymetrics, and Vervoe filter candidates based on real-world simulations, allowing candidates to be ranked based on skillset rather than what’s on their resume. Vetting tools help recruiters be more organized, efficient, and purposeful in who they invite to proceed to the next stage of the recruiting process.


Integrate AI to assist recruiters

Many of these software tools use algorithms to filter resumes by keywords, but this year’s trend takes it a step further. Companies in Silicon Valley are working on smarter AI solutions to read applications beyond simple keyword identification. “Instead of one person reading through hundreds of resumes, they envision a process in which AI can quickly sort through data. CEO Somen Mondal compares its tech to a recommendation engine, much like Amazon or Netflix — the first line of defence against high-volume hiring,” writes The Verge. Tools are getting smarter and smarter at helping recruiters vet through the initial influx of candidates.


Outsource your vetting process

Tools and algorithms can’t be replaced by human interaction, however. There’s a limit to how far a robot can take the vetting process – and thereafter, a significant amount of human resources are dedicated to finding the best person for the job. Especially in executive searches, third-party recruiters are necessary to make sure the right person is hired the first time around.

More and more companies are outsourcing their executive recruiting to a talent and recruitment agency. They’re seeking an objective perspective on their vetting process; recruiters outside the company can truly evaluate whether or not a person is the best candidate. Outsourcing gives companies the benefit of building specialized, world-class teams without having to hire in-house experts with the technical knowledge to properly vet technical candidates.

Talent Attraction


Ask the right questions

One of this year’s biggest trends? Asking smart questions. Historically, interview questions followed the same line, no matter what industry you were in. “Why should we hire you?” is one of those outdated, overused questions that don’t offer much insight into a candidate’s ability. Instead, recruiters across the board are investing more time in candidate vetting with job-related or behavioural questions that assess the candidate’s fit. “While it is good to hire people who match the personalities or personal backgrounds of your current employees, it is just as important to seek out a diversity of opinions, backgrounds, and interests in the people you hire,” writes one expert from Glassdoor.


Consider merit, rather than background

Perhaps the biggest overall candidate vetting trend of 2019 is the impulse to move beyond the resume. For example, JavaScript is the most well-known language among software developers, according to a survey by Hackerrank. But, students aren’t learning JavaScript – it’s not taught in most university computer science programs. Companies that want to hire developers with experience in JavaScript must look past a college diploma to vet candidates who haven’t taken the traditional route. Today’s vetting procedures weigh career trajectory more heavily than educational achievement. This benefits candidates and companies alike – the future of vetting practices looks brighter than ever.


This article was originally published on Elevate Talent.


Rick is the Senior Recruiting Manager at Elevate Talent, a recruiting agency that helps companies build their Go-To-Market and People Operations teams.


Offering support for both recruiters and on-site HR workforces, Smart Recruit Online helps businesses find and hire the best talent more efficiently. To see how SRO can improve your talent acquisition, campaign management, and candidate screening workflows, book a demo today. 

Book a demo



Rick Witherspoon

Rick is the Senior Recruiting Manager at Elevate Talent, a recruiting agency that helps companies build their Go-To-Market and People Operations teams.

Wording in Your Job Advert and Discrimination
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Wording in Your Job Advert and Discrimination by Elizabeth Babafemi, B.Eng MCIPD – MBA – Doctoral PhD Student

If we only recruited people from a certain age range, race or gender, life would be pretty dull!! I once saw an advert that read: the company is looking to recruit an individual with “at least seven years’ experience (preferably continuous)”


Why is this discrimination? 

It is arguably discriminatory on the grounds of age and, possibly, sex. The fact that the advertisement specifies a requirement for individuals with “at least seven years’” experience invariably means that older applicants are more advantaged than younger applicants since they are more likely to have at least that level of experience. Furthermore, the fact that seven years’ continuous experience is stated to be preferable arguably means that women are being put at a disadvantage because they are more likely to have had a break in employment (to care for children, for example) than their male counterparts.

The legislation can be a somewhat difficult and blurry area to understand, especially as many employers are unaware of how the wording in their job advert can be seen as discriminatory. It is no wonder you may have heard a number of cases about businesses and companies facing legal action over discrimination in their job advert.

Below is by no means a definitive list, and there are a number of other ‘protected characteristics’ which should be carefully considered when drafting a job advert, particularly, of course, if they are requirements for the job.

If in doubt, keep the language neutral. That way you may ensure you don’t miss out on the right candidate for the role and that you keep your recruitment equal, and inclusive.


Bilingual Bias

Over the years, I have seen some ads state: ‘English must be your first language’. Admittedly the jobs being advertised are writing jobs that require a certain ability with words, but surely the question of whether English is your first or second language should not come into it. Could you not be someone who speaks both languages equally fluently?

Some job boards are visited by lots of people from foreign countries, I would be more inclined to interpret ‘English must be your first language’ as ‘no foreigners please’.

To attract the right quality of applicants, we should get our adverting process right.  We should plan and carefully consider the content and design of the job advert.  We should also identify the most suitable media for advertising the job in order to reach an appropriate audience.

There are lots of rules around writing job adverts, mostly based around best practice to attract candidates. But certain rules are there to ensure you don’t fall foul of discrimination law.

Only use phrases like ‘recent graduate’ or ‘highly experienced’ when these are actual requirements of the job. This could discriminate against younger or older people who might not have had the opportunity to get certain qualifications.


When can you discriminate?

You can specify that the successful applicant will be from a particular group if it’s a requirement of the job. For example, people under 18 cannot legally sell alcohol.


Avoiding sexual discrimination

As much as you might want to balance up your gender heavy department with a member of the opposite sex, this is strictly forbidden to ask for within a job advert.

Gender-specific terms could also be problematic. Using ‘bar maid’ or ‘handyman’, for instance, implies that the job is only available to one or other sex. ‘German-speaking sales rep’ should be used over ‘German sales rep’, because it would be discriminatory single out one nationality, if it’s just the language skill that’s needed.

There are certain roles where there is a genuine occupational need for an employee to be of a certain gender, such as within single sex institutions like hospitals and prisons. You are never allowed to consider that hiring one gender may provide a benefit in terms of physical performance, unless that performance is of a thematic nature (such as the need for a male to play Father Christmas).

a) It is vital to prepare a job description and person specification as these can provide us with a useful basis for designing a job advertisement.

b) All forms of job advert are covered by the Equality Act 2010.

If you are a disabled person

If an employer does advertise a job, they must not state or imply that a job is unsuitable for disabled people generally or for a disabled person with a particular type of impairment, unless there is a very clear job-related reason for this.

For example:

An employer is advertising for somebody to deliver parcels on their own; the advertisement states that the successful applicant will have to drive and be able to lift the parcels. The need to drive is clearly required for the job. Although it may exclude some disabled people e.g. those with a sight impairment, it would not exclude all disabled people. It would therefore be wrong – and discriminatory – to put ‘unsuitable for disabled people’ in the job advert.

c) Employers must not publish adverts that indicate, or could reasonably indicate, an intention to discriminate.

For example: An employer advertises for a ‘waitress’. To avoid direct discrimination because of sex, they should advertise for ‘waiting staff’ or ‘waiter or waitress’. The job title you use should therefore never be gender specific – ‘waitress’, ‘salesman’ and ‘manageress’ are all terms that fall foul of the law.

d) Adverts should contain enough information about the job and the organisation to help applicants decide if they are suited to the job.

e) Adverts must not target applicants with a particular protected characteristic, unless this is an occupational requirement or lawful positive action.  Positive action may be used to encourage applications from under-represented groups

f) Relying upon ‘word of mouth’ recruitment has the potential to indirectly discriminate.

For example:

A large employer recruits workers to driving jobs through word of mouth. This results in everyone who has a driving job being a member of the same few families or a friend of these families. All the family members and their friends are white, despite the workplace being in an area of high ethnic minority population. Unless the employer can objectively justify the way drivers are recruited, this is likely to be indirect discrimination because of race.

g) Employers may be liable for the discriminatory actions of third parties, who are advertising on their behalf.

h) Employers must not put pressure on third parties to discriminate in the recruitment process.


Avoiding age discrimination

Age discrimination is an area to consider when writing job adverts, and it is one of the biggest changes in process that most employers will have to go through in order to comply with all discrimination regulations.  The rules now not only cover stipulating upper or lower age limits for job applicants, but also implied terms such as ‘youthful’, ‘dynamic’ or ‘mature’. All these terms could be seen as excluding someone from applying for a role based on their age.



Even asking for a certain level of experience from candidates could be deemed as discriminating against someone who hasn’t had the opportunity to gain that experience as they are too young. There are plenty of ways of rephrasing your job advert, such as asking for candidates who have demonstrated a certain task, but putting a number of years on how long they have taken to achieve that task is definitely out of the question.

i) Employers must provide temporary agency workers/fixed term employees with information on relevant job vacancies.

Other examples: A job advert requiring that applicants must be clean shaven could put members of some religious groups at a disadvantage. However, if this is fully justified by stating that it could be a genuine hygiene risk if individuals handle food, then this criterion would then be lawful.

Avoid gender-based discrimination: Ensure your job title doesn’t include terms like “waitress”, “admin girl”, “mail man” or “salesman”. That way you won’t find yourself in hot water.

Avoid racial discrimination: Even if the ability to speak a foreign language is critical to the role, it’s the proficiency in the language as opposed to one’s country of origin that is key. So “the ability to speak Mandarin is essential” is far more favourable than “you must be Chinese”.

Avoid age discrimination: Never mention an age requirement or refer to a specific number of years someone has worked in a particular field … ever.

Questions you can’t ask when recruiting: You must not ask candidates about protected characteristics and their health; if they’re married, single or in a civil partnership; if they have children or plan to have children.

You can ask about health or disability if: There are necessary requirements of the job that can’t be met with reasonable adjustments; you’re finding out if someone needs help to take part in a selection test or interview; you’re using ‘positive action’ to recruit a disabled person

Date of birth: You shouldn’t ask someone for their date of birth on an application form. People selecting candidates for interview or interviewing shouldn’t be influenced by someone’s age.  You can include a question on date of birth as part of an equality monitoring form if you use one.

Criminal convictions: Applicants don’t have to tell you about criminal convictions if they’re spent. You must treat the applicant as if the conviction has not happened, and cannot refuse to employ the person because of their conviction.  There are some areas of employment that are exempt from this rule, e.g schools.

Trade union membership: You must not use membership of a trade union as a factor in deciding whether to employ someone.

Disabled people: When recruiting you can treat a disabled person more favourably than a non-disabled person because of their disability.


Examples of cases of discrimination

There have been some interesting developments in case law surrounding job advertisements.  A few years ago, the employment tribunal held that a job advertisement stating that a particular teaching role “would suit candidates in the first five years of their career” was indirectly discriminatory on grounds of age since more experienced (and hence older) applicants were put at a disadvantage (Rainbow v Milton Keynes Council 1200104/2007, 2 June 2008).

In that case, the employer tried to justify the wording in its advert by claiming that it had financial constraints and essentially could not afford to employ someone of the claimant’s seniority for the role in question. However, it did not provide any detailed evidence to show this and did not demonstrate that other types of financial strategy had been taken into account to achieve a similar cost-saving. The tribunal rejected the employer’s argument because there was a lack of evidence of the cost issue, the employer had not explored other cost saving measures and costs was the sole justification put forward by the employer.

The upshot of that case was that if employers are to rely on cost as a defence, they should combine it with other reasons and also provide evidence to support their arguments – a mere assertion of costs as a reason is not good enough. The European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in the past held that there does not need to be an identifiable victim or complainant for there to be a successful claim of direct discrimination against a company (Centrum voor gelijkheid van kansen en voor racismebestrijding v Firma Feryn NV C-54/07). The facts of that case were quite extreme. A director of the Belgian company in question (which specialised in the installation of doors) made a public statement to the Belgian media that the company would not employ Moroccans as its customers did not want immigrants in their homes. Proceedings were brought by the Belgian equivalent of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in the UK.

The ECJ held that the company’s public statement was direct discrimination contrary to the EU Race Discrimination Directive, even though no individual had brought a claim as a result of it. The court rejected the argument that there could not be direct discrimination where the employer did not actually act on the discriminatory statement. The statement had a humiliating and demoralising effect on the people of the ethnic origin in question who would have been interested in applying for the position. It would also discourage such people from applying and was therefore discriminatory. In the UK, it is already unlawful to publish advertisements that display an employer’s discriminatory recruitment practices. However, although this case is likely to have a limited impact in the UK because the Equality and Human Rights Commission does not have the power to bring a claim against employers where there is no identifiable complainant, employers should still be alive to the issue and consider the wording of their job advertisements very carefully.

*This entry was posted in Pulse and was written by Elizabeth Babafemi, B.Eng MCIPD – MBA – Doctoral PhD Student


Smart Recruit Online offers an award-winning talent attraction software that will streamline and revolutionise your recruitment strategy.

To find out how we can tailor our services to match your recruitment needs, including reducing selection bias, click here.

Book a demo


Elizabeth Babafemi

Elizabeth Babafemi, B.Eng MCIPD - MBA - Doctoral PhD Student

Forbes: The 5 Biggest Recruitment Mistakes That Drive Talent Away
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

In my MSN news feed today, was an article by Liz Ryan, a respected journalist working for Forbes, outlining five common recruitment practices that drive talent away.

It’s a good article and well worth a read, if you recruit staff and want a sharp reminder of the biggest recruitment mistakes and what you should and shouldn’t be doing to attract and retain the best talent.

LR: It’s unbelievable but true that most medium-sized and large employers have not figured out what every marketer knows: if you treat people decently, they’ll stick around. If you treat people badly, they’ll disappear! This holds true in recruiting as well as product and service marketing.

Some employers are slow to get the memo that the best candidates have their pick of which organization to work for. Don’t you want to target great applicants in your recruiting efforts? If so, you have to step your game up and treat those applicants like gold!

Employers who understand that job candidates have choices and don’t have to put up with obnoxious recruiting practices will hire the best candidates. Those employers don’t whine about “talent shortages,” which are imaginary in any case. They know that people will show up to work for them if they value good candidates, and show it!

MS: Talent leaders around the world have been saying for some time now, that it is no longer a war for talent, but the modern day mind-set should be more in tune with nurturing or romancing talent and this needs to be reflected in the recruitment processes that you deploy and administer.


LR: Here are five ridiculous and insulting recruiting practices that can’t help a company do a better job of recruiting, but will definitely help them drive talented people straight into the arms of their competitors!


Five Horrible Recruiting Practices that Drive Talent Away

          1.     Radio silence

          2.     Pre-employment tests

          3.     Focus on a job candidate’s current or past salary

          4.     Outdated interviewing practices

          5.     General neglect and abuse of candidates in the pipeline


LR: Radio silence is the sounds job candidates hear after they’ve spent an hour or two completing a painful and archaic online application form. Your candidates may hear nothing back from you for two, three or four weeks. Why would you expect them to stick around that long?

Your terse auto-response email message that says “We’ve received your materials and we’ll let you know if we are interested in you” doesn’t count as a true communication. You have to do better than that if you want great people to join your firm!

MS: Lack of communication is one of the biggest recruitment mistakes. Communication is central to any effective recruitment process, but it’s the when, how and what question. IMHO communication needs to take place at each touch point in the process and sometimes that means human engagement and other times it can be automated. Automated responses to confirm that an application has been received, to thank the candidate, to outline the process and time frames and to provide additional information about the job and company is completely fine and will help your organisation to stand out. What the example Liz uses demonstrates, is a recruiter attempting to remove the necessity for further communication with anyone that they feel is unsuitable and this subsequently comes across as arrogant and demonstrates a lack of professional compassion for all the applicants, including those that they are interested in.


LR: Pre-employment tests are one of the great business hoaxes of the second half of the twentieth century. They do nothing to ‘improve the quality of hires’ but they certainly drive away talented people who feel that if you can’t look at their resume, read their recommendations on LinkedIn, meet them in person and make a determination about whether or not you want to hire them, you obviously don’t deserve them.

MS: Let’s be clear, pre-screening is dead. If you pre-screen candidates in a traditional format, in order to avoid unsuitable applicants applying and in an attempt to cut down on the workload ahead, then you are a recruiting dinosaur making a huge recruitment mistake. All the research and trials that have measured the effect of pre-screening of this nature prove that you not only screen out the unsuitable applicants, but generally the best ones too. Redirecting candidates from your job advert, to an application form with pre-screening questions will guarantee only one thing; at least a 75% drop out rate.  However, providing gamification tasks at the front of the process is different and certainly the biggest most established IT brands, such as Google, Apple and Microsoft have turned pre-screening into a challenge for the best applicants to prove themselves.


I do not agree with Liz entirely, that technical test are outdated. Sometimes these tools form an essential part of the companies selection process, but it’s a case of when to use them and the quality and relevance of the test, as well as the way it is deployed to the applicant.


Talent Attraction


LR: Great candidates are not going to tell you what they’re earning now or what they earned at their past jobs, period. Employers who can’t determine what somebody is worth without knowing what a completely different company paid them in the past do not deserve the best talent.

Valuing a job applicant’s skills relative to your company’s needs is a basic skill that every recruiting and hiring manager must possess. If your recruiters and hiring managers don’t possess that skill, that is your problem and their problem — not your candidates’ problem!

It is a rude and unprofessional violation of a job-seeker’s privacy to ask for, much less require, his or her past salary details. Are you ready to tell your job applicants what the other people in the company get paid, and what you get paid? If not, stop asking candidates to fork over their pay data!

MS: I am not going to completely disagree with Liz here, because there is certainly some truth in what she is saying. However, establishing what salary the candidate is looking for at the start of the process is essential and clearly advertising a salary band that you are willing to pay and sticking to it is fundamental. Negotiating a package based upon what the candidate was previously earning is incorrect and should be based on what you feel the job is worth paying, within the parameters of market rates etc. Losing candidates at the offer stage based upon salary is criminal in my mind as it signifies a lack of effective communication around one of the most fundamental aspects: what the job is paying.


LR: Outdated interviewing practices are sadly common although it is very easy to replace them with new-millennium interviewing practices that not only work better but make the interview a more pleasant experience for everyone. Get rid of these insulting and idiotic interview questions right now if your interviewers are still living in the past:

          •     What’s your greatest weakness?

          •     With all the talented candidates we will meet, why should we hire you?

          •     If you were a (bird/can of soup/whatever) what kind would you be?

          •     Where do you see yourself in five years?

MS: The biggest problem that I see here is the lack of education and training on this subject. Many companies do not have a defined recruitment process full stop; especially for deeper evaluation of the shortlisted applicants, that culminates in an intelligent cultural and behavioural assessment at the interview stage. In another survey that I read recently it stated that a very high percentage of candidates actually made their minds up about whether to accept a role if offered, based on their experience at the interview.


LR: The last self-destructive recruiting practice on our list is the widespread, general neglect and abuse of job candidates. Some employers delude themselves that they can take their time making hiring decisions. That is inaccurate, because the best candidates won’t wait around while countless committees meet and deliberate and countless bureaucratic pre-hire protocols are followed. The world moves faster than that, and your recruiting systems must move as fast as the world moves outside your doors.

MS: I regularly tell our clients that “I never heard of a candidate that accepted a job, because the recruitment process was slow, but I have come across hundreds who have taken a job elsewhere or even stayed where they are because the application process for the job they were considering was”.  The process of nurturing applicants requires ongoing communication, with each touch point an opportunity to leave a positive impression and to help make the applicant feel that they are progressing towards a positive outcome ….. the art of modern recruiting.


LR: Not mentioned on our list is the overarching problem that makes recruiting a trial and a punishment for millions of job-seekers. I’m referring to Applicant Tracking Systems, those lumbering beasts built of nineteen-eighties technology that keep talent-hungry hiring managers and brilliant job-seekers from finding one another.

Applicant Tracking Systems are tools built for a recruiter’s convenience, and any tool that is built for the seller’s convenience at the expense of the buyer is bound to fail, exactly the way Applicant Tracking Systems have failed in making recruiting more pleasant, faster and more effective. If you are confused about the fact that the so-called “talent community” is your audience and you, the recruiter or hiring manager, are the marketer, here is your wake-up call!

MS: A modern recruitment management system should focus on delivering better outcomes and support the user in adapting quickly, to meet their own personal objectives. Choosing a recruitment system should not be a done based upon a list of features or because it comes as part of the HR system that has been acquired. The all-encompassing ATS is, 90% of the time, counter-productive to effective online recruitment strategy. They are usually over-priced, over engineered and struggle with user adoption. Worst of all, they do not provide the applicant with a positive experience of your brand in most cases and thus you can expect to lose many of the best applicants along the way.


LR: Employers who do not see themselves as marketers will never recruit effectively. They will complain about imaginary “skills gaps” and they’ll wonder why great candidates are not beating a path to their door. The answer is clear: change your mindset, and recruiting success will follow!

MS: This is well summarised and brings us back to the start of the talent attraction process. Attracting the best applicants starts by creating a strong brand and that comes from what your current workforce actually says about you. However, attracting talent into the top of the recruiting funnel is a marketing exercise. Your product is, the company, the role and the opportunity and you need to sell it like you would any other product or service, because if the candidates aren’t convinced that your role sounds better than what they already have, then they won’t become part of your prospect list for that job.  You then just need to keep them interested ….


About the author

forbes recruitment mistakes

Mark has worked within the recruitment sector for nearly 20 years both in-house and agency side and more recently within the technology environment. Mark is a serial entrepreneur and is the founder of Smart Recruit Online, the Recruitment Alliance and The HR & Recruitment Resource Library. Mark has dedicated his time since 2007 researching the Online recruitment sector from a user, technology, and candidate perspective and is regularly published and quoted by leading industry publications for his research and personal opinions.




Offering support for both recruiters and on-site HR workforces, Smart Recruit Online helps businesses find and hire the best talent more efficiently. To see how SRO can improve your talent acquisition, campaign management, and candidate screening workflows, book a demo today. 

Book a demo

Mark Stephens

Mark has established a reputation for his passion and enthusiasm over twenty years working in the recruitment industry, both client and agency side. For the last ten years, he has been researching the recruitment landscape from both a technology and people perspective. His insights into market trends are often used and quoted across the industry’s leading publications. His company, Smart Recruit Online, has been the winner of 5 international awards for technology innovation and Recruitment Technology in the last 18 months. And currently holds the accolade of filling more jobs from direct applications for their clients than any other online recruitment service in the UK.

The Eight Biggest Challenges Facing Recruiters
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

The Eight Biggest Challenges Facing Recruiters by Mark Stephens


Market Fragmentation

The end client recruiter faces the daunting task of trying to understand what tools and services are out there. After much innovation, there are hundreds of potential solutions to the problem of how to get your job filled.

Unfortunately, amongst the very good ones, there are also some very poor ones too. From Job Boards to aggregators, to social media, to sponsored advertising, to agency recruiters, to resourcers, to RPO’s … the list goes on.

Accept that each job requires a different set of solutions and the problem is magnified.

The challenge is to find the best combination of advertising media and technology and apply the appropriate process in order to get the job filled in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.

Identifying a tool or service that can centralise all your recruitment activities will bring some sanity to this challenging problem.

Get the ultimate guide to writing a killer job advert and increase your application number by 300%


Improving Efficiency During The Recruitment Process

Ineffective administration time and duplication of effort is what soaks up the vast majority of a recruiters time.

In particular, sourcing potentially suitable applicants and reviewing CV’s and profiles can take hours, if not days. When calculating the cost per hire metric, many recruiters fail to factor in the time that they spend on administrative aspects.

Finding ways to get more good quality applicants into your shortlist, in the fastest possible time, is essential. As is managing an efficient way in which you reject unsuitable applicants quickly while protecting the corporate brand.

A good recruitment management system will dramatically reduce time in many administration areas.


Talent Attraction


The Candidate Experience and Protecting the Company Brand

Company Brand is all about reputation. A style, a logo, or a company image doesn’t mean anything without a reputation that inspires trust. You can start to build trust in your brand by giving each applicant a good experience.

Understanding how to execute this properly seems to be one of the biggest challenges for employers.


Avoid Making a Bad Hire

The person doing the recruitment may well have a priority to get the job filled over and above anything else. The business owners’ priority is always to find the best-suited person for the job. That is because they realise the impact that both a good and bad hire can have on the company and its people.

PWC and KPMG surveys estimate the cost of a bad hire that leaves in the first year of employment to be double the salary paid to that individual.

By applying better due diligence in the form of screening, behavioural and cultural profiling, the company will ultimately make better hiring decisions.


Improving Direct Applicant Quality

Every recruiter is looking for the secret sauce to this challenge.

Poorly written adverts that are not well optimised and not advertised effectively are at the centre of many companies problems.

Long-term strategies to build talent pools and to establish relationships with quality individuals is something that most companies struggle with.


Time to Hire

My first point here is that this is the wrong metric to measure. Notice periods are beyond the recruiters’ control. So time to offer is a far more sensible metric to assess your performance on.

Jobs are filled more quickly, ensuring that good candidates do not get lost during the process.


Measuring Performance and Results

Recruiters need to generate simple, accurate reports that allow them to measure performance and establish areas for improvement.

What doesn’t get measured, doesn’t improve, but measuring the right components is equally important. A good recruitment management system will provide you with detailed reports and set you on a course for improvement across all areas of your recruitment activities.

How to measure performance and results in recruitment


Reduce Recruitment Costs

Many companies look at cutting back agency costs, but a good candidate can repay that cost several times over.

However, if you can recruit the same or better quality directly, then you should do it. Having the right tools, systems and processes are critical. You also need to do your homework, not just in regards to your generic approach, but for each individual campaign that you run. If you deploy the wrong tactics to a role, there is a good chance that you will end up paying twice.

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.


Look out for those offering a free trial of their service

Get online demonstrations and ensure that you look into their fulfilment rates and case studies for clients in the same sector or with similar challenges to your own.

Our eBook ‘8 Biggest Recruitment Challenges’ dives even further into this topic, download it for free here.


About the Author

recruitment challenges

Mark Stephens has worked within the recruitment sector for nearly 20 years both in-house and agency side and more recently within the technology environment. Mark is a serial entrepreneur and is the founder of Smart Recruit Online, the Recruitment Alliance and The HR & Recruitment Resource Library. Dedicating his time since 2007 researching the online recruitment sector, Mark is regularly published and quoted by leading industry publications. 

Connect with Mark Stephens on LinkedIn. 

Book a demonstration of our talent acquisition platform and start transforming the way you recruit online.

Book a demo

Mark Stephens

Mark has established a reputation for his passion and enthusiasm over twenty years working in the recruitment industry, both client and agency side. For the last ten years, he has been researching the recruitment landscape from both a technology and people perspective. His insights into market trends are often used and quoted across the industry’s leading publications. His company, Smart Recruit Online, has been the winner of 5 international awards for technology innovation and Recruitment Technology in the last 18 months. And currently holds the accolade of filling more jobs from direct applications for their clients than any other online recruitment service in the UK.

Ready to Get Started?

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