Have you ever waited for a delayed flight without knowing how much time would pass before you were invited to board? Or have you ever waited for a medical report, without a clue of the results? Anxiety takes over the mind in such situations, and all one does is pace up and down the hallway.
Something similar happens in recruitment when one goes out to find hundreds of candidates for one’s company, unaware about the number of positions one can close within a certain period of time.
Not knowing the outcome can be very stressful, and the uncertainty causes anxiety. When putting a job description out there, one may feel more relaxed if one thinks it’s a long shot or if one is confident that it’s in the bag.
The world of recruitment has become exceptionally uncertain, complex and ambiguous. When recruiters post for an open role, there’s no guarantee that a particular persona can be hired within a certain timeline. While there’s a rough idea based on an existing pool of candidates and the amount of money invested on job boards, there’s no certainty.
On top of that, candidates interview with multiple companies at a time. Some even reject offers because of the recruiting experiences (long delays in response, poor interview quality, and so on!)
This only adds to the uncertainty. Hiring managers are not sure if there will be enough people to work on the project in the coming month when their team members’ notice period ends and they leave.
The levels of uncertainty vary with the changing market trends, as the recruitment demands change.
The four main market scenarios that a company will experience are as follows:
When growth is high, and attrition is also high, companies hire more people. Unpredictability increases.
When growth is high, but attrition is low, the recruitment process faces an uptick.
When growth is low, but attrition is high, the unpredictability factor depends on notice period duration. Longer durations make hiring more manageable.
When both growth and attrition are low, the hiring is less. There’s almost no unpredictability.
At each stage, one thing remains constant — people are required to keep the company running. At any stage, the goal of the recruitment team is to hire quality candidates faster and at a salary that’s in line with the company’s policy. Even during high-growth period, no company allows the hiring of low-quality candidates. Likewise, even during high attrition, no company goes beyond its budget to hire candidates.
The price for quality talent keeps on changing as markets change. In a high-growth period, companies have to spend more compared to when there’s a downturn. Yet, companies strive to find the right candidate at the right price.
The problem statement remains the same — how to hire quality candidates faster and at an affordable salary?
Over the years, this question has been tackled in a number of ways — internal promotions, hiring through referrals, and such. Special attention has been specially given to trends in the technology industry.
First, there was a run towards data. Everyone was advised to collect all kinds of data, analyse it minutely, quantify everything and then work solely based on the analysis. However, in recruitment, we deal with humans and not machines. Data only helped us go as far as checking if our direction was right or not. For instance, whether one is posting the job on the right channels or not.
Then came the buzz about gamification. This entertained people for a while before they realised that while it could ensure engagement, it couldn’t necessarily translate into hiring. The rise of AI promised to solve all hiring problems. However, we know there’s a long way to go before AI can be solely responsible for hiring humans.
To hire people that join and stay, it is essential to build systems that give predictable results instead of fads or trends that go and come. Fads don’t do much to hire the right people. They simply create the illusion of progress.
At RippleHhire, we call these systems — Recruitment Flywheels.
What is a Recruitment Flywheel?
Similar to the momentum created by a flywheel on a rowing machine, the flywheel effect occurs when minor wins for the business accumulate over time and eventually gain enough momentum so that growth almost appears to occur by itself.
So, a recruitment flywheel is a self-sustaining model that generates a steady stream of candidates that join and stay for the brand.
For instance, if there are good people joining the company, they are going to perform better in all aspects. This will build a great company culture and attract good candidates.
The wheel demands a lot of work to turn initially, yet the effort does not provide the desired outcomes. However, once the flywheel starts turning, the output significantly outweighs the exerted effort.
A flywheel has many branches that allow several individuals to hold on and crank the wheel at the same time to produce speed. These branches are different steps in the recruitment process.
The following diagram shows a simple recruitment process:
Each step has its own inputs, and the output is to move the candidate forward in the recruitment process. The final output is to fill in the open role. Each stage in this process should follow a set of procedures and have a set of rules and tools to give predictable output.
For instance, let’s take the first step. The input is the job listing, and the output is a bunch of resumes or e-mails from candidates who are interested (and potentially right for the job!).
Here, even the use of AI, gamification, or any upcoming technology will not work if the job description is bad, or if there is no process to sort the data collected from applications, or no easy way to share the job description with others via social media, or email.
The tactics may change, but the foundation systems remain the same. For instance, it is a known fact that employee referrals work wonders in filling up open roles. They bring quality candidates that know a bit about the company culture, and hence they stay for a long time period.
Here’s how BYJU’s leveraged the referral system and created a dedicated account on LinkedIn to promote it:
New trends or fads are usually expensive. They require investment without any guarantee of the desired outcomes. Systems, on the other hand, are built step by step. One can dial down the inputs to one’s system or increase them based on the desired output. That’s why we advocate building recruitment flywheels that work and give predictable results.
Utilise economic downturns to build flywheels
Economic downturns are not great scenarios for either companies or candidates, but there’s a way to make this time productive and fruitful. Recruiting teams can use this time to build flywheels.
This is the time when one can analyse the kind of growth that is estimated when the economic conditions get better. And based on that, they can estimate the number of people needed to hire. Once that is done, the recruitment process can be made predictable with flywheels.
RippleHire: 10 years of building recruitment flywheels for progressive enterprises
At RippleHire, we have been the recruitment technology partner for numerous companies such as Axis, LTI, Hexaware and BYJU’s. We’ve helped them build a recruitment flywheel right from the application stage to the recruitment stage. The 10 years of research, speaking to both candidates and recruiters, and innovation have been used to build flywheels that help companies hire faster, better-quality candidates at a cost that’s in line with the company’s policies.
As the business grows, it will become apparent that standardised and formal recruiting processes are much better than the ‘spray and pray’ methodology. The stakes would be high, and the business will not be able to afford not to hire people at the right time, at the right price, and before competitors snatch them.
To build recruiting teams that can confidently take the responsibility of filling up critical roles in your company at scale, check out RippleHire here.
The author, Sudarsan Ravi is the Founder and CEO of RippleHire and is known as a pioneer and category creator in recruitment technology.
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