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How to re-tool your hiring process

Amal Ravindran
February 14, 2023

We’re guessing you may not be in recruitment overdrive right now, but that gives you the perfect excuse to press the reset button and tweak your talent-spotting methods. And in this blog, we’ve got inspiration aplenty.

Ways to refine the way you recruit

A global recession may not seem like the ideal time to recalibrate the way you hire, but if your hiring plans have slowed (or even frozen), is now actually the best moment to take stock and refine your recruitment strategies? That’s the premise of a thought-provoking piece in First Round Review, which details some of the methods you could try to freshen up your approach to hiring. Here are just some of the ideas:

1. Sharpen your job descriptions

Job descriptions are a rare opportunity to pique a candidate’s interest, but they’re easy to get wrong. The First Round piece covers some advice from Liz Kofman-Burns, co-founder of Peoplism (a diversity, equity and inclusion consultancy). According to Peoplism, here are some of the essential pillars that a job description should include:

  • The skills the candidate needs to be great at the job (and will be evaluated on).
  • The impact the candidate will have with the role.
  • What success looks like in the first 6+ months. 
  • What the organisation values.
2. Remember that CVs aren’t everything

Reading through a pile of CVs is not only time-consuming for recruiters, it’s also not necessarily the best gauge of talent or interest. And as Liz argues, CVs can be a “proxy for parental socioeconomic status”.

CVs and cover letters are also a platform where self-promoters thrive, and as research into ‘male hubris’ shows, men provide “systemically higher” self-estimates of their own intelligence than women. So if you’re making a concerted effort to hire more women, perhaps a CV-centric approach ain’t the one.

Instead, Peoplism came up with a Google form that asks candidates to answer three specific questions, which ultimately relate to their experience and interests, and can give recruiting teams a better indication of whether to progress a candidate to the next round.

3. Try a leaner candidate experience

Interviews are of course an essential tool in assessing a candidate, but the danger is that a long and laborious round of interviews can drag your best people away from their day jobs. The article includes a range of insights on this topic, including Google’s research that “four interviews is enough to make a hiring decision”.

Here are some of the ways that Peoplism makes the candidate experience as simple and streamlined as possible:

  • Each candidate has one interview in total.
  • Only people with the “authority to influence a hiring decision” are included in the interview loop.
  • Practical exercises are “rooted in the must-have skillset” that resemble the actual job, and someone in the team should review the exercise beforehand to “iron out any kinks”.

There are plenty of words of wisdom in the article, and for more tips, we heartily recommend the Intrro guide to developing a great candidate experience.

It is also beneficial to keep your house in order with an ATS. You may find the best ATS recommendations here.

“Everyone is scared of technical interviewing”

Meanwhile, a fascinating piece makes the case that recruiters should ditch the dreaded career fairs and stop restricting their hiring efforts to the top university talent pool. Instead, the article looks at how measuring technical skills can redress the imbalance:

“We used a 15-minute coding assessment to cull our inbound student flow, and just a short challenge leveled the playing field between students from all walks of life.”

As you can see from their chart, the junior interns they analysed were very competitive versus senior grads:

It might be a time of change and upheaval, but recalibrating your hiring processes could leave your business stronger in the long run when the financial storm clouds lift.

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