CDI Corporation

Does Your Hiring Process Need Decluttering?

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The life-altering magic of decluttering and refocusing have been frequent discussion points lately, with experts weighing in on how to create the best possible environments for living and working. Many companies could also benefit from applying the principles of decluttering to their hiring processes. If your company hasn’t examined the recruitment-to-onboarding process in a while, it may be time to revisit these procedures to eliminate steps that may be slowing your ability to find both permanent and contingent staff.

Streamlining the hiring process is important to attracting and bringing in new talent, especially in the current candidate-driven market among the professional ranks. “Potential candidates who are unimpressed by the way they’re being engaged and evaluated will almost certainly go elsewhere, and word spreads quickly about long and confusing recruitment procedures,” says Mike Aloupis, director of U.S. recruitment for CDI Corporation. “Streamlining, clarifying, communicating and managing expectations throughout the hiring process eases stress on candidates and hiring managers, reduces the cost of hiring and ensures that top-tier candidates are coming through the talent pipeline with ease.”

Aloupis provides the following tips for shortening the hiring process:

Assess your current process
The first step in determining if there are kinks in the recruitment process is to conduct an internal assessment. Take a look at the process in place, talk with candidates, newly hired employees, and managers that have been through the process, and document it all the way through to address what is working and what isn’t. In the case of contract roles which are typically already expedited, consider alternative measures to the typical face-to-face interview, like Skype or video interviews which can further accelerate the hiring process. Seeing how things are flowing will provide perspective and let you know where improvements can be made.

Refine your job descriptions
An effective job description should do the initial screening for you. It shouldn’t just tell candidates what is expected of them; it should display the company culture, showcase the employment brand and ultimately let candidates know why this is – or isn’t – the job for them. This demands understanding the core requirements of the position. Every requirement you put in your job description has the potential to negatively impact or limit the number of people who might apply for the position, and that can hurt you in a market where the best candidates know they have multiple opportunities.

Use mobile-friendly, quick-apply platforms
Today’s candidates live by modern technology and look to companies offering a mobile, quick-apply process, rather than those that require filling out endless online forms. Many companies are finding that a mobile-friendly process leads to an increase in passive applicants (high performing employed candidates) overall, which is especially helpful when it comes to filling positions in sectors where talent is often in short supply. If you have not implemented new technologies into your hiring process, that make it easy for candidates to apply for jobs instantly, you are in danger of losing out to the competition.

Establish a reasonable timeline
Start with the end in mind. Establish a firm target date that a new hire needs to be on board and work backwards. Estimate that interviews will take at least two weeks, then assume that two more weeks will pass between the time an offer is extended and when a candidate starts, enabling you to begin backfilling dates on a calendar. If the job is open today, figure out now when you need to interview candidates for the first round. Take into account flight and hotel scheduling for on-site interviews, background checks, testing, references and other paperwork that must be completed.

Involve decision makers early
Have hiring managers sign off on the job description and commit to making room in their calendars at the onset of the process to schedule interviews. Delaying the process because of scheduling difficulties causes candidates to lose interest and move on to other permanent or contingent opportunities. Ideally, the first interview should occur no longer than a week out from first contact. If multiple interviewers are involved, the candidate should know with whom they will be interviewing, and how long it will take.

Make interviewing pay off
Ensure that your interviewing team is fully trained on the interview process and aware of their role, so that ideally a decision can be made after one full-cycle interview with the candidate for a contingent position or possibly two for a permanent position if there are a couple of candidates who stand out. Assign topics or areas that each interviewer will be discussing with the candidate. When interviewers head into the interview without a guideline, they will most likely ask similar questions and come out of the meeting with a limited profile of the candidate. Having a plan allows the interviewers to collaborate and share detailed information about each targeted area.

Make the most of your recruiter
A quality recruiter can help you through the process, saving time on screening applicants and expediting communication. Count on and expect your recruiter to communicate all decisions to candidates and to follow up with them after each stage of the hiring process, up until the final decision has been made. The recruiter can also provide feedback to candidates on why they were not selected, approaching the conversation in a way that keeps the door open for an ongoing relationship.

“A long, drawn-out process turns the best candidates away from your company and costs you both time and money,” concludes Aloupis. “By streamlining your recruiting process and shortening time-to-hire, you’ll be able to attract and retain top talent for your workforce.”

Recent CDI Analysis

“Streamlining, clarifying, communicating and managing expectations throughout the hiring process eases stress on candidates and hiring managers, reduces the cost of hiring and ensures that top-tier candidates are coming through the talent pipeline with ease.”

Mike Aloupis
Director, U.S. Recruitment
Talent and Technology Solutions
CDI Corporation

Employment Situation (U.S.)

Following two months of strong gains, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a slightly softer jobs report that fell just shy of economist forecasts, as employment slowed in August. According to CNBC, Wall Street economists had anticipated a gain of 180,000 jobs for the month and a 0.1 percent drop in the unemployment rate from July. However, according to the BLS, just 151,000 nonfarm payroll positions were added in August, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9 percent for the third straight month. The new data leaves the number of unemployed persons relatively unchanged at 7.8 million, according to the report.

The August jobs report was expected to be a telltale sign of whether or not the next interest rate hike would be considered at the late September meeting of the Federal Reserve. Early speculation by investors had anticipated that a nonfarm payroll increase of between 250,000 and 300,000 for August would be strong enough to prompt a rate hike, reported USA Today. These expectations were backed by comments made by Janet Yellen, Fed Chairwoman, last week. Moreover, the No. 2 official of the Fed, Stanley Fischer, implied that two rate increases may even happen before next year. However, with a weaker-than-expected jobs report, economists predict that probability looks dim. Overall the U.S. economy has added more than 1 million jobs this year and after two years of significant gains, the job market is holding on to that momentum, reported CNN Money.

The biggest employment gain for August was in food services and drinking places, which added 34,000 jobs for the month. This kept the industry on track with its upward trend over the month. Since the beginning of the year, the sector has seen 312,000 positions added, according to the report. Employment in professional and technical services increased by 20,000, and financial activities added 15,000 jobs. Employment in construction, government and manufacturing as well as several other industries remained unchanged.

The central bank will gather on September 20 and 21, and though the recent jobs report represents just one month of the year, it could have a significant impact on the interest rate hike, reported The New York Times. The potential hike is being closely watched by many, since the interest rate has been raised just once by policymakers since the 2008 financial crisis. Until then, the question of an interest rate increase remains.

The full Bureau of Labor Statistics report can be downloaded by
clicking here.

Employment Situation (Canada)

Canadian employment exceeded economist expectations in August, adding jobs that helped counter losses in July.

Canada gained 26,000 jobs in August, according to Statistics Canada. The growth beat Bloomberg economist expectations, which had projected just 14,000 jobs gained. The growth was a welcome improvement after a tepid July jobs report, which saw 31,000 positions shed after three consecutive months of relative stability.

Over the year, employment was up by 77,000 positions, or a gain of 4 per cent.

The unemployment rate did edge up to 0.1 per cent during the month to reach 7 per cent, however, Bloomberg noted that this was due to a higher labour force participation rate, since nearly 43,000 people entered the workforce in August.  

Full-time jobs grew by 52,200 during the month, while part-time jobs declined by 26,000.

The August labour report may point to a strengthening Canadian economy, particularly after the Alberta wildfires which contributed to a 1.6 per cent decline in gross domestic product in the second quarter, The Globe and Mail noted.  

“It was encouraging to see a modest rebound in hiring,” said Brian DePratto, an economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank, in an interview with the news source.

The majority of the August job gains were in the public sector. Some 57,000 jobs were added during the month, helping counter the 42,000 positions that were lost in July.

Public administration positions, which includes jobs in healthcare, social assistance, education and other related industries, increased by 16,000 in August, after a loss of 24,000 positions the month prior.

Private sector employment experienced minimal change from July. Over the year, however, private sector jobs were up by 97,000 positions.

Professional, scientific and technical services employment declined by 23,000 jobs in August, though jobs in the industry were up 5 per cent over the year.

Canadian ES Report:
Labour Force Survey, August 2016

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