Want to improve your hiring efficiency? Use your downtime to re-evaluate and build a structured hiring process

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6 mins, 9 secs read time

As the market continues to ebb and flow and we skirt around a downturn, many talent organizations are taking a step back—reflecting on current recruiting processes and brainstorming ways to increase hiring efficiencies.

Talent acquisition leaders have prioritized structured hiring and building streamlined processes to make them even more efficient when hiring picks back up.

Greenhouse’s Michelle Yoshihara, Senior Manager of Talent Planning, sat down with industry experts during our “Actionable ways to improve hiring efficiency” webinar to discuss how they’re using the downtime to optimize for speed, efficient hiring and an exceptional candidate experience.

Anessa Fike, CEO and founder at Fike + Co, Kevin Charles, BambooHR’s Manager of Recruiter Enablement and Programs, and Justin Ayers, VP and Head of Global Recruiting at Checkr, discuss how structured hiring boosts efficiencies, creates better candidate experiences and fosters stronger relationships between TA teams and hiring managers.

Low and slow hiring periods are an opportunity for reflection and improvement

Even during slow hiring seasons, you're always looking for great people to build your pipeline for the future. But these times are also an opportunity to examine your processes to make improvements for when you ramp up hiring. It often involves cleaning up and analyzing data, auditing strategies and proactively improving for more efficient hiring.

Focus on designing a structured hiring process that allows you to build stronger foundations.

So, what is structured hiring? Michelle defines it as:

A hiring approach that defines the role, requirements, experience and attributes of successful candidates before you open a job. It provides an equitable, consistent experience for everyone involved—reducing bias, increasing hiring efficiency and improving the candidate experience.

Structured hiring can carry you through any market conditions.

Why now?

We wanted to know why now is the right time to look inward at processes and plan for improvements. For Justin, it's all about workforce planning. He wants to ensure that when they're ready to hire, Checkr has the most efficient and scalable processes to ensure a smooth hiring journey.

When hiring picks up, will the talent team scale appropriately? Building the recruiting team and filling a talent pipeline as early as possible will be crucial. Evaluating processes, getting organized and optimizing for efficiency when his team has the time will create a faster, more streamlined process in the long run.

Echoing Justin's sentiment, Anessa suggests making the tweaks necessary while you have the bandwidth to do it.

  • What changes can we make that will delight our candidates?
  • Do we really need eight interviews?

She focuses on being more intentional and fine-tuning to design a unique candidate experience that puts the candidate themselves at the center of the process. Kevin's team at BambooHR takes time to make small changes that eliminate waste, reduce costs and increase hiring efficiency.

How do structured hiring and automation help streamline processes?

Part of reworking your strategy is about adding structure, or what we call structured hiring. While Anessa, Justin and Kevin have various strategies, they all follow a structured hiring process that includes steps like:

  • Formally training interviewers on how to interview properly so they ask the right questions and reduce biases
  • Kickoff meetings between recruiters and hiring managers to set expectations
  • Standardizing interviews and requiring interviewers to use scorecards
  • Automating as much as possible—like scheduling interviews, scorecard reminders and reference checks—to add efficiency and avoid delays
Structured hiring gives interviewing teams clear goals and skillsets to assess alongside questions on how to assess those.
- Anessa Fike, CEO and founder at Fike + Co

Is structured hiring really necessary?

Some things are a nice-to-have. But to create as much efficient hiring as possible and an incredible candidate experience, structure is a must. Kevin uses it to make the best hiring decisions based on data and to create a more equitable, consistent hiring process for every candidate. Because structured hiring adds a layer of consistency, it helps minimize bias.

Justin also uses data to understand what changes to make. He also suggests building a repeatable, reliable framework around structure that makes it easy for your team to stick to it.

One of the bigger use cases for structured hiring might be what Anessa discussed: if you get interviewing and talent right, you can save the organization big. Instead of spending budget on onboarding and training a new hire who doesn't work out, you can build a structured process that clearly defines where you're making an impact and where you can improve.

The hiring manager-recruiter relationship and hiring efficiencies

Built on trust, consideration, credibility and constant communication, the relationship between hiring managers and recruiters is crucial. TA teams should be guides throughout the hiring process, managing expectations from the get-go and leading with their expertise. Structured hiring helps each party understand its role throughout the hiring journey.

When recruiters and hiring managers align early and work together to achieve mutual goals, they can find and hire top-notch talent.

How do you prioritize DE&I while focusing on efficiency?

There are many ways to keep DE&I top-of-mind throughout the hiring process. Here are a few from Anessa, Justin and Kevin.

Justin holds weekly diversity sourcing meetings to build a diverse pipeline for Checkr's most common roles. His team spends the first week of every search looking only for underrepresented candidates

Kevin builds a culture of belonging and helps everyone at BambooHR understand the why. Scorecards and in-depth training help lessen bias and keep processes equitable. Kevin's team also guarantees a diverse talent pool for the hiring managers

Anessa looks for diversity all the time, ingraining it in the recruiting function. She also ensures candidate success by giving every candidate everything they need ahead of time, like interviewer names and questions to expect.

When discussing DEI with Anessa, Justin and Kevin, something stood out: they all agree you need to talk about DEI often and to the right people... from the beginning. Emphasize its importance both within and outside of the talent team.

Metrics—are your efforts a success?

We've already discussed the power of data to get better at hiring, but what metrics best show your impact? Our experts shared a few.

  • Hiring manager satisfaction
  • Candidate experience survey
  • New hire survey (after six months)
  • Quality of hire survey to ensure the TA team delivered on the hiring manager's expectations
  • Time to fill and conversion rates throughout the hiring funnel
  • Justin's trying new metrics, like post-onboarding surveys and exploring how long candidates sat in the process (and why)
  • Candidate level of comfort throughout the process, including if they got the assistance they needed to show up their best

After assessing the data, the talent teams have the power to make improvements and design an even more efficient and candidate-focused experience.

Ready for a more efficient and structured hiring process?

Whether building your hiring process from scratch or looking to create more efficient hiring processes, the low hiring season is the perfect time to reassess and make tweaks. If you put the work in now, you'll be ready to hit the ground running when things ramp up.

Kevin summed it up perfectly: "Standardized processes across organizations are really the key to success for candidate experience, hiring manager experience, and efficiency.” It all starts with structured hiring.

Want actionable tips on how to create a more efficient hiring process? Catch the replay for even more invaluable insights from talent leaders.

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Sheena Fronk

Sheena Fronk

is a writing-obsessed entrepreneur who founded her all things writing passion project turned small business, wanderluster co. She works with SaaS and tech companies, transforming jargon into conversations using human-centered copy. When not working, Sheena eats doughnuts, plays with her pup and travels the world.

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