Tools and metrics to make recruitment and selection process more efficient and candidate-friendly

Posted September 06, 2017 by


For talent acquisition professionals who are looking at their recruitment and selection process and wondering how to make things more efficient, this discussion addresses tools available to you.

We spoke with two members of our Panel of Experts about this, Bruce Soltys, Head of Talent Acquisition Sourcing Strategies at Travelers; and Janine Truitt, Chief Innovations Officer at Talent Think Innovations.

Watch part 1 of our discussion here, or read the takeaways in the blog post below.

In part 1 of our conversation, Truitt and Soltys discuss how technology tools can help reduce hidden bias in hiring, and what is left for humans to do.

Speeding up the screening process 

“Technology is a more efficient way of keeping track of your applicants and adjudicating them in a somewhat equitable manner,” says Truitt. “Specifically, when you have moderate to high-volume recruitment going on, you will be killing yourself to manage incoming applications via spreadsheets or a mashup of systems versus having one comprehensive system to manage it all.”

There have been a lot of technological improvements in applicant tracking systems in that they capture information from candidates and can pre-screen them and determine pre-qualifications.

ATS’s have really improved the ease of use for recruiters, in that they can take bulk actions for applicants. “Ten or so years ago,” says Truitt, “you actually had to click through an action on each applicant, which is extremely time consuming. I love seeing this movement towards drag-and-drop screens and bulk actions.” She advises anyone looking to acquire a system anytime in the near future, to look for these time-saving features.

Improving the candidate experience

Applicant tracking systems have certainly made strides in the user experience from the recruiter’s point of view, but what can they do to help improve the candidate experience? Truitt stressed that recruiters remember this important point:

Technology is a facilitator of the candidate experience. People improve the candidate experience.

Candidate drop off is a serious concernCandidate drop-off is always something Soltys is watching about at Travelers. “You see people start applications, and because of their length and complexity,” some just drop out.  The resume parsing technology—where the system takes aspects of the resume and essentially completes the application for the candidate—can help mitigate the drop-off rate. Compared to when that technology first got started, it “has gotten a lot more advanced,” says Soltys. As much as companies can incorporate that piece, “it certainly takes the onus off the candidate.” The most important thing he suggests that recruiters remember is to collect the data they actually need up front to make an informed decision.

Soltys adds that Travelers has made their application more mobile-friendly in the last year, and this is certainly something companies need to improve upon, especially those that hire a lot of college students and recent graduates.

Also read “Creating mobile job applications: Experts share best practices”

“I can’t tell you how many recruitment teams don’t have metrics” around the time it takes to submit a job application, says Truitt. “And it’s so important.” She suggests going on your career site and trying the application process yourself. “See where you have issues in the process and then go back and work with your in-house team or your IT team to fix those bugs.” Even better, have someone outside the Talent Acquisition team go through the application and give their outsider’s feedback. Soltys had their team of interns do just this, and says that they received valuable feedback for their internship application.

For the issues on the application that you cannot solve right away, Truitt suggests linking to an FAQ on the career site. That can address some of the issues candidates could face. Another great solution is to have a “real time resolution for how they fix things,” for example a chat box.

Candidates should have the ability to access cloud documents, says Soltys. For example, employers can allow candidates to use Dropbox or Google Drive to provide their resume or other required documents. “Not everyone has copies of their resume handy.”

Most of the ATS vendors out there have started to allow employers to improve the candidate experience in various ways. For example, Truitt says, the employer can embed videos and customize the system more, which can engage candidates at the same time you can inform them of your values and culture.

Another thing to keep in mind, she says, is whether the ATS forces candidates to apply using a certain file type. In general, vendors have improved in their ability to accept different file types like docx and pdfs, but without that ability, the candidate experience can be severely impaired. Plus, recruiters may be missing out on an amazing candidate simply because his or her file type wasn’t accepted.

Basic metrics recruiters should be using 

Referral source should be a key metricTruitt suggests three basic metrics that recruiters should be keeping track of:

1- Website drop-off rates. That is, how many people visit the career portal, but don’t follow through to viewing other pages or apply?

2- Average tenure. That is, how long do the candidates that you hire stay with the organization?

3- Quality of referral source



PONDER THIS: If you’re like most employers, you need about 10 candidates visiting your career site to receive just one application, and you receive about 5-50 applications per hire. That means you need 50-500 apply clicks per hire. Would it make sense to learn how College Recruiter guarantees the quantity and quality you need?

Time to fill, says Truitt, is an arbitrary metric. There are so many things that go awry in the process that you don’t really ever get to a number that’s useful.” She does like to measure, however, the quality of the hires that recruiters bring into an organization. Retention is an important metric for recruiters to analyze, she says. So presumably, you will go to the right referral sources to get the right people. “However,” Truitt adds, recruiters “don’t have a tie to what happens to them when they go to the department.” If there an issue with the manager, that’s a call to HR to address.

Track your referral sources too. Truitt sees a lot of employers throw away their budgets, assuming that the referral sources they’ve used for many years must be working, without ever knowing the ROI or seeing that they’re actually working.

“I love to see when recruiters start to take those metrics to make forecasts for things coming down the pike,” says Truitt. So often, talent acquisition becomes a “just in time division” that has to fill positions “yesterday.” But the power of recruitment and talent acquisition lies in being able to say, “We have an expansion project two years out. What are we seeing in the market? How likely is it that we’re going to be able to staff this expansion?”

Soltys agrees that employers have gotten fairly good at tracking data “until the talent has been acquired.” Now, he says, employers need to evolve into tracking post-acquisition metrics. “That will help influence your initial acquisition strategy.”

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