Kristina FinsethFebruary 28, 2017
Topics: Recruiter Experience

The Recruiting Industry = The Dinosaur in the Room

A lot of people might see my title as a Sales Development Rep and think that all I’m doing is bombarding people with emails, calls, and LinkedIn invites. They’re kind of right, but my real job focus is on learning and educating in the HR space.

During my tenure here at Phenom People, I’ve formed some strong opinions about the recruitment industry. They are a result of learning from those around me, reading industry articles, asking questions, and listening. I ask questions with no shame – just ask any of my bosses. I’ve sat in tons of meetings with colleagues, TA and HR leaders, recruiters, and consultants. Naturally, I’ve asked tons of questions.

My biggest takeaway: The industry is about 65 million years behind, and it’s a total mess.

On average, companies are spending billions of dollars on recruiting initiatives. Of course, they should be, because talent is what makes or breaks an organization. However, there are some blaring disconnects, and I want to share them through my point-of-view as a SDR.

Measuring and Using Data What most companies aren’t doing is measuring how their recruitment spend is working for them. When they do measure, they aren’t leveraging the data that they have to create a powerful recruiting function.

A good majority of people I’ve talked to are getting little, if any, data around their career site or sourcing channels. I always ask how organizations are measuring what’s working for them, and too often I hear that they are “throwing mud at the wall to see what sticks.”

Do you know how many candidates your sourcing channels are sending you? Did any of those candidates actually apply? Do you know your application drop-off rate? Do you know your most popular jobs and locations? Do you know your new and returning career site visitors?

It’s not just about having the analytics. Data is only powerful if you use it. You can have the fanciest analytics dashboard, but if you aren’t actually looking at the data and using it to plan and make decisions, it doesn’t matter. Plus, if you don’t know where you’re at now, you won’t ever be able to accurately measure ROI when you buy new tools.

Candidate Experience: Talking vs. Doing You probably see or hear the word candidate experience multiple times a day. Everyone is talking about it, but who is actually doing something about it? Let’s break it down into two categories: before applying and after applying.

I won’t talk too much about after a candidate applies, because that’s a different ball game. If your candidates are getting frustrated with how they’re being treated throughout the interview process, it’s going to bite you when they write that nasty Glassdoor review. Today’s candidates have high expectations, and as savvy shoppers, those peer reviews are some of the most powerful things out there.

Now before a candidate decides to apply, the main hub is your career site and application. I’ve been a candidate, and have poured across thousands of career sites in my role. I know how bad it is to apply for jobs on a majority of career sites. One of my best friends, Megan, was recently on the market for a new job, so I sent her a text.


This is just one example of a huge problem with the application process in general.

Keep in mind that candidates and consumers are the same. They shouldn’t be treated differently. When I buy a pair of shoes online, I get hit with more personalized content, reviews, and recommendations than I could ever need. When I’m ready to make the purchase, I’m met with a quick and easy transaction process every time.

Now, applying for a job online is completely opposite. I don’t receive relevant content, and end up having to search for reviews. I’m dropped into an antiquated system for one of the biggest decisions of my life, forcing me to run in the other direction. This is what’s happening on most career sites, and you’re losing potential candidates. Quite frankly, your application process is broken.

Actually Doing Something You’re spending tons of money to drive people to your career site. That’s your hub, your “mouse trap,” your starting point. Go to your own career site and ask yourself three questions. Can I navigate the career site easily? Does the site keep me engaged? Would I actually finish the application?

For years, companies have built static career sites, and tried to hang different solutions off of it like Talent Communities and CRMs in hopes that all of these moving parts will improve or solve recruitment issues.

Your career site should be one seamless, intelligent, power-house hub, not a bunch of systems patched together. It should provide an engaging candidate experience, and an easy application process. It should integrate with your ATS, feed your CRM, and collect all of your data in one place. Then, you can use that data to make smart decisions.

Although a few of these may seem obvious, here are some basic ways to start improving your process.

  • Make sure your career site works on every device. It’s 2017 – no excuses.
  • Make sure you have content that makes candidates want to work for you, and provides them an engaging and personalized experience. We get it for shoes, and we should get it for jobs.
  • Make sure the application is not going to make candidates throw their computer at the wall. My friend Megan is all of your candidates. Don’t lose the Megans.

There’s no silver bullet for finding and recruiting top talent, but if you do your research, implement the right tools, and listen to what your data is telling you – I’d bet you can get one step closer to building the power-house recruiting function that every TA leader is dreaming of.

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