How to Hire Faster, with Less Effort & Lower Cost


by Naveen Bala

Introduction

The goal of hiring is to get the best candidate for the job. The challenge is finding that best candidate. How do you reach them? In the present economic times each open position brings in 100's of resumes. How do you handle them? It is also to be expected that 95% of resumes received are not appropriate for the particular job. How do you identify the best? Recruiting cost which includes publicity, your time and recruiting commissions for 3rd party search firms add up. How do you reduce them? This article provides answers to the above questions.

How to Reach Candidates

Traditionally, companies used referrals, networking, advertised in local newspapers or went to a search firm. Referrals and networking are still the lowest cost options. That failing, companies now have numerous options.

Internet job boards are a good place to start. Companies such as Monster (http://www.monster.com), Hotjobs (http://www.hotjobs.com) and CareerBuilder (http://www.careerbuilder.com) spend a lot of money advertising to the prospective job seeker. In 2003, Monster's advertising budget was $115 million. This attracts sizable traffic – 1.6 million daily visitors and about 36 million resumes in their database. This is not a pitch for Monster.com but these numbers are indicators of the reach of online job boards. Monster.com, HotJobs.com, CareerBuilder.com and numerous other job boards are a strong source of applicants for any job.

Your website can be a good source of applicants. The problem here is traffic. How many come to your site looking for jobs. Publicizing jobs on your website costs you nothing, so go ahead but you may not be able to generate enough applicant volume from your website alone. To paraphrase Willy Sutton's famous answer, Why do you go to the job boards Willy? Cause that's were the jobs are.

The best way to build a sizable applicant volume for sure is to advertise not just in 1 job board but on multiple boards. You can choose 2 big boards and one niche board like your local newspaper (in Atlanta, you can use http://www.ajcjobs.com ) or specialty boards like emplawyer.com (for lawyers), jobsinthemoney.com (finance), engineerjobs.com (engineers) etc. You should also publicize the open position on your website. (Contact the author for a free, categorized listing of popular job boards using Alexa Traffic Rank)

How to Handle Resume Volume

Automatically! If you advertise in say 3 job boards and your website, you can expect at least 200 resumes. You do not want them coming to your e-mail box as this would require you to open each mail, save the resume etc for each and every one of them. This becomes tedious and time consuming. You want them to be automatically routed to a database or a resume management system.

Your resume management system should be able to process the incoming resumes, extract information from the resume, and build a list of applicants with their name, contact information and a summary, so that you can glance at the list to see how your publicity is working. Sophisticated resume management systems go a step forward and extract experience, education, summary and objectives from the resume. This is especially useful in identifying the best candidates without actually reading every resume.

A good resume management system would integrate with your web site, allow applicants to easily upload their resume, handle resumes that come by e-mail and process them with zero manual intervention.

How to Short List the Best Applicants

Over 90% of resumes that you receive will not be appropriate for the job. Reading each and every one of them is time consuming and tedious. Some resume management systems allows you to set filters to identify relevant resumes. The filters are keywords that you can specify for each job and the filter will check the resume if those words are present. They are only partially effective as they are looking for particular words in a resume and they may find them in places that have no relevance to the qualification of the candidate. They do not understand in what context those words were used.

You can use advanced technology like resume match technology that can automatically select the best candidates not on the basis of a few keywords but on the basis of your entire job requirement. This technology considers the resume like an actual recruiter; it takes into account the objective of the applicant, the applicant's experience, skills and education and matches them with each requirement in a job description. This also understands that not all requirements are the same, and that some are more important than the others, and ranks the candidates accordingly.

With a click of a button and a well defined job description, you would be able to shortlist the candidates in under 10 seconds.

How to Reduce Recruiting Cost

Your recruiting costs depend on whether you do it yourself or you avail the services of an external agency. Do it yourself requires that you commit time and resource before you even conduct the first interview. Time and costs can be significantly reduced if you have a backend resume management system in place that can automatically receive, consolidate and short list candidates without any manual intervention.

External agencies work with you on a contingency or a retainer basis. Contingency firms charge you anywhere between 20 – 30% of hiring salary. Retainer firms charge an upfront retainer and charge you by the hour. Such firms primarily focus on senior executives.

You need to decide if you have the necessary time and resource to devote to recruiting and remember, the time spend on recruiting is time not spent on your business. If 30% commission is on the high side, you can consider fixed price services. These services charge you a fixed price for attracting the right candidates, help you select the best candidates and assist you in the hiring process. (Contact the author for a free, Recruitment Cost Estimator tool. This tool estimates your recruiting cost. It also compares "Do it Yourself" costs with commissioned recruiting and fixed price services.)

Conclusion

Cleary define the ideal candidate for the job. Make use of internet job boards, your web site, your local newspaper etc. to attract applicants. Have a backend system that eliminates manual processing of resumes. The system should also be able to select and rank the best candidates for a job. Compare the cost of doing it yourself, paying commissions and availing the service of a fixed price service. Happy Hiring!! (Contact the author for "Tips for a smoother Hiring", a white paper with tips and hints to make your hiring go smoother.)



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About the Author

Naveen Bala has extensive experience in using the internet and latest technology to streamline recruiting. He specializes in making the search process faster, easier and smoother so that employers can hire with less effort and at lower cost. He is currently working for Sciera. His prior experiences include IBM Corporation and i2 Technologies. He can be reached at naveenbala@sciera.com and toll free at 1-888-338-4069. Sciera provides solutions for the most effective search, management and mining of job applicant information. Sciera combines traditional search services with proprietary technology to provide companies with a cost effective, fixed price alternative to conducting searches on their own. Visit Sciera at http://www.scieraweb.com to look at our products and services.




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