Recruiting process improvement, at its finest.
That’s the thought that whipped through my brain earlier this week when I was able to conquer a problem with our recruiting process that has plagued me on and off for approximately 20 months. Here’s the gist of it:
I signed us up for SmartRecruiters back in April 2010. I really like the service (the basic tool is free!), and it was a drastic improvement over our previous system of collecting emailed resumes from interested applicants. Blah.
So I’m cruising along and suddenly have an epiphany. At the time I was using MailChimp to deliver my email newsletter for the blog, and I thought to myself, “What if I could tie our job opening feed from SmartRecruiters into MailChimp? Then people who come to our careers page and don’t see a job they are interested in can submit their email address to be notified of our new job openings automatically.”
The basic principle behind the technology (reading a feed of jobs and pushing out an email about new additions to the list) was sound, and I’d seen it work well for the website.
The key purpose: building engagement in our recruiting process
I wanted to increase engagement in our recruiting process and help candidates learn more about us at the same time. There’s a neat tool within applications like MailChimp that allow you to send automatic emails to someone at regular intervals (autoresponders). In my mind, here’s what that meant:
- Person submits email and gets a warm welcome response immediately.
- 2-3 days later, the person gets an email that goes over our basic hiring process and how it works if they should ever move into that phase with us.
- 2-3 days later, the person gets an email that delves deep into our culture, what we believe, and how that plays a part in the hiring process. It gives them a chance to opt out if they see that we aren’t a place they would like working (on the flip side, it also can turn them into an even bigger fan if they turn out to be a great fit for our culture).
- 2-3 days later, the person gets some general tips on how to prepare for an interview, what to wear, etc.
- Et cetera. The only limit is your creativity, though you wouldn’t want to schedule so many that you’re becoming annoying.
Starting to get my drift? With a tool like this, I could get a lukewarm person very interested in working with us in under a week and without having any hands-on work after the setup. I’m building our brand and keeping our recruiting process lean at the same time.
Disclaimer: I’m all about a high-touch recruiting process, but when you’re the only HR person around, you have to get creative with how to manage the workload of recruiting. I can’t personally talk with every candidate who applies, and I think this is the greatest gift I can offer to someone, since it is valuable information and could help them in the event we have something open that fits their skills/interests.
So that all sounds very positive and encouraging, right? However, when I started trying to test it out, I couldn’t make it work. I’m nerdy, but I’m not a full-blown geek, and even the tech support guys at SmartRecruiters seemed to be stumped.
So I shelved the idea and vowed to give it a few minutes every so often to see if I can figure out some sort of workaround. Approximately twenty months go by with no progress.
Then I accidentally found the solution. Continue reading