10 Dec 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning Hiring Workflows | Filling The Hiring Gap – Episode 04
Filling the Hiring Gap is a five part series, presented by Mosaic Human Capital Solutions, a professional services company focused on delivering human resources to client companies. In addition to maintaining an HR consulting book of business, Mosaic Human Capital offers fractional HR services, turnkey startup support, and we are quite effective and active in the talent acquisition and retention space.
The premise of this Lunch and Learn Series is to offer practical guidance to mid-market company leadership on how to fill the gaps we see in talent acquisition practices today. In the first episode of Filling the Hiring Gap we shared a general overview. And then in the second episode, we covered applicant tracking systems, why they are essential in this labor market, as well as how one goes about maximizing ATS capability to accomplish hiring goals. In the third episode, we discussed candidate experience, why it has never been more important, as well as how to offer best in class candidate experience. On today’s episode, we will discuss efficient workflows, as well as how to avoid the five pitfalls that tend to bottleneck efforts.
Henry Martinez, Founder of Mosaic Human Capital and former Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Valero Energy Corporation and CST brands, says that talent acquisition and recruiting is equal parts marketing, technology, process and HR. And when you dive into the process side of talent acquisition it is essentially a workflow. As a 25 year veteran in the HR space, Henry thinks the workflow side of the equation is unfortunately one of the most often overlooked aspects. In his experience HR folks should take the time to think more like engineers; the way they look into a process in such detail, to define a goal and to remove friction from that process so it is as efficient as it can be.
#1 Avoid Diving Into Workflow Creation Until You Have Defined Goals
When hiring an employee there are many components between HR, IT, onboarding, talent procurement, and more that need to be evaluated and asked the question “what is our goal”? Is it a shortened timeframe? Is it to redefine our current workflow because you’ve lost some people who used to be involved in hiring? Or is it to fulfil the commitment to continuous improvement? Either way, there needs to be a champion, someone that is expected to execute within the HR department the talent acquisition piece.
#2 Don’t Forget to Map Out or Whiteboard Each Goal
Luke Sesler, Director of Operations at Mosaic HCS, explains that naturally from goals comes a plan to achieve that goal. But some companies dive into a workflow before thoroughly mapping them out. For example, if your goal is to make hiring faster, you need to break it down from there into a more detailed plan and lean it out. Does hiring faster mean that you need more applicant volume? How are you planning to go to market? What kind of sources are you planning to utilize?
Gather everyone that’s involved in the hiring process into a room and go over the goals, map out the plans together and make sure that essentially everyone is singing the same song. It makes the workflow stronger and it also shows candidates that your company is organized. This goes back to one of our previous episodes on candidate experience; if you don’t have a plan and there’s miscommunication and a slow process, candidates can see that.
Owner operators that are engineers that manufacture or produce things know exactly how beneficial this process is. It’s taking a page our of the Lean Six Sigma mindset. There are companies that have folks on staff who are certified in this process. We wouldn’t say it’s a requirement but it is beneficial and something you may want to look into. When you approach your Whiteboard or Excel sheet or even just a piece of paper, you start from the moment your candidates apply to your requisition. What are the touch points, the handoff points, the different steps, who does what, how long does it take for each step, who has access to what information… the questions can go on and on. And as you dive deep into these maps you’ll see where your inefficiencies are and how to improve them. We advocate to use technology as much as possible to improve so you can track the data.
#3 Avoid Friction in Your Workflow at All Costs
The one thing that can kill a workflow more than anything else is friction. The biggest slice of friction is the human nature of indecisiveness with decision makers. We’ve seen all types throughout our careers in HR and in our practice. Making good, quick, clean and accurate decisions are imperative. You can design a beautiful workflow with everything documented the way you need it, but if your decision maker becomes overwhelmed or has too many priorities then the flow will stop or slope. Depending on the decision maker you may need to simplify your workflow. People are wearing many hats these days because of the labor shortage and so time management and workflow efficiency will keep things moving along. Candidates are being absorbed faster than they ever have before because there are incentives for them to go other places, so building that relationship while your decision makers are working is one of the first things we look for when auditing a talent acquisition process.
#4 Don’t Have Too Many Decision Makers In Your Workflow
We’ve all heard of the saying “too many cooks in the kitchen” or “too many hands in the pot”. The same could be said of avoiding too many decision makers, too many hiring managers, involved in one process. And sometimes there are too many HR folks that are not hiring managers involved. When you overpopulate the hiring process it stretches the timeline out and wastes resources.
Multiple rounds of interviews, panel interviews, they all have a place in the hiring process when needed. Each company is going to know what bandwidth each step takes and the conversations that need to be had. Another thing to consider though when you have many, many rounds of interviews is that the applicant begins to experience fatigue. There have been instances where we’ve had candidates go through eight hour interviews, multiple days and then call us and say ‘Wow, that was a long interview process”. We can just tell that they’ve experienced a lot of fatigue, going through all that.
The bottom line here is, if you have to have a large number of hiring managers or decision makers, keep in mind that you’re going to have to be a well oiled machine. Each person will need to execute their part as seamlessly as possible. It takes a lot of effort and you’ll need to have a backup for each person should they fall sick or have to be out of the office. It can be done, but again it becomes more complex and easier to fall apart.
#5 Don’t Overcomplicate Your Workflow
We’ve covered technology and tools to use in workflows, how important it is to streamline your process, that you should look at goals with a high level plan and a detailed one, but all in all you need to make sure that things are simple and not complex. Easier to execute means you can train new people coming onboard to execute it too. Don’t over engineer it and look for the right people in the right steps along the way. It’s also good to evaluate your workflow every so often. We advocate for every half year or every quarter, to review how things are going and see if new eyes or new vendors could help improve and simplify. Work smarter, not harder and new people and technology can help with perspective. Costs also change as your company grows, you may be able to afford new levels of workflow that you couldn’t before.
In summary what is important is to establish goals, have the project team in place, and then lean out or whiteboard processes. And then finally, we want to avoid the pitfalls of indecisiveness; too many hands in the pot, outdated practices, not leveraging technology fully, and then overcomplicating essential steps.
Looking forward, the final episode of Filling the Hiring Gap will be on key performance indicators, or KPIs, in talent acquisition. Stay well and we look forward to seeing you soon.