Recruiting practices leave a lot to be desired, Allegis Group survey finds

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Recruitment processes are coming up short.

The way employers recruit staff comes under fire in a new survey that finds just about all of them are dissatisfied with their process.

Some 92% cite less-than-ideal satisfaction with their recruitment process while the other 8% strongly agree their recruitment program enables them to fill open positions quickly and attract top-quality talent, according to the survey from the Allegis Group, a staffing and recruitment firm.

“A widening gap exists between how companies hire people and how people are finding jobs due to ever evolving technology,” said Carolyn Thompson, managing principal of consulting firm Merito Group. “The way jobs are advertised, responded to, and searched for is constantly changing. And, with lower unemployment rates, top talent is at a premium and they have a lot of choices when it comes to career changes.”

“It leaves businesses at a disadvantage,” said Rachel Russell, executive director of corporate strategy and marketing for Allegis. “They fall behind in their goals and objectives. There is also a reputation impact.”

The report addresses several recruitment challenges, including high demands on employers to know job definitions, sourcing options, screening techniques and onboarding methods. Employers also face developing trends, including advances in artificial intelligence (AI), evolving views on diversity and inclusion (D&I) and the emergence of the millennial generation as the largest demographic in the workforce.

Hit the ground running

  • Mismatched expectations for "hit the ground running” hires is driving qualified candidates away. Only 28% of hiring managers at companies expect a perfect match—candidates that arrive fully equipped with necessary skills and experience. Yet, 50% of the talent acquisition professionals they work with and 53% of candidates think full qualifications must be met.
  • Sourcing channels fall short of expectations. Most talent organizations were, on average, 67% less likely than the "most satisfied" employers to rate a sourcing channel as "very effective." These channels include: referral programs (71%), recruitment/staffing firms (59%), social media (59%), job boards and affiliates (53%), employer websites (53%), search engine marketing and digital ads (47%), and mobile apps (46%).
  • Faulty screening processes leave companies behind. "Most satisfied" employers are 78% more likely than others to clearly communicate their top three skills requirements and have recruiters understand them. Most companies lag in other fundamental screening practices, including establishing culture fit metrics, bringing non-recruiting stakeholders into the screening process and contacting references.
  • Digital assessment tools established and evolving. Candidates, hiring managers and talent acquisition pros all agree that tests for culture fit, cognitive abilities and personality are effective. More recent developments, such as mobile matching systems and game-based assessments (both rated effective by 60% of hiring managers), are slightly lower on the list but expected to rise as stakeholders gain more exposure.
  • Poor onboarding sends new hires to the exits. Of surveyed candidates, 54% were "somewhat" or "very likely" to leave an organization based on a poor onboarding experience. When it comes to readiness for a new hire's first day—encompassing introductions to teammates and key stakeholders, manager meetings and facility tours—more than 70% of hiring managers say they "always" cover these activities, yet only 23% to 50% of candidates agree.
  • Poor hiring experience causes adverse ripple effects. When it comes to the hiring process, 56% of candidates are "somewhat" or "very likely" to discourage others from applying if they had a poor hiring experience. Some 81% say they'd encourage others if the process were a positive one.

Looking at the trends

  • AI creates difficult innovation decisions. Progress is being made in setting the right foundations for AI use, including harnessing the power of data and analytics (25% of employers cite significant progress) and investing in innovation and R&D (23% cite significant progress). Fewer respondents (13% of employers) are leveraging AI for talent acquisition and management, with 14% identifying roles and activities to automate using AI technology.
  • Lack of a D&I strategy. Attracting diverse workers is essential to filling many critical roles, and keeping them on board, engaged and advancing their careers is key to gaining the most value. Forty-four percent of employers report D&I as a top priority for the business. However, just 27% say they have a well-researched and understood strategy in place.
  • Employers lag in recruiting millennials. In 2018, millennials are predicted to be the largest voting-eligible group in the U.S., and by 2025, it's anticipated they'll make up three-quarters of the global workforce. Despite this, only 31% of employers report significant progress in their approach to recruiting millennials. "Most satisfied" employers are more than twice as likely to identify millennial recruitment as a top priority, with 28% more likely to have defined success for recruitment strategies.