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Make a Structured Recruitment Process Work for you and your Applicants


When recruiting, making sure you’re finding the best talent in the most cost-effective manner should be the number one priority. A structured interview and recruitment process is the best way to ensure that happens.

A structured interview and recruitment process acts as a guide to optimize every part of hiring, from sourcing to reference checking. Implementing a formal interview and recruitment process will allow companies to hire great employees, rate applicants on the same scale, eliminate personal bias, meet deadlines, and much more.

While the setup of a structure like this requires some time, it is well worth it in the long run, especially if your company decides to invest in online recruitment software. Online software gets rid of the paperwork associated with recruitment, making sure everything is in one place, and most products can even let you save templates, so you don’t have to do the same work for similar jobs.


Sourcing – Where Can I Find The Best Employees?

These days, employers can’t post a job on a website and expect applicants to come. You need to post enough information on the right websites to get candidates interested. Luckily, we know where applicants hope to find job postings.

Matt Charney wrote for Recruiting Daily that career sites are a great place to start. “64.5% of applicants found career sites helpful when researching a company,” he wrote. “Compare this to 19.9% who said that review sites like Glassdoor were helpful marketing materials, and an even lower score for social recruiting (3.8% for Facebook, 1.9% for Twitter, and the much-vaunted talent communities at 5.9%).”

These statistics suggest companies should be taking the time to build a great career site instead of developing social media campaigns.

Online job boards are also handy, Charney notes, with 62% of candidates using Indeed, 51% using CareerBuilder, and 47% using Monster.

“If you are looking to convert job content into warm leads and actual applicants, focus on writing great job descriptions and spending your time fishing where the fish are – and where today’s candidates are concerned, the resource they use most continues to be job boards,” Charney wrote.


A Structured Questionnaire Should Be Short and Simple

The best way to confirm if applicants have the skills they claim is by skills testing via a structured questionnaire. But there is one landmine to avoid with building an applicant skills test. It’s important to remember applicants don’t want to spend forever filling out a skills test before being selected as a finalist. If the test takes more than an hour to complete, you should shorten it or only require finalists to finish it.

You can also make this process easier for the recruitment officer by adding structured skills testing software. Most of this software allows employers to input all the required questionnaires for the candidates to complete on their own time. Some programs even have anti-cheating software built in to ensure the results are accurate.


Applicant Tracking Systems Make Organizing Structured Interviews Easier

A structured recruitment process is much easier to create if your business already has a well-oiled applicant tracking system. Many modern applicant tracking systems can incorporate every element of the process and is especially useful for organizing structured job interviews.

The right software can keep track of all candidates who apply for any job with your company, save structured interview templates for questions and job postings, and keep all your required documents in one place.


How to Develop Interview Guides and Rubrics for Structured Interviews

A structured recruitment process has to be built on the backbone of a well-functioning structured interview system.

Anna Peters, a Content Manager for College Recruiter, wrote in an article for Achievers most job interviews are too unstructured, leading to a process which doesn’t fairly evaluate candidates.

A standardized interview will make sure every candidate is asked the same questions, in the same order so that everyone can be evaluated appropriately.

“Think of [structured interviews] as a science, not an art,” Peters wrote. “You need clear criteria with which you’ll assess each candidate’s responses. Start by identifying or reviewing the competencies of the particular job. What is actually required to succeed in this role? Base your metrics entirely on this question.”

The rating system should be individualized for each interview question and have a short description of what qualities the candidate meets to fit that rating. A system like this allows every person on a hiring team to interview an applicant, when the team comes together to discuss, everyone knows each candidate was evaluated based on the same criteria.


Don’t Get too Invested in the First Formal Interviews

To save the most time during your structured recruitment process, the initial interview with a candidate should never be in-person. Either phone, live video interviews, or pre-recorded video interviews are the best options for a first formal interview.

The best bet to save your staff time is to use a system which records either videos or audio. These systems will allow you to input your guides and rubrics, making sure each candidate is asked the same questions in the same order, limiting any risk of inconsistency.

An initial interview performed via technology is also the best way to get a baseline for your applicants, as there is no risk for a person conducting the interview to go off-script, which Peters noted can sometimes happen, even if there is a structured process in place.


Unstructured Interviews are Inappropriate at Final Stage

Finalist interviews may seem like the best opportunity to go off-script and learn more about each candidate, but this is when a formal, structured process is most important. In some cases, the finalist interviews are the last step before deciding who to hire, so keeping a structured process will make sure the right person gets the job.

Tym Lawrence of SumTotal Systems wrote in an article for Human Resources Director Australia when developing your guide for these interviews, make sure you’re not just repeating or confirming the information you already know. “These questions need to be thought out and considered in advance by someone who has experience with the role and is focused on finding the right fit culturally,” Lawrence notes. “Questions should focus on attaining information that will benefit the organization such as determining a candidate’s attitudes or how he/she approaches problems, for example.”

Lawrence also notes employers should avoid “gimmicky brainteasers or vague questions such as ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ ” These kinds of questions rarely help managers identify who would be the best person for the position.


Stop Wasting Time Reference Checking

While reference checking is a necessary part of the recruitment process, it rarely makes a difference in the overall decision. With employment references having a predictive validity of only 13%, it is in the best interest of the hiring manager to spend as little time as possible on reference checks.

Lawrence suggests connecting to a system designed to help you do background checks and reference checks, to make sure everyone is vetted appropriately. There are a few different reference checking programs, but some stand out as software designed to save time. There are some products which will allow you to input your reference check questions, send them out to referees, and wait for a response. Tools like this are essential to optimizing your structured recruitment process.


Learn More about Recruitment Software

VidCruiter offers a wide variety of recruitment software products designed to make hiring easier. Whether you’re searching for a video interviewing system, automated referencing, or the whole package, VidCruiter has exactly what your organization needs.



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