October 10, 2016
I have been part of a networking platform for entrepreneurs so that I can learn from their journey and share experiences that can create a collaborative eco-system. Every now and then we ask each other a simple question — what are your top 3 priorities and/or challenges that you wished you had a better way to address? Not so surprisingly, ‘Hiring’ features among the top 3 priorities quite frequently.
There’s no question that a startup is not only built around a problem, your potential solution but also people. In order to reach from 1 > 10 > 100 and eventually thousands of customers, you need to have a great adaptive team that can not only be part of your dream, believe in it but also be ready to take up the challenge and help the startup achieve the goals consistently. Having said that, it’s not that easy to find great candidates consistently.
Just look at the hiring funnel and the intricate steps a Founder/HR Head/Hiring Managers have to go through before finalizing a candidate. Within each step of the hiring funnel lies it’s own set of challenges — be it employer branding, leveraging social n/w, technical & behavioral competency mappings, time & cost to hire etc.
What if we were to drew a parlance between the hiring funnel & e-commerce funnel? Sounds interesting?
Let’s look at 5 e-commerce funnel techniques and see if we apply these hacks to hiring process.
1. Get prospects to your hiring portal: It’s essential to get as many prospective candidates to your careers website as possible and convert them to subscribers. This not only helps you to create a healthy pipeline of candidates but also enables you to leverage your branding for attracting top talent. But how can this be achieved from hiring perspective? Don’t just brag but show the candidates why it’s fun to work with your startup. It’s not only the top perks but the overall healthy working environment that your employees love. Create videos, infographics and content on how your existing employees have grown in the organization, why would they love to stay and what drives their passion. It’s half the battle won if your prospects love your work culture! On the other hand, it also cuts down your dependency on those costly job portals which add less value and more noise.
2. Focus on the ‘top of the funnel’: The ‘top of the hiring funnel’ is where you will have to be careful in order to filter out the noise. Use of tools to identify practical skill sets and behavioral assessments will help you reduce the noise by nearly 65%. I strongly believe that only the serious set of candidates would take the pain to go through an assessment and try to prove themselves. It also helps you cut down time to hire and reduces unnecessary interview schedules for your hiring team.
3. Content: A well-written job description helps a lot! Don’t just throw in every technology name that you know in the job description. Nearly all the JD’s today include anywhere between 2–5 skills that are rarely used in the project. Be realistic, and truthful to what you project. Assume you are writing a product feature list and you don’t want to create a pretense there. It’s a great plus if you can have the hiring manager write down the day-to-day, weekly & monthly activities required from the candidate. This helps to set the expectations right away and candidates would self-evaluate themselves before applying for the position thereby reducing the effort for you.
4. Job Application Forms — I can’t stress any less about the whole UX. Every product today is being careful about what kind of experience they are providing to their customers. Why should you do any less and not invest time to go over your career/job application forms? Simplify as much as possible. In fact, do away with unnecessary information that doesn’t drive your hiring decision. Even better — provide candidates mechanism to first prove their competencies and then gather information if they make the cut. This way you don’t have to manage unnecessary information.
5. Keep Candidates Informed — I have known hiring managers that do not keep the candidates informed on the progress of their application and eventually lose them at a critical stage. This is not only inconvenient and a loss for the hiring organization but also creates a bad impression on candidates. Like your online shopping experience wherein you receive various email/notifications on the progress & delivery of your order, keep the candidates informed too. This will help them to anticipate and be prepared for what’s next to come and also helps you to create a comfort level between the prospect & hiring team.
Following these simple steps may help you to improve not only candidate experience but also your ability to attract great talent in the longer run.
About the Author: Anshul is the Co-Founder of Screenom Inc, a tech talent marketplace to hire developers. He has nearly 10 years of experience in various domains such as Telecom, eCommerce, and recently IoT as Business Analyst/Consultant & Product Owner. He has been part of recruitment drives on several occasions and looking at the inefficiencies of the existing process, he along with his colleagues launched Screenom which tries to address the challenges in recruitment lifecycle.