26 February 2020

3 tips to help your scaleup raise its hiring efficiency.


Company sustainability starts with an amazing team. 

Research into hundreds of scaleups’ hiring practices has shown that team composition significantly impacts company performance and is therefore considered as the most important condition for sustainable growth. 

Scaleups should constantly try to improve their hiring quality. What many of them forget, however, is that hiring efficiency largely impacts hiring quality as well. Inefficient processes raise the chance of making the wrong hiring decisions and an increased time to hire might force candidates to walk to the competitor. 

In this blog, I will provide you with our definition of hiring efficiency and  3 tips to raise your scaleup’s hiring efficiency right away.


Tip 1: Efficiency starts long before posting the job opening.

Hiring efficiency. One year ago when scaleups mentioned this ‘term’, the first thing that popped into my mind was screening. And my second thought was that hiring efficiency is only a relevant topic when hiring a huge amount of people or receiving a huge amount of applications

That was before I started researching scaleups and hiring efficiency. Nowadays this is my definition of hiring efficiency: 

Hiring efficiency is the extent to which a company has simplified and structured its hiring process as well as set clear guidelines for a specific job opening, ultimately leading them to a decreased time to hire and cost per hire for each job opening.

As you can see, setting clear guidelines is just as important as structuring your incoming applications and screening (if not more important). The foundation of your hiring efficiency is based on clarity of expectations – expectations of the job, the missing links in the team and ultimately the ideal candidate profile in terms of skills, personality and track record. 

Unfortunately it happens quite often that scaleups post a job opening without exactly knowing what to look for in a candidate. The result is that your candidate screening will be inefficient because it lacks clear evaluation guidelines. 

My first tip: Never post a job before you have confidently determined the ideal candidate profile for this job, meaning you have a clear vision on the desired skill set, personality traits and track record. And please keep in mind that to determine the desired skill set, it’s extremely important to have a clear overview of the skill sets of your current team members as well as knowing the  missing skills. We recently launched a new feature, called the Team Benchmark feature, which allows you to analyse your current team and find the missing links. 

Having this clear vision on the ideal candidate profile allows you to set clear evaluation guidelines as well. Hello efficiency, you’re one step closer!


Tip 2: An Applicant Tracking System has a role system and feedback functionality for a reason.

I didn’t mention purchasing an Applicant Tracking System as a tip since most scaleups already have an ATS to optimise their hiring funnel. Perfect! Correctly using this ATS, however, still turns out to be quite a challenge for many companies (including ourselves by the way, guilty as charged). 

Research has shown that not only hiring efficiency, but also Candidate Experience can be seriously damaged when not having clear guidelines for the workflow after someone has applied. Who’s responsible for which job? Who needs to provide feedback before any decision is made for each candidate? 

Lots of unnecessary hurdles can be prevented by having a clear overview of the following responsibilities for each new job opening:

  • Responsible person for setting up the job opening;
  • Responsible person(s) for screening (tip: use the feedback functionality in your ATS to let the responsible persons provide feedback for each candidate and also determine from how many people you need this feedback before either advancing or rejecting a candidate);
  • Responsible person(s) for conducting interview 1, interview 2, etc.;
  • Action deadlines (within x days a candidate should be either rejected or advanced, interviews are scheduled max x days after advancing or rejecting, etc.).

Once you have this clear, you can assign the responsible persons to this specific job opening in your ATS as well as setting up the ‘rules’ for the deadlines. 

To be honest: We already work with Recruitee (an amazing Applicant Tracking System from the Netherlands) for already a year now and we are now starting with these functionalities since we have an ambitious hiring schedule. But hey, better late than never!


Tip 3: Determine goal setting for each hiring stage upfront.

Last but not least: Hiring stages should serve a greater goal than just allowing different people from the company to get to know your candidates.

Having a clear vision on what you would need to learn from a candidate during the x amount of hiring stages helps you structure your stages and interviews as well. 

Many scaleups still deal with recruitment the old way: letting candidates apply through an application form in which they need to upload their resume. For clients working with our platform, it works slightly differently, because we let our customer’s candidates apply through our job application experience in which we import their LinkedIn profile (as a replacement for the resume) and ask them to play a set of gamified assessments, allowing us to assess skills, intelligence and personality.

Let’s therefore take our own hiring process as an example here – since we’re actively hiring a lot of people at the moment. This is how we have structured our hiring funnel:

Stage
Collected data
Job applicationLinkedIn data, results of assessments (key skills for job fit, key personality traits for cultural fit)
Interview 1Assessing job fit results (Focus: skills)
Interview 2Assessing cultural fit results (Focus: Personality, team behaviour)


And that’s it. We never have more than two interviews and we also don’t have a phone screening. The way we’ve structured our hiring funnel allows us to collect more data in the beginning of the process, resulting in only 2 interviews needed to assess the collected data.

I don’t expect everyone to implement such a hiring funnel because this is only possible if you collect the right data in the beginning and if you have enough faith/trust in data. What I do expect everyone to do, however, is taking a critical look at your hiring funnel and filling in such a table for yourself as well. It might turn out that some hiring stages are unnecessary and can be easily merged with other stages.

Hopefully these three tips help you raise your scaleup’s hiring efficiency. Happy hiring!

Cheers, Charlotte