The Pursuit of Continuous Improvement in 2014

Check out iCIMS' latest blog post from iCIMS blogger Eileen Kern.

Every December, I like to set aside some time to think about my personal and professional goals for the coming year. While this might sound like a traditional New Year’s resolution, I like to think about it more in terms of kaizen. Kaizen, which means “good change,” refers to continuous improvement. As a core concept at iCIMS, this idea resonates with me personally as I look to 2014.

And certainly, as my department is expected to grow in 2014, we are all considering the role kaizen plays in the successful sourcing, recruiting, and onboarding of talent. Everyone plays a role in making improvements and streamlining processes to attract top talent, whether it be through creating an appealing candidate experience, improving communication among stakeholders, or monitoring key performance indicators to track improvements. This is especially true for recruiters and other HR personnel, who may discover that they are empowered to set the tone for HR organizational improvements in 2014.

Goal: Bring in Game-Changing Talent with a Great Candidate Experience

Your best candidates may be juggling multiple offers or interested in multiple companies, so it is vital to make a great impression at every stage in the hiring process.

The following are some questions to get you thinking as you set candidate experience goals for 2014:

• What are you doing to get in front of applicants at the early stages of their job research?


Are you actively promoting or incentivizing your employee referral program to get current employees on board? Are you posting your jobs on job boards or websites (based on location, industry, etc.) that the right kind of talent might frequent? Do you have a clear recruiting social media strategy?

• Once you have an applicant’s attention, what are you doing to keep it?


Do you offer applicants a simple application process, even if they are searching from a phone? Do applicants have the option to submit a resume or sign up for a talent pool, even when there are no current openings in their field?

• Do you give candidates clear opportunities to showcase unique skills and talents?

What kinds of questions or tasks can you present that will allow the candidate to demonstrate why he or she is a great fit for your company? What opportunities (such as video cover letters, writing samples, code tests, etc.) can you give candidates that will let them stand out early in the hiring process?

Goal: Improve Communication among Key Stakeholders

For successful talent acquisition, communication among stakeholders is key. No matter how successful your current processes are, organizations always benefit from communication improvements. This is especially true in the world of HR, where the first result on Google for the innocuous search phrase “hiring managers and recruiters” is currently an ERE article titled “How Recruiters Can Tame Frustrating Hiring Managers.”

Again, while there are many areas for potential improvement in communication, it may be easiest to take a step back and focus on addressing the most important communication concerns first. Many communication issues may be resolved easily with better technology or clearer internal processes.

Some questions to get you thinking as you set communication goals for 2014:

• What are your standard operating procedures for communication, and could they be improved?

How well are your standard operating processes for communication expectations documented, and are all stakeholders aware of their responsibilities? What processes (such as approvals, tasks, feedback, reminders, etc.) can be easily automated with supporting technology? What solutions (such as mobile approvals, etc.) can allow stakeholders to move the process forward efficiently?

Goal: Take Advantage of Benchmarks and Real-Time Reports to Recognize Efficiencies and Identify Bottlenecks

Ultimately, the best way to determine if you are improving and achieving your goals is through the collection of benchmark data and the analysis of your key performance indicators. While reports may not be the most glamorous part of an HR job, they provide valuable information to set the tone for future improvements. They also can help identify where to begin when planning your agenda for the coming year.

Some questions to get you thinking as you set reporting goals for 2014:

• How are you tracking your successes?

How are you utilizing the information available to you within your talent acquisition technology (such as source effectiveness, email campaign effectiveness, and onboarding productivity)? Would you benefit from personalized reports to support your specific responsibilities and goals?

• How are you tracking and addressing areas for improvement?

Do you have specific processes or standard operating procedures for dealing with bottlenecks within your talent acquisition process? Do you have a clear sense of how to implement or pitch better HR processes or technologies, as merited?

This blog post was originally posted on the iCims blog.

Views: 216

Tags: Acquisition, Human Resources, Planning, Recuriting, Talent, Workforce

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