Talent Acquisition - An easy-to-use Framework to start Data-Driven Recruiting

"A strong recruiting framework is the foundation for building a high-performing team. It ensures consistency, efficiency, and fairness throughout the hiring process, ultimately leading to the acquisition of top talent."

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

This will be a rather short article - just as the Talent Acquisition Framework should be easy-to-use, scalable and comparable. Basically like this:

Role Creation
Setting up the role in the ATS according to the hiring plan
Kick-Off Meeting
Comprehensive briefing session to fully understand  role requirements
Get2Know Calls
First interaction with the most promising candidates
1st Round Interviews
Deep-dive conversations incl. technical evaluation
Final Round Interviews
Final conversation and clarification of last open questions
Offer and Onboarding
Competitive offer and start of structured onboarding

You might ask yourself: "This is it?" and the plain answer is "Yes. That's it."
A successful hiring process is based in simplicity, not complexity. The more complex your basic recruiting framework, the higher the risk to do things because of the process and not because they make sense. Out of experience, the time-to-offer increses significantly if there is a process in place that has all potential option mapped out and can only be fully shown on a A0 print-out.

Simplicity in the Talent Acquisition Framework does not contradict a thorough evaluation of the candidates' skills!

A simple and lean framework allows you to adapt each recruiting project to its specific needs, i.e. a short coding challenge between Get2Know Call and 1st Round Interviews or a half-day workshop held by your future CPO. It sets the boundaries that should always be respected and gives you freedom to find the exactly right person.

Best Practices

All companies and TA Teams need to find their own way of setting up their Talent Acquisition Framework but there are some Best Practices that help avoiding common pitfalls from the beginning. The list is not exhaustive.

Role Creation and Kick-Off Meeting

  • Have standard workflows set up in your ATS that cover the basics of all recruiting projects! You don't want to create the process new each time you start recruiting...
  • Have a Kick-Off Meeting form created that covers all possible aspects for the new recruiting project. In a perfect life it can be sent out through the ATS so all information can be found in place.
  • Use the Kick-Off Meeting to "grill" the Hiring Manager! There shouldn't be any question mark left after the meeting.
  • Make the ATS your single source of truth! No other documents should be saround, no lists, no tables, nothing!

Get2Know Call

  • Length
    Approx. 30-45 min
  • Purpose
    General fit for the open role, no in-depth evaluation
  • What do you want to share
    Information on all role specifics including but not limited to your company's story, department setup (different team setups, organigram), position details (replacement vs new position, reporting line, leadership role yes or no, etc.
  • What do you want to learn
    General information such as salary expectations and notice period plus understanding of the general fit to role incl. basic check on skills needed, general fit to team and company, motivation, etc.

1st Round Interviews

  • Length
    Approx. 90 min
  • Purpose
    In-depth evaluation of the candidates' technical and personal fit
  • What do you want to share
    In-depth tasks, expectations, daily doings, e.g., what does the sales process look like, basically everything that might be relevant for a specific role, development opportunities, etc.
  • What do you want to learn
    In-depth skill evaluation, always with a case study or comparable way to test skills, in-depth cultural fit evaluation, evaluation of the candidate’s potential to grow and develop, evaluation of the candidate’s motivation to join your company, etc.
  • Additional Note
    The interview can be split into several conversations if needed. If one session is split into several conversations, they need to be planned consecutively. It’s more candidate centric to plan a half day of conversations than spreading 1h sessions throughout several days. For junior roles there might be only 1 Round.

Final Round Interviews

  • Length
    Depending on setup
  • Purpose
    In-depth evaluation of any open questions or flagged topics and final check on cultural fit
  • What do you want to share
    Answer all remaining questions from the candidates, a final company pitch to win thecandidate over.
  • What do you want to learn
    Open questions and flagged topics from the 1st Round Interviews; Apart from that it should just be a final getting to know each other.
  • Additional Note
    The Final Round can be split into several consecutive conversations if really needed, but that should remain an exception.

Offer and Onboarding

  • Make a really competitive offer based on your compensation philosophy. Dumping salary will always backfire!
  • Do not ask for a comparison if you have found a candidate that meets all your requirements and has the "Go" from all interviewers. Extend the offer as fast as possible! Don't wait!
  • In case you have to negotiate your initial offer, be fully transparent on your wiggle room. Stalling tactics will not make you more attractive as employer.
  • As soon as you have your offer accepted, start your strucutred onboarding process. There's nothing more embarrassing than an unstructured first day.

Where does that leave us with Data-Driven Recruiting?

Have you ever tried getting meaningful company-wide data and information out of a "framework" that consists of different recuiting processes for each role, job family, country? Yes? Then you know the answer...

Without a simple, unified Talent Acqusition Framework that has the same stages for ALL recruiting projects you get ZERO meaningful information from your data!

It may sound simplistic to have a one-size fits all framework in place but it will do wonders! But you have seen above, the framework gives more than enough space to have several conversations in the same stage.
As soon as you collect process data in a unified framework you start getting real insights. You can take a look at the company-wide funnel with different timestamps, narrow it down to specific departments and compare funnel performance in different countries or locations. Suddenly, you can move away from your gut-feeling that there's something not right in sales hiring in location "A" because you see real numbers with a break-down by channel.
That's where Data-Driven Recruiting starts. For sure, it's not the end...

If you want to learn more about Data-Driven Recruiting feel free to dive into the topic here!

Written by: Christian
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