Recruiting qualified talent tends to be a painstaking process no matter what industry your business operates within. In fact, 76% of hiring managers believe that attracting new talent is one of their greatest challenges in the workplace.
This is likely due to the fact that the traditional recruitment process is time-intensive, expensive, inefficient and often fails to adequately overcome the complex challenges that recruitment teams face today.
To streamline the recruitment process and increase the chances of attracting qualified job candidates, top organizations have turned away from the traditional recruitment process and adopted a more agile approach.
Agile recruitment is a talent acquisition framework based on the agile project management methodology. It focuses on setting clear requirements for the hiring process, maintaining effective collaboration between hiring team members, tracking key talent acquisition metrics over the duration of the recruitment process, and continuously improving recruitment efforts.
Hiring teams that leverage agile recruitment divide their workflows into short chunks of time, referred to as sprints. Hiring sprints typically last for one to two weeks and add checks and balances to the recruitment process by requiring recruitment teams to assess key performance indicators (KPIs) throughout each phase of the recruitment process.
Agile recruitment also encourages a high rate of collaboration among hiring teams, requiring them to meet with stakeholders during each sprint to evaluate the hiring process to ensure that only qualified candidates are considered to fill job vacancies.
By adopting a more agile approach to recruitment, recruitment teams are able to:
- Gain a better understanding of their hiring requirements.
- Avoid hiring unreliable or unqualified candidates.
- Develop a more flexible, adaptable hiring approach.
- Improve their communication and collaboration efforts.
- Continuously improve their recruitment process.
In this article, we will take a look at how agile recruitment helps companies overcome talent acquisition challenges, how your organization can effectively implement agile recruitment practices, and how to use visualization tools like MindManager® to better execute the agile recruitment process.
How agile recruitment helps companies overcome talent acquisition challenges
Today’s hiring market is saturated with open positions and has a current position-to-applicant ratio of 2:1. Much of this saturation is connected to the Great Resignation, which saw more than 47 million workers quit their jobs in 2021.
For example, the US Department of Labor (DOL) reported that there were 11.5 million job openings in March 2022. In that same month, 4.5 million people quit their jobs.
This is precisely why it’s important for hiring teams to adopt a less traditional, more adaptable approach to recruiting. Let’s take a look at some of the challenges companies often face when recruiting talent and how agile recruitment practices can help overcome them.
Challenge 1: Talent shortages
According to the ManpowerGroup, 3 in 4 employers have reported difficulty finding the appropriate talent to fill job vacancies within their organization. This lack of talent has made it harder for organizations to effectively source qualified candidates.
In the agile recruitment process, one hiring sprint is the development of a talent pool. A talent pool is a group of job candidates that have been sourced from career fairs, job sites, and even employee referrals.
Then, another hiring sprint is dedicated to developing a talent pipeline. A talent pipeline is a list of candidates, narrowed down from the talent pool, that are considered qualified for the vacant position the organization wishes to fill.
Dedicating two hiring sprints to sourcing and developing relationships with job candidates helps recruitment teams more effectively identify and attract the scarce number of qualified candidates on the market before their competition has the chance to hire them.
Challenge 2: Missing metrics
Hiring teams, including managers, recruiters, and other key stakeholders may have conflicting priorities within the hiring process. A lack of collaboration between team members will negatively impact the recruitment process.
To help hiring teams identify the right candidates and make the best decisions, it’s important to use data-driven recruitment strategies. Such strategies rely on the collection and evaluation of key talent acquisition metrics, such as cost per hire, job offer rates, and new hire performance, among others.
Because team members will have varying feelings and instincts when it comes to the recruitment process, it could cause them to select unqualified candidates that aren’t a great fit for the position at hand.
Data-driven metrics add clarity and facts based on evidence. This helps recruiting teams determine which of their recruitment activities need to be improved upon so that they can make better hiring decisions and secure talent more effectively.
Challenge 3: Inefficient recruitment practices
One of the most prominent challenges that recruitment teams face today is a lack of efficient hiring practices. Lengthy, ambiguous hiring cycles are a major disadvantage to companies because they tend to drive away suitable candidates.
In fact, studies show that 83% of job candidates say the recruitment process would be greatly improved if employers provided them with a clearer timeline of the hiring process. Agile recruitment prioritizes constant communication with potential recruits. Hiring sprints enable recruitment teams to break their workflows into smaller tasks, such as touching base with candidates on a consistent basis.
Another priority in agile recruitment is shortening the overall hiring cycle. Hiring sprints also ensure that the hiring cycle has a definitive start and end date, which can be expressed to candidates to avoid ambiguity. This helps improve the candidate experience and increase the odds that the right recruit will accept a job offer once it is extended. On average, agile recruiting processes increase recruiter productivity by 31%, which also helps shorten the time from interviews to onboarding.
How to implement the agile recruitment process in your organization
1. Develop an agile recruitment team
Developing an agile recruitment team is one of the most important aspects of the agile recruitment process because that team interviews potential candidates, gather acquisition metrics, and helps to determine which candidates are the best fit for open positions.
Agile recruiting teams are typically quite small, consisting of about three to ten company employees. Within each recruitment team, there are three main roles:
Headcount owner. The headcount owner is tasked with creating a list of tasks, otherwise referred to as the hiring backlog, that the recruiting team must complete over the duration of the hiring cycle. This person also sets recruiting priorities based on the direction of the recruiting lead.
Recruiting lead. This hiring team member is commonly referred to as the Scrum Master. They are responsible for preventing the team from going off track, keeping them focused on predetermined recruiting goals.
Recruiting team. The recruiting team, otherwise referred to as a Scrum Team, works in one to two week hiring sprints to accomplish all of the tasks outlined in the hiring backlog and successfully meet hiring goals.
Each of these roles are a crucial part of the hiring process, as no one role could function properly without the other.
2. Identify key acquisition metrics for your recruiting process
Now that you’ve assembled your hiring team, you need to establish some key metrics to help your team ensure the hiring process yields quality job recruits. Here are some key acquisition metrics that businesses commonly use to evaluate the success of their hiring process:
Time to fill. The amount of time it takes to locate and hire a new job candidate.
Time to hire. The amount of time between when a candidate applies for a job and when they accept a job offer.
First-year attribution. The rate at which new hires leave an organization within their first year of employment.
Quality of hire. The value a newly hired employee adds to a business.
Applicants per opening. The number of people that have applied to a job advertisement.
Selection ratio. The number of candidates hired compared to the total number of job applicants.
Percentage of open positions. Percentage of job vacancies in a company compared to its overall number of job positions.
Cost per hire. Average amount of expenses required to hire new employees.
Offer acceptance rate. The percentage of job candidates that have accepted a formal job offer.
Collecting and monitoring these metrics over the duration of the hiring cycle provides teams with data insights they need to make more favorable hiring decisions.3. Facilitate the recruitment process in sprints
Once you have gathered your hiring team and determined key acquisition metrics to help guide your hiring efforts, you can then begin to outline your hiring sprints. Each hiring sprint should be one to two weeks long.
Here is a simple example of a hiring cycle broken down into individual sprints:
Week 1: Source candidates from job boards, career fairs, and employee referrals. Then, solicit feedback from the hiring manager and key stakeholders regarding your talent pool.
Week 2: Narrow down your talent pool based on the feedback you received from your hiring manager, eliminating job applicants that are unqualified for the position. Reach out to viable applicants to begin curating your talent pipeline. Check in with your hiring manager and key stakeholders to confirm your talent pipeline is aligned with their talent acquisition goals.
Week 3: Screen candidates using a skills-based assessment and conducting a phone interview. After screening candidates, communicate with your hiring manager and key stakeholders and share which candidates passed the screening process.
Week 4: Schedule in-person or virtual interviews with top-level candidates. Either involve the hiring manager and key stakeholders in these interviews or report your sentiments to them after all potential candidates have been interviewed.
Breaking the process into sprints speeds up the hiring cycle, ensuring that each task has a start and end date. Hiring sprints also help recruiting teams create a more transparent hiring cycle, which job candidates value.
4. Utilize digital project management tools to better visualize the agile recruitment process
Agile recruiting teams often use visual project management tools to help them understand the ins and outs of each hiring sprint. Visual project management tools also help recruiting teams ensure that each team member is aware of their responsibilities for each hiring sprint. This builds accountability amongst hiring team members and gives them the confidence they need to point out areas of the hiring cycle that can be improved upon.
The most commonly used visual project management tool leveraged over the duration of the agile recruitment process is the digital Kanban board. Digital Kanban boards visually display which hiring sprints haven’t been started yet, are currently in progress, and are fully completed. This visual depiction of the progression of hiring tasks enables teams to more effectively understand and navigate through the hiring cycle.
Digital Kanban boards are also highly shareable, making it easy to visually plan and communicate key details of each hiring sprint with the appropriate company stakeholders. In addition to their shareability, most digital Kanban boards can be updated by hiring team members regardless of their location, which is ideal for hybrid and remote recruiting teams.
5. Seek to continuously improve your agile recruitment process
You’re probably wondering what’s next after the hiring cycle is complete. Well, if you intend to repeat the hiring process in the future, which is inevitable for most organizations, you’ll first need to assess your previous hiring cycle.
Remember those key acquisition metrics your hiring team tracked and monitored in the last hiring cycle? Now it’s time to use those data points to figure out how well your agile recruitment process achieved the goals set forth by your hiring manager and key stakeholders.
Assess which metrics didn’t turn out as expected and consult with your team to determine what improvements you can make to your hiring sprints to produce better results next time. After all, the more quickly you improve your hiring workflow, the more agile your hiring process will be.
How to use MindManager to better visualize the agile recruitment process
To help your hiring team better visualize the agile recruitment process, consider using a software solution such as MindManager. MindManager’s customizable Kanban board templates make it easy for hiring team members to effectively outline each task involved in their hiring sprints. This increases the transparency of the hiring process for both team members and company stakeholders.
MindManager’s cross platform co-editing feature also enables hiring teams to easily work together to update Kanban board templates, regardless of their physical location. This makes MindManager an ideal solution for agile recruiting teams that function remotely or are constantly on the go.
Not to mention, MindManager comes equipped with a user-friendly dashboard that makes it simple for hiring teams and stakeholders to access and edit Kanban boards and more effectively track the agile recruitment process.Explore how MindManager can be used to diagram and manage the agile recruitment process.