Finally: it’s the golden age of recruiting operations! Has there ever been a time when more attention is being paid to the ins and outs of talent acquisition teams? 

Organizations are being challenged to find the best talent in a time when we are all challenging the status quo of working. We are past mandated remote work and into a period of time where organizations need to try and get remote/hybrid/in-person balance just right for their teams.

Creating a winning culture right now is no joke. Some companies are debating remaining remote or embracing hybrid work models for the first time. Change is the only constant. Recruiting teams are working to exceed expectations in a competitive, candidate-centric market all in the midst of that uncertainty. 

Introducing the Recruiting Operations Leader

They are often brought on to optimize all recruiting processes or redesign recruiting infrastructure for maximum efficiency. This individual will lead the engine that powers the people, process, and tools that make recruiting happen. They’ll also make sure that recruiting logistics are, well, logical, for the team and the organization it serves.

At a certain point in a recruiting team’s maturation, these leaders may come in to oversee a team of recruiting coordinators. With hiring becoming increasingly more complex and more technology than ever available to help address automation gaps the recruiting operations leader acts to oversee the bigger picture. 

Recruiting operations leaders will often begin by taking stock of preexisting recruiting infrastructure and breaking down every step of the hiring process piece by piece. 

Measuring Sourcing Efficiency: Top Talent Funneled Into The Pipeline

Sourcing is a very fluid process. Innumerable channels are available for teams to choose from as they strive to source a diverse array of candidates. Recruiting operations leaders will study and evaluate those channels to determine which are the most effective for which talent pipelines at the company. 

When companies are small they often rely on internal recruitment strategies and referral programs. As they scale this becomes unsustainable and so recruiting teams may end up testing a large number of sourcing channels but not have the bandwidth to effectively study the success of each one. 

Leaders that work to optimize recruiting operations remove ambiguity from sourcing channels by measuring applicant count, time from posting to filling the role if applicable, and closely tracking the quality of applicants from each channel.  

Seamless Screening: Removing Friction From Candidate Touchpoints 

It’s critically important to move quickly between talent selection for a first-round and a confirmed candidate screening. It’s also where many of the first scheduling bottlenecks of the hiring process can occur.  When recruiting teams work with external sourcing agencies to source candidates but lack a clear SLA that details what response time is expected. Candidates can invariably drop out of the funnel. 

With an internal recruiting team the recruiting operations manager has domain over those response times and tighter control over the first part of the hiring funnel. They’ll work to have interview screeners prepared for waves of candidates as new roles are posted and closely coordinate scheduling efforts to minimize the time spent on this step.  

Recruiting operations may measure how long it takes to set up initial screens by channel as well as track the time between the completed first screen and the next phase. Optimizing for all these touchpoints is a necessity when organizations strive to create a positive candidate experience. 

Optimizing Interview Scheduling: Reducing Candidate Dropoff 

Once the initial screening is complete and candidates have been selected to continue on in their journey recruiting coordinators often need to start on the arduous task of interview scheduling. For some organizations, without robust multi-participant interviews, this stage doesn’t massively slow down the process.

For organizations that do require those complex panel interviews, however, interview scheduling is often where time is wasted and candidate experience may suffer as a result. Going back and forth between different interviewers and the candidate to find the perfect interview schedule can make recruiting coordinators feel like they are playing “calendar Tetris.”

Candidate drop-off is not the only concern during this period. If recruiting teams haven’t optimized systems for the interviewers at their organization they’ll often end up burning out a set of interviewers that take more on than others. Making sure there is a constant cycle of training within the workforce to support panel interviews, as well as a structure and format for how they are conducted, is essential. 

This stage of the hiring process is an opportunity to bring in technology, like Prelude, to automate this step and speed up interview scheduling considerably. Along with faster interview scheduling Prelude also offers a more personalized candidate experience with “Prelude Engage.” This branded portal for candidates provides a complete overview of their interview process and all the relevant details they’ll need to be successful. 

Enabling Personalized Outreach: Notifying Candidates And Extending Offers

The time period between the last interview and the determination of an offer is a risky one as well. Perhaps a candidate has also made it to late stages at several other organizations and is fielding multiple offers. How will yours stand out when it comes time to choose the next phase of their employment? Speed and personalization go a long way.  

Recruiting operations leaders can also be the voice of reason when hiring teams can’t align on a candidate. It’s not uncommon for leaders to hold out for that one ‘perfect’ candidate even when recruiting teams have brought numerous qualified candidates into the process. In these circumstances, being enlightened with the metrics of the search can be helpful to determine if the organization will make an offer. 

There’s also a wonderful opportunity for employer branding to shine, both when offering a role or informing candidates they were not selected. 

Analyzing Recruiting Metrics: Key Dashboards and Reporting

With each step of the recruiting process we detailed above there are key metrics recruiting operations leaders will track and then report to other leaders in the organization. These are not vanity metrics: monitoring their performance allows leaders to pinpoint exactly where teams may be falling short throughout the process. 

One of the first projects a recruiting operations leaders may take on is designing a dashboard that provides visibility into candidate dropoff rates, cost to hire, and time to fill among other metrics. Further along in the process emphasis on candidate metrics such as NPS scores and even quality of hire can provide insights into the long-term success of the recruiting program.  

male recruiting operations leader

Overseeing key recruiting technology

With a focus on optimization, the recruiting operations manager will manage HR Tech vendors. It’s a delicate balance between automating key parts of the hiring process and still making sure the candidate experience feels authentic. Recruiting operations managers look to alleviate the pain of recruiting coordinators in their roles by ensuring the recruiting tech stack is truly saving time. 

Applicant Tracking Systems

Many recruiting teams will have selected an ATS platform prior to more complex processes being put into place. Some companies that find themselves rapidly scaling are forced to confront that the ATS they chose as a smaller startup may not be sophisticated enough for their growing team’s needs. 

Recognizing ATS bottlenecks and ensuring the technology is a good fit is a primary responsibility of the recruiting operations leader. It’s important to realize that the ATS that got your team from 0-to 5 might not be the best fit as you scale it to 10. If your own team is about to scale it’s wise to put this critical piece of tech infrastructure in place and make sure recruiters and coordinators are fully ramped prior to any large hiring pushes.

Technical Assessments

These assessments are critical tools recruiters rely on to move technical candidates through the funnel. Finalizing a relationship with a vendor requires buy-in from technical teams who will often design the coding exercises and utilize the tool during interviews. There are varying levels of data integration with ATS options available. 

Keep in mind that the recruiting operations manager and key stakeholders need the data derived from those technical assessments to be readily available within the ATS following the assessment to make the process efficient. Leaders also need to make a decision with candidate experience in mind to not alienate candidates during this stage of the hiring process. 

Interview Scheduling Automation

One of the biggest bottlenecks for any recruiting team is scheduling interviews quickly and efficiently. Most ATS platforms offer some lightweight interview scheduling capabilities. When teams look to scale rapidly and often bring on a recruiting operations coordinator automating key parts of the interview scheduling process can save teams hours per day. 

When evaluating interview scheduling technology it's important to consider the partnership you’ll have with the vendor. Make sure they are aligned with your company’s workflow and that they offer support that goes beyond onboarding as your own team may scale or shift personnel. 

A bridge between recruiting operations and company leadership

The best recruiting operations leaders excel at recruiting strategy but also possess strong business operations acumen. Because of this, they are a trusted advisor to leaders throughout the company. They have their fingers on the pulse of the entire talent acquisition industry and are the first to alert leadership when talent trends could lead to benefits or shortages. 

If your organization is looking to scale and you don’t have someone working to break down and optimize every part of the talent acquisition process it may be time to consider sourcing recruiting operations talent or developing them internally. 

Ultimately, the role of the recruiting operations leader is to make sure the hard work the recruiting team is doing is making an impact proportionate to what the organization needs to meet its goals. Operationalizing growth and advocating for the recruiting team to the rest of the company is fast becoming an essential role in talent acquisition. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how Prelude supports recruiting operations leaders feel free to reach out - we’d love to show you how we envision candidate experience.