So what is a hiring workflow and why is it important? A hiring workflow is a step-by-step process that drives the recruiter's efforts on a particular candidate or job. Every company has their hiring workflow whether they have a technology driving it or if it is a known process that is managed through manual tools. The hiring workflow is the backbone of any Applicant Tracking System (ATS). However, workflows are very different across systems.
I frequently am asked do I need an Applicant Tracking System to drive my hiring workflow? My typical response is "Absolutely," a hiring workflow will encourage consistency in the recruiting process while helping the recruiter stay on track with each candidate. As the individual that is heading up the recruiting efforts, you are the first introduction to your company. Manual tools to track where you are with various candidates gives off a disorganized feel to the candidate. Communication with the candidate is key. The recruiter wants to ensure that he/she is on top of where they are at with each candidate. An Applicant Tracking System workflow will give you a system so that:
- You know exactly where you are with each candidate
- Communication can be automated and tracked
- The recruiter can quickly identify pressing items and make sure they are followed up with promptly
Depending on what type of system you are using hiring workflows can be somewhat different from system to system. Some workflows are rigid and force a process allowing for minimal deviation. While other workflows allow for flexibility for the recruiter to bounce around within the hiring process. For smaller companies a more rigid workflow with limited customization may work well initially and be quick to implement. However, as your organization grows, it is important that your tech grows with you. Some key features to ensure are available from your Applicant Tracking System are:
- Customizable workflows that can be configured on a per job basis. Customizing workflows on a per job basis will allow for multiple hiring workflows as different jobs may have different steps in the process.
- Allow the ability to customize the naming mechanisms throughout the process. Every organization I have been a part of has their unique labeling for steps in the hiring process. If your Applicant Tracking System allows for you to rename these various steps you can ensure quicker adoption of the workflow. By using names your team already knows and uses it cuts down on the ramp up time.
- Security permissions to lock down specific steps in the process is a must. By having advanced security permissions, you can segment steps in the process out that you would like for individual users to see like a hiring manager viewing the video interview but you can also hide or lock other areas that they do not need to see.
- It is essential that you can drive a rigid step-by-step process (you cannot move to the next step until this step is complete). Alternatively, you should have the ability to allow recruiters to bounce around within a process when appropriate. Keep in mind today a rigid process may work but down the road your recruiting needs may change and a more flexibile process may be more appropriate.
- Make sure that all of the steps you have today in your hiring process are available. If you are leveraging Video Interviews, then make sure there is a hiring process step available for video interviews.
- Evaluate that the hiring workflows provide integrations to all of your vendor partners or have suitable replacements.
Every recruiter needs a hiring workflow to help organize their day. The recruiting world is moving at a breakneck pace and not to mention that most individuals handling recruiting for their company have a variety of other responsibilities in their day-to-day. Whatever Applicant Tracking System that you decide on it is crucial that you place adequate scrutiny on hiring workflows as 90% of your time in the Applicant Tracking System is going to be spent using this feature. Make sure that your hiring workflow is working for you!