Recently we met for an online chat with Joanna Urbańska – recruiter, HR Business Partner and blogger – who discussed with Michal Janas from our team about the role of a recruiter in an organisation and the challenges of trying to balance the expectations of the candidates and the company in the daily work.
“Where did the idea for this webinar theme come from? It came from my thoughts that we as recruiters are often treated step-motherly in organisations. We are responsible for attracting and onboarding candidates, but rarely receive adequate support ourselves. When we start working in a company, we are usually given a list of possible questions to ask the candidate, and all the rest of the knowledge and know-how we have to acquire on our own. This is not so easy, especially since the recruiter is the first line of contact between the candidates and the company and is responsible not only for the effectiveness of recruitment, but also for building the image of the company as an employer. Moreover, a recruiter is not only a person who arranges appointments and conducts interviews, but also performs a number of tasks ranging from organisation to communication and graphic design,” says Joanna Urbańska about the idea behind our event for recruiters.
Who is the recruiter in the organisation?
A major challenge for most recruiters is the need to balance the expectations of the company with those of the candidate. The question is how to do this in a meaningful way so as not to forget one’s own well-being at work in the pursuit of perfect completion of all tasks. Is it even possible to reconcile these two perspectives? The key to success can be ongoing education within the company about the true scope of the recruiter’s job and the responsibilities that lie within that role. A good starting point is also to write down all of the important factors that a recruiter needs to consider in their job, both from the company and the candidate
Areas of responsibility for the recruiter from a business perspective:
- Candidate profile
- Candidate search sources
- Boolean Search
- CV pre-selection
- Calendar scheduling
- Rescheduling appointments
- Conducting meetings
- Objective assessment of the candidate
- Advice on candidate selection
- Employment formalities
- The first working day in the company
- Reports and statistics
- Keeping you up to date
- Recruiting System
- Recruiter evaluation surveys
- Attractiveness for customers
- Standardise behaviour and training of managers
- Build engagement
- Impact on turnover
The recruiter's areas of responsibility from the candidate's perspective:
- Candidate Journey Map Graphics
- Marketing Activities
- Sales Activities
- Feedback to Candidates
- Process Standards
- Atmosphere building
- Surveys at different stages of recruitment
- Communication plan (emails, text messages, phone calls)
- Employer Branding
- Career Page
- Social media
- Positive Candidate Exprience
- Job fairs and events
- Cooperation with universities
- Application form
- Availability of candidates (time and channels)
- Workshops, group recruitment
- Video solutions
- Online recruitment
“The above points are the examples that first came to mind. This is not a closed list as each recruiter’s work may vary. Developing the above list that is appropriate for a particular company and the scope of a recruiter’s job is a good starting point, including becoming aware of what you are responsible for in a company and starting discussions, whether with the company or the manager responsible for organising the work of the recruiting department, about the scope of the activities performed. Time is the resource we lack the most, and without starting a discussion about the role of the recruiter in the organisation and prioritising the tasks assigned to him, we condemn ourselves to constantly weighing up between them, with the risk of abandoning some of them, perhaps the important ones,” advises Joanna Urbańska to recruiters trying to define their role in the organisation themselves.
In addition to making the list above, it’s also worth considering what tasks we can do in collaboration with others or by using modern tools that allow us to automate work or create modular career pages, for example. All in order to generate more time for the most important part of a recruiter’s job – building relationships with candidates, conducting quality interviews and optimising internal and external processes.
It is also worth backing all this up with independent research. In the study Candidate Experience 2020, published by softgarden in the German market, some very important conclusions came to light – candidates are becoming increasingly impatient, both in relation to the application process (the maximum acceptable time for filling out a form is 10 minutes) and waiting for a response (maximum 14 days after sending an application). They also expect transparent processes as well as high quality and attractive job offers that give a real insight into future tasks. The ability to respond to them will increasingly determine a company’s recruiting success
The company's perspective and the applicant's perspective - how do you reconcile this in practice?
Moving on to concrete examples of the conflicting expectations of companies and candidates of the recruiter, it is worth focusing on the issue of time. In the context of an organisation, the focus will almost always be on getting processes done as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this increased speed can lead to a loss of quality, while being of critical importance to the candidate. How can this be reconciled? Certainly technology can be supportive here, automating what is possible while still maintaining the individual approach to candidates. This can be done, for example, through an ATS that has the ability to send automated, personalised messages with feedback at various stages of the recruitment process. Of course, the tool itself is not the solution to the problem, but developing good message templates adapted to different situations is a good way to speed up the communication with the candidate while maintaining high standards.
The subject of arranging meetings and interviews similarly presents itself. The days when the candidate agreed to every scheduling option are long gone. Today, they expect it to fit into their schedule, and in the age of online recruiting, they also want it to be technologically seamless. From the recruiting team’s perspective, on the other hand, it’s important to have a deadline that suits everyone. So how can you easily create multiple appointment proposals that suit all parties and meet the candidate’s expectations without wasting long hours on arrangements? Again, a technology solution that allows you to coordinate everyone’s calendars on the recruiting team and send the candidate multiple available time options for a meeting directly from the ATS system can help.
An important issue related to the mutual expectations of companies and recruiters is the topic of employer image. Companies want to attract the best candidates, but these candidates only want to apply to companies that they perceive as attractive. This is why all of a recruiter’s work is so important. He or she is the first person a candidate meets in the recruitment process, and also the person whose work is most often discussed on employer review portals. So, among other things, it is the high quality of the recruiter’s work that translates into the company’s ability to meet its needs in hiring top talent.
What about evaluations of the company as an employer? Do you ask candidates for their opinions or do you rely solely on external review platforms? These are of great interest to candidates and often make the final decision on whether to apply. For this reason, implementing your own system for soliciting candidate and employee feedback can be a way to boost your image, as evidence of the company’s transparency and openness to criticism, while also being a source of invaluable knowledge for candidates. It’s just important to do this in a way that conveys credibility, such as using a third-party solution that ensures all reviews are published and meet expression standards.
“From my perspective, the most important quality in a recruiter is a willingness to grow professionally. As a profession, we need to constantly reach for new solutions, listen to candidates and engage in mature discussion with the company. I was very pleased to see that when asked how they felt about their professional development on a scale of 1 to 10, the webinar attendees gave an average of 5.7. This shows that regardless of seniority, we are aware that we will never achieve 100% knowledge because our field is constantly evolving. That’s why I appreciate the recruiters’ work so much,” Joanna Urbańska sums up.
Cooperation with an expert:
Joanna Urbańska is an HR Business Partner, manager, trainer, coach, consultant and psychologist. She also runs a blog for recruiters. She is the author of articles for the HR Business Partner magazine, co-author of the HR Business Guide tool and belongs to the H2H initiative.
She has been working in HR for 6 years, with 5000+ recruitment interviews, as many satisfied candidates and employees, countless constructive conversations and feedback, including within the organisation. She has spent over 100 hours in the training room, followed by nearly 30 hours of coaching, which she continues to do.