Improving Hiring Processesfor a local property management company
Our client is a keen advocate of people development. The company is enthusiastic about hiring young people, and grooming them to their fullest potential. Over time, the company’s talent acquisition processes became more complex and sophisticaed to ensure that only candidates of quality were employed.
Whilst the hiring process was comprehensive and sound, there were a few problems:
- the entire process from job advertisement to contract signing took an average of 18 weeks to complete, with some cases extending to as long as 24 weeks – a large number of good candidates were lost to competitors due to the long time required for processing;
- positions were left vacant for extended periods of time while replacements were sought – leaving existing staff frustrated and tired by the additional workload; and
- the talent acquisition team was constantly overwhelmed by the administrative burden required to screen, select, and on-board new employees.
The core and associated processes related to the hiring function were mapped and evaluated. For each of the processes, the consulting team identified areas which took the longest time to complete, functions that were most expensive to complete, and processes with the highest rates of errors.
Several key issues were identified. It was discovered that each candidate had to be interviewed by at least 3 people – the hiring manager, the HR manager and the hiring director. For some senior positions, a fourth interview was conducted by the COO. Any one of the interviewers could disapprove the candidate, and start the process all over again. Additionally, candidates had to complete a series of written tests, health checks, and aptitude tests / personality profiles as part of the selection process. The cost in terms of man-hours, job vacancies, and administration was, needless to say, very high.
A systemic approach helped the team identify areas for improvement that were outside of the core hiring processes. For example, the team discovered that job descriptions often differed significantly from the actual jobs, which in turn led to HR advertising for qualities that were not suitable for the job. Also, the job application form was found to be outdated, leading to candidates having to provide numerous instances of additional data.
The eventual solution was able to cut the overall process by about 5 process steps. Some of the changes are summarised below:
- improving pre-process efficiency by updating role requirements, and by updating and e-enabling the job application forms. This allowed for greater accuracy when advertising for candidates, and improved candidate comparisons through the use of common forms;
- removing tests that had little impact on the screening process – for instance, while a medical examination was standard for all job applicants, less than 10% of jobs required the candidate to pass a physical examination;
- shortening the interview process – team interviews were introduced to help hiring managers speak to a larger pool of candidates at a time, and shortlisting those for more detailed sessions. Interview sessions were combined, to allow all interested parties to evaluate the candidate, and to lessen the number of tiimes the candidate had to travel for face-to-face interviews. Finally, the interview by the COO was eliminated completely, leaving hiring decisions (and accountability for hiring decisions) with the respective department heads.
shorter hiring lead times
lower costs of hiring
increase in new hire satisfaction
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