Say you’ve been told to hire three people across a handful of different roles. How do you know how many applicants you need to find? Do you need more applicants for one role than another? Is it going to be difficult to find the right applicant in a timely fashion?
If you’re new to HR, then coming up with the answers to questions like these might amount to just guesswork. Obviously, guesswork isn’t the best way to run a business. That’s why HR professionals make use of the recruitment funnel.
What is a recruitment funnel?
In essence, a recruitment funnel represents your hiring process. At the top and widest part of the funnel, you have all possible candidates for a given position. At the bottom and narrowest part, you have your new hire. In between are all the steps in your hiring process that weed out applicants who don’t quite fit what you’re looking for.
Keeping track of how people flow through your recruitment funnel gives you insight into what you need to do in order to fill positions and grow your business.
Consider those three roles you needed to fill. Without understanding your recruitment funnel, you might just throw out a few job postings and hope that enough candidates apply.
With your recruitment funnel data, however, it would be straightforward to determine how many applicants you need to fill those positions and what sources offer the most and best-quality candidates. Maybe your funnel can tell you that you generate 3 hires for every 30 applicants, or that referrals are two or three times more likely to get hired. Insights like these can help you save time during your hiring process, allowing you to focus on the other HR duties you’ve got on your plate.
How do you learn more about your recruitment funnel?
There are a few ways to develop an understanding of your recruitment funnel. You can always build a spreadsheet and enter data in manually, of course, but this can take time. You’ll have to enter in new data every time an applicant moves through one segment of your funnel and spend time interpreting that data to provide actionable information to your company’s stakeholders.
Using an automated solution is a more sustainable practice. If used appropriately, an applicant tracking system (ATS) can automatically collect data on where your applicants are in the recruitment funnel and serve up that data whenever it’s necessary to provide insights.
ATSs have the additional benefit of keeping you up to date on individual applicants moving through your funnel. Keeping tabs on an applicant’s progress in this way enables you to follow up with them at the appropriate times, preventing candidate drop-off.
Last but not least, using an automated solution to manage and analyse your recruiting funnel gives you more time to engage with candidates or with existing human resources. This means hiring better candidates and keeping them on for longer, saving you even more time in the long run.
However you choose to go about it, building an understanding of your recruitment funnel will save you a lot of headaches. There’s a lot more to HR than just hiring; the recruitment funnel lets you dedicate your energy towards those tasks.