5 Ways IT Recruitment is Broken

Instinctively we know that recruitment is broken. The long-time practices & rituals of the recruitment industry in general increasingly feel outdated and ineffective. Practices including, a dozen recruiters working on the same role, candidates who get treated poorly in the midst of the current process, burnt out recruiters working on 40 roles at a time just going through the motions hoping something sticks. It may have worked in the past. But we think there’s a better way.

However, we didn’t want to just rest on our instincts or gut feelings about this process. We decided to jump in and analyze the broken parts of the recruitment process so we would have an opportunity to look at it honestly and make lasting improvements. Only through understanding and analyzing the current system could we create an innovative solution we can take into the industry’s future.

Face the 5 major ways recruitment is broken and then learn about how we plan to solve it for our clients.

1) The Contingency Based Recruiting Model Rewards Bad Behaviours

The contingency-based recruitment model is the most widely used recruitment business model. This business model is something we do today because it’s what we’ve always done, but when you take a long and hard look at it, you’ll see it’s outdated and broken and drives all the wrong behaviours.

Why DO we charge a percentage of a candidate’s salary? It has nothing to do with actual hours worked on a role. Does it take more time to find someone who is 85K versus 80K? Effort has less to do with salary and more to do with uniqueness of skill set required, employer brand, salary range being offered, etc.

Not to mention how the contingency approach focuses more on just filling the role and less on finding the right fit which leads to all the bad behaviours that everyone complains about:

  • Agencies just hurl resumes.

  • Recruiters take a fat commission for a bit of admin work.

  • Recruiters don’t know anything about the job they’re recruiting for, they lie, they don’t get back to anyone.

  • Recruiters are secretive about the client and the role, with candidates made to feel like a widget in a factory.

This process reinforces a very untrue but common thought, “I don’t really believe that people are my most important asset or that this part of my business is key to my success, any recruitment partner will do, I don’t really care how they are representing us in the market.”

Business models tell us a story. The story we are telling when we work in this way is that any person will do, just fill the seat, just send the resumes. Which leads to the next problem.

2) It Focuses on Speed and Not Accuracy

It’s because of that need for speed in the contingency-based recruiting model that most companies start a search without a plan in hand. And most recruitment agencies are fine with that because they want to start sending over resumes as soon as the race begins.

You wouldn’t think of having someone build your dream home without a professional architectural drawing in hand. You should look at your open role the same way and create a blueprint before you begin hiring.

It’s this flawed beginning in the name of speed that leads to a series of missteps along the process that ultimately lead to hiring mistakes or the inability to hire the very best people every time. Eighty percent of mistakes in the recruitment process can be avoided by becoming crystal clear on the right skills and attitudes needed for job success. Don’t skip this step.

Your plan, like our Outcome-Driven Job Description, helps you focus on accuracy which we’ve seen save companies more time in the long run. The ODJD describes the mission for the role, and the outcomes that need to be accomplished. You can then determine the competencies that fit with both the role and your company culture.

Don’t think it’s worth the time and effort to be more accurate in your search? Just calculate the cost of a bad hire.

3) It Doesn’t Measure What Matters in Hiring Expenses

People are your biggest expense and your biggest opportunity. It’s the single most important thing you should be measuring in your business. Yet we become narrow minded when it comes to measuring the cost of hiring.

Most organizations measure and make decisions around cost of recruitment using a formula that includes things like recruiter salaries, employee referral bonuses, interview costs (# of hours X hourly salary of the interviewer and/or hiring manager), fixed costs such as physical infrastructure, external recruiting costs (agency fees), advertising costs like job boards etc. Yes, that makes sense to a degree.

But the bigger cost is actually hiring mistakes. Did you know the average hiring mistake costs 15Xs an employee’s base salary in hard costs and productivity.

Take this in. A single bad hire on a $100K employee can cost a company $1.5M or more! We don’t know a lot of companies who want to take on that cost yet they do because they don’t take the time to map out the role they actually need and put the time in upfront to minimize the chance of a mis-hire.

4) Hiring isn’t Treated Like a Process

Many companies have a process for tracking expenses but not for hiring great people. We suspect this is because the general perception is that hiring is driven by luck and intuition. The truth is there are many ways to increase your odds of getting your new hires right.

Start by documenting your current interviewing and hiring process, even if it’s not perfect, and find ways to improve portions along the way. Just getting your process down on paper is the first step to refining it over time.

If you feel like you’re starting from scratch, we highly recommend you invest the time to get trained on how to do this. Even one less hiring mistake a year will give you a huge ROI.

5) It Forgets that Hiring is All About People

Whether by accident or by design, the hiring process has become transactional and largely digital. So it’s important to remember that hiring and recruitment/interviewing is a human process.

Think of candidates like your customers. Using this lens will help you empathize with the candidates and their experience and fine-tune your recruiting process.

Here’s an exercise we like to do with our clients to help them walk in the shoes of their candidates.

After you’ve designed your interview questions, have someone role play with you. They ask you questions and you become the interviewee. You answer those questions and see how you do.  See how you feel. See what you come up with as your answers. This gives you some insight into what your candidates will be feeling and thinking as they go through the interview with you.

Next, ask the best person on your team to role play with you – interview them and see how they answer your questions.

Yes, this gives you an opportunity to practice your interviewing skills but note; If you fumble along the way or your best person fumbles to answer the questions clearly and concisely, the way you judge the candidate’s responses will change.

Candidates should be treated like your customers. How are you approaching them? How do you make them feel when you are interviewing them? The simple idea here is treat candidates like human beings.

Let’s Fix the Recruiting Brokenness Together

Our new FlatFee IT approach to recruiting addresses all of the above brokenness.

We charge one Flatfee per role depending on the level of your search so you know exactly what you’re paying and can budget accordingly. Our process results leads to our staggering success rate of 94% of our candidates placed are still on the job 12 months later significantly limiting the cost of hiring mistakes.

We walk each client through our process including the Outcome-Driven Job Description to ensure the role and the search is set up for success. We’re so confident in our FlatFee IT approach that we guarantee our results. If you don’t like your new hire within the first 90 days, we’ll complete a new search for you at no extra cost.

Want to learn more about how FlatFee IT recruitment can help you attract and keep the best tech talent today? Contact us for a conversation to see if our approach is right for your business.