In this article for Harvard Business Review, management professor Peter Cappelli argues that “the big problem with all [new hiring] practices is that we don’t know whether they actually produce satisfactory hires.”
If we were to quantify the time, energy, and resources companies commit to hiring, we would likely be surprised at how much these efforts “actually” yield. The issue magnifies for companies hiring at scale, where it is critical to strike a balance between volume, quality, and time.
While volume predominantly remains the center of the lure, quality, and time, from a practical standpoint, are often the decisive variables in ensuring sustainable hiring. But, owing to the de-standardized and increasingly commoditized nature of hiring practices, the relationship between these variables is not easy to follow.
To curb inefficiencies for companies hiring at scale in a viable, productive, and impactful way, this article explicitly identifies five practical hiring challenges to ponder over.
Unemployment worldwide is at an all-time high; however, the scarcity of talent in the overall pool remains an intermittently large obstacle for companies hiring at scale. The problem is built on two fundamental premises: first, companies expect to hire only the best, and second, they need to do that to compete in an utterly competitive market.
An analysis by McKinsey showcases that “top talent” is 6 times more productive than average performers and 16 times more productive than those at the lowest rungs of the performance chart.
But, hiring the best is not an easy proposition to fulfill, especially when you are operating and employing at scale. As it turns out, the time constraints significantly magnify the complexity of the hiring equation. On the margin, time is money, and given that companies spend a good deal of time on hiring to meet their expectations, they emphatically need to optimize their process.
Besides, the challenge is not just to find the top talent but also to find the right fit for your company, given that employee performance often hinges on the degree of alignment between an employee’s personality and workplace culture.
The Burden of Manual Sourcing
A good portion of the time spent hiring goes into sourcing the talent pool. Companies that hire at scale typically invest considerable time and energy in job boards, social media, and internal or external recruiters to source talent.
However, a growing number of companies are discovering that manual sourcing is an inordinately resource-intensive proposition and is anything but a cost-effective strategy.
The issues are multi-fold. First, sourcing manually is slow and painstaking, given that it is hard to track and follow up on every candidate. Second, the human element of recruiting often introduces bias, especially when recruiters rely heavily on personal networks to source candidates.
Given the cost of sourcing talent, companies hiring at scale must ensure that they are investing in a viable channel. In fact, after the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have been put on notice that market fluctuations need to be factored into the hiring equation.
For instance, just two months after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic in March 2020, online job postings in the USA, Canada, UK, etc., decreased by 50%. Around this time, technical competencies pertaining to the healthcare sector were in high demand for new grads.
Although the pandemic was an entirely unprecedented situation, it brought to light the inherent uncertainty of the market and its impact on hiring, especially when volume hiring was at stake.
The Cost of Hiring
Demand for talent at scale is enormous, but the costs associated with hiring are comparatively onerous. The per-hire cost settles around $4500 – $5000, and it takes on average 5-7 weeks for the entire process to go through.
Although the above statistic is reasonably standard across industries, the cost of hiring significantly varies based on the skill set required and geographic location.
Cash-strapped businesses have to consider options that may seem unfathomable in the long term. For instance, companies hiring for specific skills like data science have to consider hiring freelancers.
Inadequate Technological Support
Companies hiring at scale need to be equipped with the right tools to source talent, track and monitor the entire process, automate mundane tasks, and eliminate tedious administrative tasks. This is critical to running the operation efficiently and making timely decisions in unforeseen circumstances.
With so many tools available on the market, the challenge lies in not just finding the right tools but also in effectively deploying them. In addition, companies hiring at scale need to consider the appropriate integration of tools across departments and clusters to help eliminate redundancies and inefficiencies.
Not to forget, the tools must also be scalable with changing business requirements and shouldn’t subject the company to the added cost of frequent upgrades.
AI Recruiter to the Rescue
X0PA provides a foundation for companies hiring at scale to overcome the above-stated challenges by facilitating AI-powered sourcing, transparent tracking, and robust data analytics to help businesses build their talent pipelines.
As a matter of fact, companies with high demand for talent can speed up their hiring process by 87% and reduce 50% of the associated costs by developing candidate pools on the X0PA platform — all thanks to the perfect combination of machine learning, robotic process automation, and big data analytics.
Reach out to us to learn more about the X0PA platform and how it can help you build and mobilize your talent pipeline.