Hiring process: A row of business people sitting down waiting for a job interview with laptops and notebooks and coffee cups in their hands.
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Rethinking the hiring process: It shouldn’t be ‘so transactional’

2 May 2022

Talent acquisition specialist Jon Cyprian explains how companies can make their recruitment processes more efficient to attract candidates.

“It shouldn’t be so transactional, that’s probably the best way to put it,” says talent acquisition specialist Jon Cyprian about the hiring process.

“We don’t need to operate transactionally when we are talking to people. It should be more of a long-term relationship.”

Cyprian works as a talent acquisition manager for US marketing software company CallRail. He believes that a lot of the hiring challenges recruiters face are due to the fact they are under-resourced, which has a knock-on impact on how talent is onboarded and whether new hires are retained by companies.

Like other recruiters who have featured on SiliconRepublic.com over the past few months, Cyprian highlights that companies are “struggling to hire people in an already difficult market”.

In January, a report from IrishJobs.ie suggested that 2022 would be very much a candidate’s market and demand for recruiters was soaring.

“It’s definitely a candidate market, they have a lot of opportunities,” says Cyprian. “It’s very hard to find people, no matter the amount of resources and tools it seems like we have access to.”

‘You have to make sure that your talent acquisition team is staffed to be able to staff the rest of the company’

Cyprian believes that companies should spend a little extra time focusing on hammering out the details of how they want their recruitment process to work. Communicating effectively and efficiently from the get-go can have positive long-term effects on an employer’s hiring process, and help avoid short-staffing, skills gaps and wasting time on long, convoluted interview processes.

Perhaps the most obvious way to steer clear of these pitfalls, he says, is to make sure the hiring team itself is appropriately staffed. It’s “recruiting for recruiting,” he explains.

“You have to make sure that your talent acquisition team is staffed to be able to staff the rest of the company. I think that’s something that I’ve seen a lot of companies don’t do. HR does a lot for everyone else, but they may not always look at those things for themselves.

“So, I think that’s the first thing I would advise is just make sure that they are given the resources that they need to effectively do that job and to staff the rest of the business.”

Cyprian also warns recruiters to keep an open mind when looking for staff. There’s no such thing as a “unicorn candidate” who can match the job spec perfectly and then some. Often it can be more efficient to hire a person with the majority of the required skills and train them up, rather than keep looking for someone who has everything.

Also, if a company shows it is willing to invest in its people during the onboarding stage, that can also help to attract and retain employees.

“I think it is much stronger when you are able to hire someone who is not exactly what you’re looking for, and instead is going to have that learning curve where they can come in and they feel like they’re being invested in more,” Cyprian says. “[In my experience] those are the people who are still with those companies long term, because they feel more valued and they have a longer track for growth in the company.”

Life sciences recruitment expert Éimhín O’Driscoll recently said that employers are realising that a more holistic level of employee engagement is necessary to hold on to talent in a competitive market. “It’s not enough to have your values on a website,” she told SiliconRepublic.com.

Cyprian agrees. Employer branding is crucial to how well a company can recruit staff, especially in today’s candidate market, he says. But like O’Driscoll, he is also less in favour of the idea of showering employees with corporate gifts and more in favour of making sure workers feel connected to their organisation’s purpose. This is especially important for remote and distributed staff members who may not be coming into an office.

From an onboarding perspective, there are also ways to provide perks and benefits that are more meaningful for staff than short-term gifts.

For example, Cyprian suggests that instead of providing a gym membership, employers could provide a fund for health. That way, employees can decide whether they want to use that on a gym or if they want to use it on something else to support their mental health.

Overall, Cyprian believes that recruiters should try and make a good impression on the people they interview. They are representing the company, after all, and are an important part of the employer’s brand.

Candidates will often pick a company to work for based on reviews they read on sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor. They will also decide based on how the interview process makes them feel and whether they think the company will be a good fit for them and vice versa.

Cyprian says that even if a company loses out on a candidate in one hiring round, if the recruitment team make a positive impression they will stand a greater chance of attracting that candidate in another future hiring round.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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