June 2, 2022

Don’t Be A Robot – Top 7 Recommendations To Improve The Recruitment Process

Sophia is a social humanoid robot developed by the Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics

Author: Jeron van den Elshout

Hey, we all make mistakes, right? We are all human after all… Unless your name is Sophia (the first humanoid) and you struggle to gain eye contact. If you are running a tight ship and need that ideal professional who can add value to your already amazing team that you have been shaping over several months, there are a few key things to remember when going through the recruitment process.

Hopefully, these tips from recruitment industry leaders will help you sidestep some common mistakes and demonstrate ways to improve the recruitment process.

Let’s focus on 2 areas and dive into some mistakes within each:

  • Make sure the specification is well defined
  • Ensure the recruitment process is streamlined


Do you know what you are looking for?

So many times, recruiters and professionals find job specifications online only to say the same thing; “This is generic.”


Recommendation 1:

My main suggestion to clients is to sit together and draft up a specification that doesn’t read like a to-do list. Nothing hurts more than reading those bullet points. Rather get a team member (someone who has performed that exact role), a Manager, the Director, and HR in one room and talk about what the problem is that you as a business or team are looking to solve. This will help you achieve the best hiring practices for your organization.


Recommendation 2:

Now that we understand how to start optimizing the recruitment process – let’s start writing a story about the role this person will fulfill, essentially being the person to solve this problem. Ok, fine, some bigger firms have non-negotiable requirements like education and certifications on certain software, let’s add that, but surely most individuals can be trained or upskilled.


Recommendation 3:

My best advice when drafting a job brief is to rather omit the soft skills and add the reasons why someone should join your team. Sell it! We have a canteen with free lunch for all employees, we have an extra leave benefit, childcare on-site, and full medical insurance plans. I will openly say this for everyone around the globe, these are more attractive to read than ‘needs 3-5 years in a similar role.’


The recruitment process and is it working?

Let’s start by first understanding what methods you have taken or conducted already to get the job done. Let’s go through the motions, internal applications, referrals from current employees, and external adverts, then utilize that PSL (Preferred Supplier Agreement) or agency you trust.


The Recruitment Process



Recommendation 4:

Generally, whichever stage you are at or whatever method is working currently, you should NEVER have a 5-stage interview process. If you are taking longer than 2 weeks to start the process and thereafter release a signed offer, then you have bigger problems than attracting talent. You are losing them to your competitors who have sharpened their pencils and got their best hiring practices streamlined.

I’m not saying you cannot have the candidate meet the HR, Technical Lead, Peer, Supervisor, Director, and CEO. But get it wrapped neatly into a two-part process.


  • First stage interview -Technical Lead/Peer/Supervisor and HR (Panel)
  • Second stage – Director / CEO (Remote Webex)

Notice that I tagged the second stage as a Webex or Zoom Virtual meeting. This is because more C Suite or Senior Execs are ‘too’ busy to take part in an interview. If this is the case, then they should not be part of the recruitment process. If they are adamant to have a say or give the final nod, then they need to find time and the easiest and most flexible option is an online meeting or telephonic call.


Recommendation 5:

Let’s get into the interview itself – failure to prepare is preparing to FAIL. It is the HR Business Partner’s role to ensure that each panel member is fully aware of the prospective employee (candidate) that is taking time off their day to come and interview to join your team. Remember one key part of best hiring practices is the candidate is also interviewing your panel to see if he/she can work with this team. Interviewing is not a stress-free process for a candidate, and generally, they prepare themselves by reviewing the company website, getting familiar with the product, and reviewing the panel’s LinkedIn profiles. So why are you not doing the same?

I once cringed, when I had a professional call me after the interview and said the Director started the interview with, “Hi XXX, So, tell me about yourself and what you do, because I just briefly reviewed your resume 3min ago.”

Let’s just say no matter how well that “Interview” went, she/he had a very negative outlook of how they do things, prepare, and execute. It does not look professional.


Recommendation 6:

Tagging on ways to improve the recruitment process, you should be giving prompt feedback within 48 hours to all candidates, whether the interview was a success or not. Remember most of the time we work in a small community of people with those skill sets. Guess what they talk about? That interview is a marketing tool/platform for your organisation whether you have taken it into account or not.


Recommendation 7:

Speaking of marketing tools, using social media to show you are actively hiring may work negatively for your brand. To use an example, I have seen several Directors or Managers tagged ‘I’m Hiring’ next to their name on LinkedIn. Most do this in the hopes that the ideal candidate will initiate an engagement. It’s a big plus if they hire someone that is a fit, plus the cost is minimal. However, the actual reality behind this is you have openly invited every recruiter to now contact you, so you are bogged down by those torpedo emails. Secondly, you have every unqualified punter trying to push their CV over to you to please review.

To the professionals that generally get headhunted for roles. They will see that ‘tagline’ as either you cannot retain your staff, hence you are always looking; or you don’t really know what you are looking for so it’s open season and let’s see what we get. Desperation is not a good colour on anyone, and even if that was not what you were aiming for or trying to portray, it comes across that way. Remove it NOW! Playing HARD to get can work in many SOCIAL environments.


In summary, always remember this to improve the efficiency of the recruitment process: Two Ears, One Mouth.

Try to listen more than talk as a potential employer. The candidate should be quite clear on what they attempting to successfully be employed for. It’s your role to successfully understand their skills by asking qualifying questions to understand if they are the BEST suitable SKILLED individual to be a VALUE ADD to your business.


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