An organisation's growth depends on its employees; hiring the right employees is the surest way to ensure success. Good employees can choose their employer, and in a volatile business environment recruiting functions must be agile to navigate challenges effectively and onboard the best talent for the organisation. Agile recruitment is a hiring approach derived from agile project management methodology. The agenda in agile recruitment is to outline lucid specifications for recruitment, ensure clear and open communication between team members, measure talent recruitment KPIs, and use them to focus on improvement.
The more conventional business frameworks require formal meetings and approvals before minor changes. Agile empowers people to make quicker decisions and changes without getting bogged down by extensive formal procedures at each step. Each organisation defines agile recruiting in its own way, but basically, it is a flexible and responsive model.
There are three parts to the agile framework, namely, process, team, and technology. According to the agile philosophy, tasks are broken down into shorter ‘sprint’ intervals. The team for the task is kept small. Technology binds the process by providing tools to communicate, track, and measure.
The hiring process can be divided into a series of short sprints, which are tasks to be completed within shorter intervals for efficiency and responsiveness. For product development sprints, there is a list of all the features to be developed, each with an assigned priority. Recruitment sprints have a hiring backlog list of open positions and their priority. Each hiring sprint will work to close a certain number of posts. Daily status meetings to discuss the progress are organised to ensure transparency. At the end of a sprint, a review meeting is held, which allows the team to discuss the completed items on the backlog, the issues that came up and their resolution, and the planning for the next sprint. The review's outcome is an updated backlog with the probable list for the next sprint.
The scrum retrospective happens after the review and marks the end of the sprint. The retro involves looking back at the completed sprint in terms of the people, interactions, tools, processes, and whether the team-defined prerequisites for a task to be deemed complete need to be updated. The team also discusses issues, invalid assumptions, their root causes, and resolutions. The takeaway from the retrospection is the list of improvements to be implemented in the next sprint. The project progresses in incremental outcomes and facilitates a continuous improvement cycle due to repeated feedback checkpoints.
A cross-functional agile team yields better results and includes the headcount owner, the recruiting scrum master, and the recruiting team. The headcount owner is the voice of the hiring managers and lists the backlog and the priority. The recruiting scrum master should be a certified agile coach who will lead the execution of the sprint, handle the prioritisation of backlog items, and ensure that interruptions do not derail the team from the sprint goals. He chairs the status, review, and retrospective meetings, preventing the team from going off track and keeping them focused on predetermined recruiting goals. The core recruiting team is a cross-functional team, ensuring the inclusion of all the skills needed to complete any backlog item successfully. The group concentrates on the execution and delivery of the two-to-five-week sprint cycles.
The agile philosophy is about being nimble and adaptable, able to pivot and change direction as circumstances demand. Automation and AI technology can be leveraged to enable this dynamic, agile, and responsive ability. Automated candidate sourcing and resume screening effectively and efficiently deliver relevant and ranked candidate resumes. Scanning large databases, job portals, and other sources for the skills and experience and the subsequent ranking is achieved speedily and accelerates the recruitment process. AI-powered assessments and video interviews facilitate an objective and holistic evaluation of the candidates. Smart chatbots and AI-based automated candidate engagement tools ensure that candidate queries are answered, and they are provided with all the necessary details and updates. This strengthens the candidate experience and the employer brand. Intelligent predictive analytics can help recruitment make data-driven decisions regarding candidate potential and cultural fit. VR collaboration tools boost transparency within the team and streamline communication between members.
The agile concept is based on frequent touchpoints, analysis, and communication for constant improvement. When implementing the agile methodology, it is imperative to measure the performance as measurement is the first step towards improvement. Measuring the key metrics gives the agile team a clear picture of the current state and the gap to be overcome to reach the team-defined goals. Some metrics that help teams understand the efficiency and effectiveness of the current process are given below.
Job offer acceptance rate (OAR) is the percentage of candidates that accept the job offer. It indicates how lucrative and competitive the candidates consider an organisation's offers. If the OAR shows a downward trend, it is a sign that the organisation needs to up the ante to attract high-value candidates.
Source of hire (SOH) is the percentage of overall hires from a particular channel. It allows organisations to zero in on the channels that best fit their recruiting requirements. It helps companies to make effective decisions regarding the allotment of resources and fine-tune their processes to align with the productive channels.
Cost per hire (CPH) is the total cost of recruiting a new employee into the business. Tracking CPH is vital as it is a performance benchmark and indicates whether the recruiting process needs to be optimised. It underlines the importance of analysing expenses to gauge the returns. It helps in forecasting and budgeting for the future.
Time to hire (TTH) measures the time between application and acceptance of an offer by a candidate. TTH is an indicator of recruitment efficiency, and the aim is to lower the value.
First-year attrition (FYA) calculates the rate at which new employees quit within the first year. A high FYA implies that the recruitment process is not proficient at determining whether the candidate is a good fit and aligns with the organisational values. Quality of hire, selection ratio, and interview-to-offer ratio are some of the other key metrics.
The agile process is in the spotlight today because talent acquisition teams must keep up in the fast-paced labour market. Agile equips the team to meet hiring needs sustainably. Let's look at the benefits that it brings to the recruitment process.
Better understanding of hiring requirements: Agile process divides hiring into short-cycled sprints. Each sprint performs further checks and balances as the team assesses KPIs at every phase. This iterative course correction and fine-tuning process provides a comprehensive study of the recruitment requirements.
Prioritisation of effort: Agile hiring depends on a feedback loop and focuses on the impact of every effort at each step. Furthermore, a constant check on the KPIs gives a clear picture of what's working and what isn't. The result leads to a realignment of resource allotment to centre on the approaches and channels that yield results.
Flexible and adaptable: A highly volatile business environment demands that organisations create adaptive hiring forecasts, build fluid and cross-functional hiring teams, and design responsive processes. This objective allows for a flexible and adaptable approach that enables teams to pivot and realign strategies and tactics. Breaking down the hiring campaign into short and viable phases makes possible any necessary changes to strategy.
Greater transparency: A visual project management tool like the digital Kanban board is an ideal communication tool that keeps the whole team in the loop regarding the tasks and the status. And it also encourages transparency with other stakeholders. The daily status meetings, the review, and the scrum retrospective ensure that everyone involved is acquainted with all details.
Constant improvement: Consistent and continual improvement is a basic tenet of agile philosophy. The frequent status meetings and emphasis on seeking and implementing feedback, the regular monitoring of KPIs and the consequent process tweaks, and the policy of pivoting as required ensure that the hiring process is steadily enhanced.
Better candidate experience: The whole agile recruitment system is geared towards providing an optimal hiring process. Focusing on responsiveness and doing away with unnecessary procedures makes sure the candidate has a more streamlined experience. The focus on efficiency ensures fewer delays and an insistence on frequent communication makes it a hassle-free proceeding for the candidate.
Agile recruitment is gaining popularity universally. The ability to prioritise, pivot, scrutinise, reform, and the short sprint cycles that divide a massive exercise into manageable chunks have led to the widespread adoption of this philosophy. It has come across as the panacea to the recruitment ills of today.
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