When an internal recruitment team is struggling to handle the number of job orders in a timely manner, the knee-jerk solution may be to grow the internal team. More staff means more applicants captured and more hires. Problems solved. In reality, though this long-term solution for a short-term problem comes with adding and subtracting full-time staff in an attempt to accommodate a short-term business need. With that in mind, HR and Recruiting leaders need to seek solutions to augment and enhance the team they already have in a scalable way.
What Augmentation Looks Like
Augmentation can come in the form of improving processes and technology or improving people. Improving processes and capabilities can mean the implementation of new technology or augmenting your internal capabilities through a service solution like hiring an employer brand or recruiting optimization consultant or hiring short-term hourly recruiters.
Technological advancements in the past five years within recruitment have been vast, and are only increasing with the development of artificial intelligence technologies. With the implementation of a few technology solutions currently available on the market tied to a structured hiring process and strategy, time-consuming recruiter tasks such as interview scheduling, resume screening, and marketing communications can all be automated.
Some of these technologies have begun to include sophisticated forms of artificial intelligence which can surpass human processing speed and simultaneously analyze candidate information and generate statistical data or complete common administrative tasks. This statistical data becomes a large aid in making hires on the fly as there is something more than a “gut feeling” to base a decision on. By implementing these technologies directly, or employing a service provider who does it for you, you can exponentially increase your speed and quality of service.
With the implementation of technology, hours are then gained which can be applied to staff development. Recruitment, like any profession, requires professional development to continue to stay effective in a changing world. By creating time with proper technology utilization, you will be able to invest in the talents of the staff you have rather than trying to buy it in. Through development and retention of recruiters, your staff will become experts within their talent markets and be able to develop networks within that market, expanding the candidate database. Additionally, with more time with the organization, they will become further entrenched in the company culture, making themselves better brand ambassadors. Another great byproduct of investing in current staff is increased engagement and the ability to develop long-term succession strategies for key roles within your own teams.
Traditionalist may still look at the concept of augmentation and think that while intriguing, adding staff is the tried and true method of scaling a team. The issue here is that it can lead to some costly mistakes as business needs change and shift. Hiring new staff within recruitment can look like a sign of prosperity and growth during a ramp-up phase, but what happens when that phase comes to an end? Business needs can be incredibly elusive and all it takes is a shift in market conditions, a missed revenue target, an acquisition, or even a change in upper leadership, and boom, an organization-wide hiring freeze is in place.
At best, these freezes result in a large recruitment team twiddling their thumbs and sweating it out for a couple weeks, and at worse they result in team terminations. This constant flux of team size not only ruins any feelings of cohesion but also makes it extremely difficult for recruitment to be the highly responsive tool it needs to be. Organizations should also be wary of the damage being done to their employer brand by burning recruiters in this way, as recruiters are a population that communicates the strongest with the talent marketplace.
The ability to augment, rather than rely on the hiring and firing of talent acquisition staff, is truly a luxury of the modern age. Ten, even five years ago, the ability to implement smart scalable technologies and freelance teams wasn’t an option. It is now our job as leaders within our industry to pioneer these solutions and show how they can be the most powerful and proactive answer to our quickly evolving recruitment challenges.