HR Mavericks

Eddy’s HR Mavericks Encyclopedia

Recruiting Operations
We all know that staffing is a core function of Human Resources. When HR professionals manage recruiting well, we hire the right talent to support our organization. Let's look at how you can make recruiting more efficient and effective.

What Is Recruiting Operations?

Recruiting operations (or talent operations) is an HR specialty function that encompasses the process of staffing organizations efficiently and effectively. Recruiting operations focus on reducing delays in the hiring process and providing the best candidate experience possible.

Why Is Recruiting Operations Important?

Recruiting operations provide essential support to organizations; let's look at three types in particular.
  • Making data-driven decisions. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is software that electronically manages the hiring process. Applicant tracking systems provide a variety of reports—source of applicants, cost per hire, time to fill, vacancy report, recruiting cost, etc.—that recruiters use to make informed decisions and adjust recruiting methods. Analyzed correctly, these reports can increase revenue, boost productivity, and continuously improve the recruiting process. Using data to make recruiting decisions benefits both the short-term and long-term success of recruiting operations.
  • Increasing productivity. Recruiting operations identifies the information that will be assessed at each stage of the recruiting process to determine success. For example, in the screening stage, we establish criteria to eliminate unqualified applicants, whether based on years of experience or required certifications. By eliminating unqualified applicants with help from an ATS, recruiters only focus on qualified candidates, which reduces overall screening time. Another contributor to increasing productivity is recognizing the main source of the most qualified applicants from a source of applicants report. Source of candidates is extremely helpful when talent acquisition professionals need to fill key vacancies or are time-pressed because they know where to focus their attention to fill the required vacancy quickly.
  • Promoting hiring compliance. Recruiting operations is responsible for remaining compliant with the Immigration Reform & Control Act (IRCA). For instance, there are a few questions and disclaimers applicants always see when applying for a job, and their response is mandatory. The most common is, Are you legally authorized to work in the United States? There may also be a disclaimer included in the job post or on the website saying This organization does not provide sponsorship for employment. These are examples of IRCA compliance.

The Role Data Plays in Recruiting Operations

Analyzing data plays a significant role when making strategic hiring decisions and recommendations. Data analysis provides an incomparable level of accuracy and reduces errors. It can outline past behaviors and predict future trends. Let's consider a few ways data supports recruiting operations.

Reduce Recruiting Cost

Reviewing a report like cost per hire on a quarterly, semi-annually, or yearly basis helps recruiting operations teams determine where they can cut costs. That might be to utilize less printing material, reduce the number of hires employed through a staffing agency, or decrease the dollar amount allotted to daily online advertisements on job boards. Evaluating a cost per hire report is a logical way to determine what budgetary adjustments should be made because when combined with other reports (like source of applicants), it highlights the return on investment. For instance, if the top source of applicants is from online job boards, using the cost per hire and source of applicant reports may help determine if it’s worth spending money on print advertisements.

Better Candidate Experience

Making the best first impression on candidates is an important part of recruiting operations. An organized recruiting process includes detailed standards of operations and effective communication, which are highly beneficial for candidates. Source of applicant reports identify where recruiting operators should focus candidate communication and partnerships. Recruiting professionals should build strong relationships with the partners of the top sources for their applicants. For example, if most of the organization’s top applicants are recent college graduates, the recruiting department may partner with neighboring colleges and universities alumni offices. Partnerships can lead to invitations to the school’s job fairs, job posting on their Handshake account (schools' online job portal), and internship opportunities.

Eliminate Hiring Biases

Using only data to make hiring decisions is the ideal way to eliminate hiring biases. Sometimes hiring managers and recruiting operations teams are not aware of their own unconscious biases, so it is more objective to rely on data analysis to make hiring decisions. Programming the ATS to identify core competencies from résumés and rank applicants accordingly, or using test scores from a sample work test to rank applicants, are examples of using data to eliminate hiring biases.

Responsibilities of a Recruitment Operations Specialist

Recruiting Operations Specialists have several responsibilities in order to support the recruiting operations plan of the organization. Responsibilities may differ based on the organization, but here are the most common.
  • Create the best candidate experience. Candidates share their experience with other job seekers, on social media, and within their networks, so it is imperative they have only the best experience with your company. Recruiting Operations Specialists communicate frequently and professionally with applicants. Even if it’s an unpleasant update, applicants want to know their status in the hiring process. Nothing is more frustrating than completing a phone screen or interview and receiving no further details. Set up automatic communication for all job applicants in your ATS so everyone receives updates.
  • Monitor the recruiting plan to identify process improvement opportunities. Recruiting Operations Specialists are responsible for reviewing the recruiting operations plan annually to identify processes that need improvement based on adjustments they made when executing the plan throughout the year or based on industry trends.
  • Analyze data from ATS. Data analytics benefits not only the candidate experience, but the entire recruiting operations process. Recruiting Operations Specialists must analyze data to make changes that will reduce cost and increase return on investments.
  • Communicate constantly with internal hiring partners. Building strong relationships with internal stakeholders like hiring managers and executive leadership is crucial to the success of recruiting operations. Recruiting Operations Specialists should collaborate with hiring managers and executive leadership to create workflows within the recruiting operations plan, maximize efficiency, and provide detailed insight on the overall process.

How to Create a Recruiting Operations Plan

Organizations can build an impactful recruiting operations plan by implementing the five steps below.

Step 1: Determine Hiring Budget

Creating a budget is a primary step to guarantee the success of the recruiting operations plan. A budget determines the finances available to make crucial hiring decisions. Budget planning prevents an underfunded recruitment operation, which affects both candidates’ experience and the employer's brand.

Step 2: Align Recruiting Strategy and Organizational Strategy

The organization’s overall strategy must be aligned with the recruiting strategy. Human capital is the organization’s most influential asset, so hiring talents who can and will execute the organizational strategy should be a top priority. An aligned strategy maintains a competitive advantage for organizations as well as ensuring business longevity.

Step 3: Conduct Skills-Gap Analysis

After aligning the recruiting operations plan to the organizational strategy, the next step is to conduct a skills-gap analysis. A skills-gap analysis identifies the skills the organization currently has and those still needed. For example, if an organization becomes unionized and no one in the HR department has union experience, it would be beneficial to hire a Labor Relations Specialist. A skills-gap analysis is beneficial when the organization needs to pivot from planned strategic efforts to immediate changes in the workplace.

Step 4: Revise and Create Job Descriptions

A job description is a blueprint for required knowledge, skills, abilities, and essential job functions. Following the skills-gap analysis, create job descriptions to accurately highlight core competencies needed for the new roles identified. A job description should also be revised if an existing employee will be trained on the new skills needed based on the gap analysis. For example, if the organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion responsibilities will be delegated to three members of the HR department, their job descriptions need to be revised to outline their new responsibilities.

Step 5: Collaborate With Key Partners

For the recruiting operations plan to be effective, there must be collaboration between the hiring team, executive leadership and hiring managers. For the process to run smoothly, all major players must have an extensive understanding of the recruiting process. For instance, hiring managers should know the most efficient process to inform the hiring team of a vacancy in their department, whether they should send an email with the information or submit a requisition through the applicant tracking system. There are also budgetary factors to consider, like which department should fund marketing for open positions. Should this be taken from the recruiting department’s budget, or will hiring managers pay for additional marketing initiatives to fill their vacancies more quickly? When the recruiting team collaborates with key partners, these questions will be easily answered and the recruiting operations plan can be executed effortlessly.
Remone Robinson

Remone Robinson

Remone Robinson is a high-achieving Human Resources professional with extensive experience and success in talent management, strategic communication, and regulatory compliance across several industries. He is a motivated self-starter who draws on strategic planning and change management skills to enhance HR policies and operations. He has an extensive background in performance management, training & development, and diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging. Remone earned a Master of Science (MS) degree in Management and Leadership from Western Governors University. His passion and vision for HR led him to become a SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) from SHRM and a Certified Professional in Human Resources® (PHR®) from HRCI.
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Frequently asked questions
Other Related Terms
AI Recruiting
Ambassador Program
Benchmark Jobs
Billboard Recruiting
Campus Recruitment
Candidate Correspondence
Candidate Disposition
Candidate Engagement
Candidate Feedback Survey
Candidate Net Promoter Score
Candidate Nurturing
Careers Page
Co-Op Program
Cold Calling in Recruitment
Contingency Recruiting
Employee Advocacy
Employee Poaching
Employee Referral Program (ERP)
Employee Social Media Takeover
Employer Information Session
External Recruiting
Facebook Recruiting
Glassdoor Recruiting
Hidden Job Market
Hiring Statistics
Hiring with ZipRecruiter
Inbound Recruiting
Indeed Recruiting
Instagram Recruiting
Internal Job Posting
Internal Recruitment
Internal Transfer Policy
Internship Program
Job Ads
Job Fair
Labor Market
Lateral Hire
LinkedIn Recruiting
Mobile Recruiting
Online Job Application
Outplacement Firm
Post & Pray
Promoting Talent
Purple Squirrel
Recruiting Funnel
Recruitment Agency
Recruitment Fees
Recruitment Marketing
Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)
Recruitment SEO
Referral Bonus
Resume Parsing
Retained Search
Reverse Recruiting
Social Media Recruiting
Sponsored Job Posting
State Employment Agency
Strategic Recruitment
TV Recruiting
Talent Acquisition Recruiting
Text Recruiting
TikTok Recruiting
Twitter Recruiting
University Career Services
Video Job Description
Virtual Job Fair
Workplace Tour
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