Rachel Robins |

When you embark on a recruitment process improvement project, it is important to fully understand the existing process in place and have a clear understanding of the reasons for change and its benefits.

EKC Group delved deep into why they should change their recruitment practices, what they had already done, and what they could improve across the hiring process. Here's a summary of their approach in a short video presentation which details EKC's journey.

EKC Group is one of the largest further education providers in the South East of England. Their family of six colleges and three business units employs over 1400 staff.

Andrew Stevens, Chief Operating Officer, was appointed into the business from a different sector so had a fresh pair of eyes – having experienced the recruitment process himself, he knew first-hand about the candidate experience and where they could improve. Let's take a look at some of Andrew's reasons for the change:

Why change what you have already?

1. Does your recruitment practice and candidate attraction strategy offer you a competitive advantage? Are you agile to respond to market changes, or do you face bottlenecks throughout the process?

EKC experienced growth quickly, growing from 1 college to 6 and 200 to 1400 staff. The core systems hadn't grown with the business and couldn't scale.

2. Brand awareness – Enhance your company's reputation both from a market and candidate perspective and ensure that the very best talent is identified, engaged and brought into the business.

EKC did this with a new careers site that is intuitive and attractive to candidates and represents their brand. They are promoting the benefits of working for them, using staff to tell other potential candidates all about them and sharing the recruitment journey, staff benefits and more to present the human face of what they do.

3. Outdated processes such as paper forms and manual processes when collaborating across multiple departments/sites leads to inefficiencies and often extended recruitment cycles – both are costly.

EKC saw the benefits of a paperless recruitment process – saving time and money and the environmental impact. They implemented a paperless recruitment process using Eploy to contribute to their Environmental charter, aiming to reduce paper waste by 10% per annum.

4. Having complete insight into all aspects of your recruitment process is vital in the quest for hiring perfection. Recruitment metrics can help you maximise your return on marketing investment, track your performance, optimise your process efficiency, and demonstrate the value of your recruiting function to the leadership team. Look at your key metrics and where you can increase profitability and performance.

EKC didn't have insight into all aspects of their recruitment activity until they implemented Eploy. They knew Time to Hire – the length of time candidates spend in the process was too long, especially at certain stages, so they have worked to turn this around and benchmark progress. They also combined communication of the recruitment process on their careers site for full transparency.

 5. Be proactive with recruitment – More talent pooling and less' Post & Pray' focused on the immediate need. Does your recruitment strategy look like this: 

Advertise a job > Hope enough candidates see it > Hope enough candidates apply > Hope enough candidates are suitable > Hope they 'buy-in' to your employer brand >Hope they accept your offer….

You can start small, working with your hiring managers and department heads to identify the roles that will most benefit from talent. Identify the skills and experience needed and use them to create talent personas to build your skills library to match candidates to vacancies. Before you know it, you will have a ready-made target audience for marketing communications to find yourself the employer of choice when candidates look to make their next move.

Before you begin making changes – some advice

  1. Survey your team and new starters to understand what new recruits thought about the process based on their You will learn a great deal about the pinch points.
  2. Analyse modern recruitment platforms on the market to understand their capabilities and what is best suited to your requirements.
  3. Look at a vendors' track record of delivering similar programmes within your industry; sector-specific experience can be precious.

Andrew at EKC did all of the above. He took time to understand how Eploy could flex to their business needs and how Eploy's security credentials, such as Cyber Essentials Plus, fulfilled their need for a robust, secure IT infrastructure and system.

Whether you are looking to replace your existing ATS/Recruitment System or implement a new system, you are likely to be competing against other projects and budgets, so there is a greater need to demonstrate the benefits.  Understanding your reasons for change is a great starting point.

Here in his own words, is a short video of EKC and how they improved their recruitment practices In-House Recruitment Video Stories East Kent College | Eploy ATS

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Join the Eploy Recruitment Technology newsletter and we'll keep you posted when we have new downloadable resources, articles and news from the world of Recruitment Technology.