What is a Recruitment Funnel? Your Guide to Exceptional Hiring

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To the average person, high-volume recruitment is simply hiring many people for a frontline role. For HR managers and talent acquisition teams, it’s a multi-step, strategic effort that keeps the business functioning. So, how can recruiters move candidates through every stage of the hiring process without becoming overwhelmed? 

The answer is more efficient and effective hiring practices that advance applicants through the recruitment funnel. According to Industry Today, the average time to fill an empty position is 42 days. Still, you can reduce that time by streamlining your hiring processes, automating time-consuming tasks, and keeping applicants engaged. 

Let’s look closely at how maximizing each step of your recruitment funnel with a recruitment automation platform, like Emi, can positively impact your recruiting practices.

Key stages of an effective recruitment funnel

As you know, the recruitment funnel represents the entire hiring framework, from awareness to onboarding. While your organization already has a process to fill open requisitions, you may not be hiring hourly frontline employees as efficiently or effectively as possible.

What hiring metrics should you track?

Although every hiring experience is different, talent acquisition managers and recruiters can discover how efficient their recruitment funnel is by calculating and tracking these specific recruiting metrics:

  • Time to fill: This recruitment metric tracks the days between when a position is posted and a candidate accepts a job offer. 
  • Time to hire: The time it takes to move a candidate through the entire recruitment funnel.
  • Source of hire: Where the candidate discovered your job post or heard about the position opening. 
  • Cost per hire: How much your organization spent acquiring a new employee.
  • Quality of hire: The often varied measurement of what essential characteristics you want your hired employees to display. 

Breaking your hiring process down and seeing where you’re spending the most time and energy is a great way to discover potential tasks that could be automated. Here are the main stages in a typical hiring process:

  • Attracting
  • Applying
  • Screening
  • Interviewing
  • Background check
  • Job offer

1. Attracting

The first step of high-volume hiring is raising awareness of and attracting people to the job listing. There are several career opportunities for people to choose from, so making your job post appeal to your target audience with a well-written job description and professional design can help your company stand out. According to RecruitingDaily, a strong employer brand can help you save money by decreasing your turnover rate and increasing your efficiency per hire by as much as 50%. 

How recruitment automation platforms help

After you’ve attracted candidates, improve their experience throughout the hiring process, making applicants, even those not selected for the role, more likely to recommend your company to their families and friends. 

For example, Emi, the recruitment automation platform, offers multiple application formats in addition to the ones companies generally offer, such as QR codes, text to apply, and referral links, making candidates more likely to apply for the position.

2. Applying 

If an applicant is interested based on the job description and organization, then it’s time for them to start the application process. The problem is, very few job seekers actually finish their applications due to lengthy processes that are hard to complete on mobile devices and require extensive information and documentation. 

Applicant drop-off is one of the biggest challenges for any recruiter. According to People Management, 78% of job seekers drop out of a recruitment process because it is too long or complex. Also, people who work hourly positions are often shopping around for new jobs outside of the typical 9-5 window, making it difficult for their questions to be answered in a timely manner. 

How recruitment automation platforms help

Many opportunities exist to improve today’s standard application processes of lengthy forms, repetitive processes, and antiquated candidate platforms. Different systems can make it easier for candidates to apply for your company’s open positions or store candidate information more efficiently. 

Emi’s recruitment automation platform is different because it creates a conversational application done entirely through SMS text, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. This eliminates clunky application forms and removes the need for a formal resume. By partnering with Emi, high-volume recruiters like Walmart, Burger King, and KFC have experienced 4X growth in candidate applications. 

3. Screening

Once your team has collected the application information, it’s time to decide which candidates are fit to continue onto the interview stage. The goal here is to rule out anybody that may not be suited for the job or available to work the hours your company seeks to fill. Even for high-volume hiring, it’s vital that you define and find the ideal candidates to forward in the funnel to have better retention in the long run. 

How recruitment automation platforms help

Screening applications can be one of the most time-consuming stages of the recruitment funnel, especially in high-volume hiring. Though recruiters spend only a few seconds, on average, per resume or application, this adds up when done across hundreds or thousands of applications. 

Emi reduces this stage of the recruitment funnel to seconds rather than hours and removes the manual nature of the review. Not only is Emi collecting application information, inputting the details into existing ATSs, and storing it for the recruiters to review, but it also can automate application screening based on company-specific hiring criteria. This allows talent acquisition teams to spend their time on the best-fit applicants from the start. 

Emi’s AI screening serves you the best candidates while giving you control over accepting and rejecting candidates. 

4. Interviewing

The all-important interview stage allows HR professionals and recruiters to chat with the candidates and get to know them better. Scheduling these interviews has historically been frustrating for talent acquisition teams and hiring managers because it’s usually completely manual. 

The challenge for frontline candidates is that they often work long or odd hours. When these individuals respond to the job opportunity, it may be well outside typical business hours. For candidates that stay engaged in the process, there is often a lot of back and forth between the manager and the candidate. For the candidates who don’t stay engaged, there is time wasted waiting on a response. 

The challenge for hiring managers is that they are usually out on the floor with their teams—unable to respond to emails until the end of their work day or the beginning of the following day when they are more commonly at their desks. Issues often arise when hiring managers attempt to schedule all the meetings—a tricky task when they’re not at a desk and are unaware of which candidates will need to reschedule due to conflicts. 

How recruitment automation platforms help

A recruitment automation platform can help you reduce manual processes and integrate your hiring manager’s schedule to easily access their availability. This allows recruiters to quickly and seamlessly schedule candidate meetings and send reminders. 

With Emi, hiring managers can provide open times in their schedule, and candidates are able to select the most convenient time without the back and forth. Emi manages communication with the hiring manager and the candidate through SMS or Facebook Messenger and sends automated reminders to the candidate to reduce ghosting. This feature has led Emi clients to see a 90% first-interview attendance rate.

Emi also collects the hiring manager's post-interview feedback so recruiters are not left waiting to move the candidate to the next stage.

5. Background check and document verification

Once a candidate gets the green light, they are onto yet another time-consuming step: background check and document verification. The information collected during a background check usually includes a candidate’s criminal, personal, social, financial, and employment records. 

After the time and effort the hiring team has put in, this stage of the recruitment funnel is one of the most common for candidates to drop off. And frustratingly, this abandonment impacts the recruiting team’s KPIs, like increasing time-to-hire and cost-per-candidate and decreasing applicant-to-new-hire conversion rate. 

How recruitment automation platforms help

A recruitment automation platform can automate the document collection process to ensure fewer candidates are lost due to the often time-consuming and confusing processes.

Emi digitally collects necessary signatures and verification information. If the candidate forgets to sign the documents, Emi facilitates document collection and verification through third-party systems and reminds candidates to sign if they forget. Helping applicants smoothly accomplish this step of the process will ensure they feel confident about accepting the job, allowing them to sign every document without having to physically go to a job site or employee data collection center. 

6. Job Offer

If the candidate signs all the necessary paperwork and passes the background check, it’s officially time to send out the job offer. This is a vital step of the process and should be done as soon as possible to ensure the applicant is aware of your decision and kept up to date. The problem is, not all candidates check their emails often, so their offer may be missed if it’s not sent to a place the applicant is already looking: their phone. Even if the person has gone through all this work to apply, interview, and sign documents, they could still miss the offer. 

How recruitment automation platforms help

A recruitment automation platform can automate the job offer process, saving your recruiters time and energy. This allows talent acquisition teams more freedom to work on other parts of the hiring process while company communication is sent directly to the candidates.

Using Emi, the hiring team can extend the offer in the same text message or Facebook Messenger thread the candidate has been communicating through for the entire recruitment process—avoiding confusion and ensuring that the candidate receives it. 

The importance of improving the efficiency of your hiring funnel

To meet qualified candidates where they’re at, it’s important to identify gaps or areas within the recruitment funnel that could be streamlined. 

A poorly managed recruiting funnel can leave a qualified candidate waiting in limbo or lose passive candidates. Although not every person will make it to the job offer stage, a poor candidate experience will likely impact a candidate's decision to drop out of your company pipeline for good. An efficient recruitment funnel can be a game-changer when completing high-volume hiring. 

How Emi fits into your recruitment funnel

Managing the high-volume hiring funnel is nearly impossible when hiring processes are manual. Emi allows talent acquisition teams to automate the parts of their jobs that are most tedious and produce the least value.

With Emi, talent acquisition teams can:

  • Offer 24/7 recruitment
  • Utilize text and social media chat recruiting
  • Send interview and first-day reminders
  • Review thousands of applications automatically
  • Speak to qualified candidates faster
  • Reduce manual tasks
  • Collect documents and signatures digitally

Want to learn more about hourly and frontline hiring using Emi, or see our platform in action? Schedule a demo today.  

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