Evolve healthily in a world of hiring madness

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Historically, Israeli tech leaders dealt with “traditional” startup issues: raising capital, acquiring new customers, retaining existing customers and – the crown jewel – adapting the product market to the technology their company is developing. to build.

Today, the most difficult bottleneck in every executive’s landscape is the difficulty in recruiting quality candidates (or, in extreme cases, any candidate). It has become, by far, the biggest challenge facing management teams today. It’s so important, in fact, that many companies are redirecting a large, previously unknown portion of corporate resources toward this effort.

Lightrun HR Director Gal Shor. Photo: Nicky Westphal

Some companies use employer brand PR agencies to boost their brand. Others decide to outsource the hardest-to-hire departments – usually R&D – to offshore locations. Almost every company employs a full-time recruitment agency to fill one or more job openings. Everyone is looking for the ideal solution to expand their pool of candidates, and improve the perception that these candidates have of the company for which they are applying.

We are at an incredible time in history – companies that have raised hundreds of millions of dollars urgently need to grow quickly and hire large numbers of quality candidates; however, considering the fact that the Israeli job market has a relatively small – and somewhat fixed – number of talented applicants, this causes an obvious collision of opposing forces.

Due to the inherent complexity of building a top notch in-house recruitment service, most companies today are considering every possible recruitment opportunity. Who would have thought that it would be more difficult to hire a technical recruiter with the desired skills than to recruit a software engineer with 7 years of experience?

When one reads Linkedin (or ״Tzarot Ba-High-Tech״) articles about the recruiting world, it is still possible to see remnants of the old HR world: complaints about outdated recruiting methods, personal calls to totally unprofessional applicants, and unrealistic demands for multi-week home assignments. Candidates who actively complain about problematic recruitment processes reveal the biggest challenge of all: recruiting the recruiters themselves.

And that, I think, is the root of the problem – for years recruiting was seen as a rather ‘dark’ profession, one that didn’t require an extensive skill set. The main attribute of good recruiters used to be a good work ethic, and only the best of the best understood – long ago – that to truly succeed in the recruiting industry, both in the current role and in the following, you need an extensive personal network and excellent candidate databases.

As recruiting becomes more and more a game for the whole organization, companies find themselves doing recruiting work at all levels: the executive suite, vice presidents and all employees, seniors and juniors alike. , are increasingly geared towards growth.

Recruitment, a once back-office administrative job that seemed to “just happen” and was compensated accordingly, is now front and center. The significant capital that has flowed (and is flowing) to the Israeli tech scene requires a change – an upgrade, in fact – to recruitment processes and the people we hire to do this delicate and important work.

What are the new requirements for recruiters, following the major changes that have taken place in the Israeli tech industry over the past 24 months?

  • Be a good salesperson, with the ability to “close the deal” with short phone calls and written correspondence.
  • Have great employer branding skills, ones that allow you to create a great appearance for your company’s brand on social media.
  • Have the ability to connect with candidates on a personal level and create meaningful relationships.
  • Be multi-tasking – manage over 20 open positions, each with many applicants at each stage.
  • Be highly motivated – an employee-driven market requires more effort than in the past.
  • Having an analytical mind and a passion for analyzing data – studying the numbers and constantly improving recruitment processes is essential.
  • Have an eye for people and the ability to identify issues and strengths beyond the obvious.

This list is long, and I’m sure many of you agree with all the points, but the list of recruiters who meet these criteria is short to say the least. Do you see the problem?

It’s important to stop here and mention that while the search part of the process is critical, the entire hiring process and the “conversion rates” throughout it are also very important. How can we, as a company, leave the most outstanding impression when a candidate goes through the process? How can we create the most meaningful experience for them? How can we make the product we create as accessible and understandable as possible for all potential recruits? Our hiring process really needs to put the candidate at the center, rather than focusing on us – if something doesn’t make sense to a candidate or resonates poorly, it needs to be carefully explored, corrected or removed.

The price of recruiting mistakes has risen and will rise again

The price of a mistake is higher than ever – not only does the market standard recruiting commission rate increase dramatically, but onboarding a new employee is a costly process that impacts the organization, department and the team the employee joins. An employee mismatch will cost a lot of resources until it is resolved. With startups required to grow faster and faster and exceed a higher bar of expectations, hiring managers are forced to make decisions faster and are sometimes willing to compromise on mediocre candidates in order to “make move the needle” on their team building goals.

Lost training time, manager time, and the potential exposure of the wrong hire to a large set of employees are all risks in the hiring process. The recruiting team must move very quickly, and at the same time create a meticulous and rigorous assessment and onboarding process. Every mediocre employee onboarded could be the reason a team isn’t meeting its KPIs, a department isn’t keeping up with the rest of the company, or the whole company is developing a culture that’s hard to escape.

Rethinking the recruitment process and the candidate experience

Now that the problem space is established, what can we do? First, we should reevaluate what is the best way to recruit – statistics tell us that quality candidates go through very rapid cycles, sometimes as short as a week and a half, from first approach to signing a contract . There is no room for error.

This reflection must be done systematically and at the organizational level, and involve managers and recruiting executives:

How can we improve current recruiting efforts? Do we need to do more on a personal level? Should we market better? How can we better understand the candidates and the notion of “match”? How do we handle rejection? What is the process for drawing conclusions? How much and what data do we analyze to always be well informed about the current situation?

Note any question marks and, more importantly, the absence of exclamation marks. We are in an era that requires questioning, a cold and deep inspection of the “field” and a constant improvement of the skills of our recruitment teams and other HR personnel.

The market is dynamic, fluid and constantly changing – and so should we.

The author is the Director of Human Resources and Operations at Lightrun.

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