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What is Recruitment Operations?

Recruitment operations is a talent acquisition function designed to promote the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization’s recruiting processes, policies, and technology. Responsibilities may include defining work processes and overseeing logistics like interview scheduling, offer processing and onboarding.

Overall, this function drives ROI by measuring and maximizing an organization’s ability to hire quickly, reduce costs and ensure resources are used effectively to deliver a candidate experience that will drive success. Technology innovations and workplace trends play a large role in shaping recruiting operations departments.

Interestingly, the emergence of recruiting operations is elevating the entire HR function from an administrative and compliance machine to a strategic business partner that contributes to driving and achieving business results. How? When recruiting operations succeed in identifying and fixing areas where time and money are lost (i.e., manual interview scheduling), staff is freed up to focus on strategic imperatives (like helping managers define the future of work or building relationships with job candidates).

As noted in Deloitte’s Reimagining HR Report, operational services may be part of a larger transformation to create the HR function of the future:

How Are Recruitment Operations Structured?

Put simply, there is no one prevailing organizational structure for recruitment operations…yet.

Some organizations are creating recruitment operations teams as part of a larger HR function – sometimes referred to as PeopleOps – focused on improving the effectiveness of all people-related operations (from recruiting to onboarding to development, performance, rewards and more).

In other cases, recruitment operations are taking over the entire recruiting function, or are operating alongside existing recruitment teams. There are organizations taking more targeted approaches by building recruitment operations focused on business priorities like growth markets or targeted audiences like executives. Some even define it as part of existing HR shared services.

While organizational structures vary, the overall purpose remains the same: creating best-in-class recruiting processes, programs, policies and technology to eliminate inefficiency and improve candidate experience.

According to Yello’s 2019 Recruiting Study, more than one-third of HR professionals (35%) report not having not having enough time to engage candidates. Of those HR professionals, more than half point to scheduling interviews, working with hiring managers and screening candidates as the most time-consuming tasks that prevent them from connecting with candidates.

Defining KPIs & Success Measures for Recruitment Operations

The key performance indicators (KPIs) and success measures your organization sets can guide decisions about which team members are needed to deliver results. For example, if one of the goals is to reduce spending, your team may include someone with a background in finance. If your goal is to streamline and standardize recruitment event procedures, you might consider someone with project management experience.

Set recruitment operations KPIs and metrics in context with HR and company goals:

  • What are your company’s priorities, strategies and goals?
  • What HR strategies, priorities and goals are needed to drive company success?
  • What recruitment strategies, priorities and goals are needed to drive HR success?
  • How do recruitment operations drive recruiting success?

Defining the Scope of Recruitment Operations

Since there is no one universal definition or structure for recruitment operations, clarity about the scope of responsibilities is key. Following is a list of responsibilities that may fall under RecOps, depending on how your organization defines its scope. Consider which will be part of your organization’s RecOps and whether there are any additional responsibilities not listed here.

  • Strategy: What is the function striving to achieve and how? How does it support and drive the recruiting function? HR function? Company? How will the strategy be executed and measured?
  •  Recruitment: What are the processes, policies and programs that will help your organization find, engage, assess and hire the right talent at the right time for the right job?
  •  Operations/productivity: What’s working, and where are there opportunities to improve? Are your processes, policies and technology scalable? How do you apply business operations and Six Sigma methodologies and skills to recruiting?
  • Systems: What systems do you have? What’s available to automate recruiting processes? What do you need?
  • Data analytics: What can recruitment data tell you about opportunities to operate more efficiently and effectively, while improving the candidate experience?
  • Marketing: What marketing principles can strengthen your employment brand and the entire candidate experience?
  • Finance: Set and manage the budget; track ROI and report results on an ongoing basis.
  • Procurement: Evaluate, negotiate with and manage all recruiting sources and suppliers. Measure ROI.
  • Legal/compliance: Are your recruiting practices, policies and data management in compliance?
  • Change management: What’s changing, who’s affected and how are you going to train people to work differently?

Building Your Recruitment Operations Team

After defining scope, define the team needed to deliver results. Consider:

  • Should you partner with an external organization specializing in HR and recruiting operations to create your org structure, strategy and more?
  • Are there certain responsibilities that can be assigned to existing employees throughout your company (i.e., marketing or technology specialists) who can serve in an advisory or consultative capacity? Should they have a dotted line reporting relationship with RecOps?
  • Do certain roles already exist (i.e., recruitment procurement) and should they move under the RecOps function? Do job responsibilities need to change?
  • What new roles are needed to fulfill RecOps responsibilities?

Attracting the Right Candidates: RecOps Job Descriptions and Skills

After analyzing numerous job postings for RecOps leads, managers and analysts, some of the more common responsibilities, which can be used to develop job descriptions, fall into four main categories:[vc_row_inner el_class=”alignwide”][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”23285″ alignment=”center” el_class=”max–35″ css=”.vc_custom_1572900460373{margin-top: 2em !important;margin-bottom: 1em !important;}”]


  • Lead, develop, grow, and manage a recruitment operations strategy to deliver an exceptional candidate experience
  • Drive global, scalable recruiting strategies
  • Manage change and related communications
  • Obtain business and candidate feedback on recruitment quality and experiences

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  • Manage all operational aspects of recruiting
  • Identify ways to drive efficiency and effectiveness
  • Manage budget, spend and ROI
  • Build relationships and collaborate across HR and other functions

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  • Identify new tools and technology to improve recruiting operations
  • Oversee recruitment systems and tools
  • Identify, build, maintain and manage relationships with recruiting vendors, agencies and third-party suppliers

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  •  Identify, monitor and regularly report key metrics (including KPIs and ROI) for sourcing platforms, staffing partners and productivity tools
  • Gather and analyze data to inform decision-making, identify improvement opportunities and optimize recruitment processes


Some of the more typical skills, experiences and requirements include:

  • Multiple years of experience in recruiting, HR, operations and/or process design.
  • Effectively build relationships, partner, collaborate, communicate and negotiate within HR, across other functions (IT, Legal, Finance, Marketing, etc.) and with vendors.
  • Exceptional time, project, consulting and change management abilities.
  • Excellent people management, coaching and development skills.
  • Creative, self-directed and detail-oriented problem solver with experience leading process improvement projects to drive operational excellence.
  • ATS, CRM and data base proficiency.
  • Strong analytical background and experience using data to inform decision making.
  • Strong understanding of recruiting-related analytics, metrics and reporting.
  • Experience implementing Lean (continuous improvement) initiatives.
  • Manage competing priorities, meet tight deadlines and respond to changing requirements.

According to Glassdoor, a Recruiting Operations Manager makes an average of $76,971 a year while an Analyst makes $61,089.

Getting Started

From candidate sourcing technology to scheduling tools and Recruitment Candidate Relationship Management systems, Yello makes it easier to build a strong recruitment operations program and optimize the candidate experience.