Today’s employers are contending with a labor shortage and skills gaps, while racing to define what the future of work looks like. To efficiently and effectively identify, assess and hire talent now and in the future, companies are looking to streamline their recruiting strategy, improve hiring processes, and speed things up. The question is: How? Many organizations are turning to recruitment operations for the answer—and they’re taking a wide variety of approaches.

What is recruitment operations?

Recruiting operations is a function that defines work processes, helps talent acquisition teams run more efficiently, and oversees logistics like interview scheduling, offer processing, and onboarding. In other words, recruitment operations maximizes an organization’s ability to hire quickly, reduce costs, and ensure resources are used effectively. A strong recruitment operations plan also positively affects candidate experience by improving time-to-hire, communication with hiring teams, and more.

Some companies are incorporating recruitment operations strategies into their existing efforts, asking recruiters to continue identifying, engaging, interviewing and hiring employees while increasing focus on data-driven decisions and incremental process improvements.

At the other end, many companies have introduced entirely new recruitment operations staff, with the sole purpose of creating and executing a strategy to improve hiring processes, fill roles more quickly, decrease costs and generally find ways to improve the operational structure of the recruiting team.

In truth, recruitment operations is an evolving function, and there isn’t one universal definition of what it is, what it involves or how to do it. Ten years from now, there will likely be case studies on best-in-class recruitment operations organizational structure, strategies and tactics. For now, it’s history in the making. So, let’s start with some basics.

According to Mercer’s Global Talent Trends Report, 99% of companies are taking action to prepare for the future of work:

That’s where recruitment operations comes in. By applying operations methodologies to each step in the hiring process, human resources teams can identify opportunities for improvement, use company resources more efficiently, better prove their value to leadership and build stronger business cases for new recruiting solutions. Recruitment operations professionals can also help their companies prepare for the future of work by anticipating industry trends, combating global talent shortages and identifying how other external forces may affect the company.

What Does a Recruitment Operations Team Do?

As noted earlier, the way companies define recruiting operations falls along a large spectrum. To give you some insights about what to expect, here’s a sampling of job responsibilities from Recruitment Operations Leads, Managers and Analyst job postings:

Business operations

  • Support the head of recruiting by managing all operational aspects of recruiting and identify opportunities to drive the efficiency and effectiveness
  • Manage budget, spend and ROI
  • Train and hold accountable the recruiting organization, hiring managers and interviewers on operational changes to promote excellence
  • Build relationships and collaborate across HR, Finance, IT, Procurement, Legal, Operations, Engineering and mo

Strategy development

  • Understand market conditions, trends, and business growth targets to develop a recruitment strategy
  • Lead, develop, grow, and manage a recruitment operations strategy to deliver an exceptional candidate experience
  • Manage change and related communications
  • Drive global recruiting strategies to scale the organization
  • Obtain business and candidate feedback on recruitment quality and identify improvement opportunities

Systems management

  • Oversee recruitment systems and tools, reporting and analytics, onboarding, employer branding, immigration, contingent workforce, employee referral, diversity recruiting, global expansion, contingent workforce and employer branding initiatives
  • Identify, build, maintain and manage relationships with recruiting vendors, agencies and third-party suppliers

Reporting and analytics

  • Identify, monitor and regularly report key metrics (including KPIs and ROI) for sourcing platforms, staffing partners and productivity tools
  • Use data to analyze and optimize recruitment processes
  • Identify new tools and technology to improve operations

How Much Does a Recruitment Operations Manager Make?  The national average salary for a Recruitment Operations Manager is $76,971 in United States. — Glassdoor

What Role Does Data Analytics Play in Recruitment Operations?

No matter how a company defines its recruitment operations structure, you can be sure of one thing: data analytics is a huge part of it.

Data is key to evaluating whether your organization is finding the best talent for open positions and measuring operational excellence in recruiting.  It can also help you gain leadership support of new technologies and investments.

Applicant tracking systems, social media tools, and virtually all recruiting technologies typically provide some form of analytics reporting to help you make data-driven decisions, show return on investment, measure progress, identify improvement opportunities, and more. Determining what to measure may be based on recruiting goals, operational efficiencies or a combination of the two.

“While it’s common for recruiters to focus on cost per hire, this isn’t the be all end all metric. The end all goal of hiring campaigns shouldn’t be to hire more cheaply – rather to hire better.” – TMP Worldwide

From candidate sourcing technology to scheduling tools and Recruitment Candidate Relationship Management systems, Yello helps organizations optimize the candidate experience and recruiting operations.