Pro tips

Pro tips

12 reasons your recruitment strategy isn't working


Kelly Minella

Kelly Minella
Apr. 04, 2022

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Table of Contents

Recruiting has never been an easy task, but hiring in an era dubbed “the great resignation” has unique challenges. There’s been an upward trend of rising quit rates for the past decade, and all of this quitting and job shuffling has made recruiting more challenging. 

This guide will help you pinpoint issues in your recruitment strategy that could be behind low application rates, disappearing interviewees, or poor conversion rates.

If you’ve struggled with your recruitment strategy lately, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Hiring snafus can happen to anyone, but there are steps you can take today to improve your hiring process

1. You’re forgetting about metrics and measurable goals

Every recruitment strategy in the world aims to onboard more top talent. This goal is crucial, but it has one fundamental flaw.

It has no numbers.

If you don’t track recruitment metrics around your hiring process, it’s impossible to find weak points. For example, without measurable goals, you can’t know whether a lack of job seekers is because of low traffic on your career page, a complicated application process, or a lackluster job description. 

Your recruitment goals should follow the SMART framework; specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. 

You can use metrics like traffic to your careers page, job posting views, the number of applicants, hiring rates, time to interview, and time to hire. You may be able to gather some of this info from your applicant tracking system or website analytics. You can also use Calendly reporting to keep tabs on the number of video interviews you schedule and timelines, and use the analytics dashboard to discover insights such as most popular days candidates want to interview and the most-often booked meeting lengths.

This is even easier to do if you use software like Greenhouse, JazzHR, and RoboRecruiter, which all have native integrations with Calendly.

GIF showing Calendly's meeting scheduling integration into the Greenhouse Application Tracking System
An ATS like Greenhouse combined with an automated scheduling tool like Calendly helps you increase candidate pipeline and fill roles faster. Image via Greenhouse

2. Your recruitment marketing and careers page is pushing the wrong employer brand

Now more than ever, the best talent is looking for employer brands that align with their needs and values. Some of the top contributing factors why U.S. workers left their jobs in 2021 include low pay, no opportunities for advancement, and feeling disrespected at work.

Your job board listings, recruitment marketing, LinkedIn and social posts, job fair materials, and careers pages need to communicate company culture and benefits. You can even ask current employees what they enjoy most about working with your organization! Calendly team members record videos talking about their experience, which then live on a page outlining our hiring process

Staff videos
Calendly team members record videos talking about their experience, which then live on a page outlining our hiring process.

3. You’re not using the 'social' part of social media

One of the biggest mistakes that recruiters make is using social media as just another announcement board instead of a community-building space. You have plenty of other opportunities for one-way communication, from job posting sites to your website. Social media should be social.

Use your content to start conversations. For example, post an article about job search trends and ask readers if it aligns with their experience. You can use internal content this way too, announcing news or open positions and inviting people to share.

People are more likely to engage with your content if they see personal value in it. Also, because social media algorithms prioritize engagement, you’ll get more views when your posts get more interaction. Engaging with your community is also a great way to stay in touch with passive candidates. 

4. Your application process is inconvenient

A cumbersome application process can give candidates a poor first impression. If it’s challenging to interact with your brand from the get-go, people may worry that working with you full-time will also be a headache. 

Recruiting software can streamline your hiring process with automations, applicant tracking, mobile-friendly applications, and more. If you aren’t sure how well your application process works, compare the number of page visits to submitted applications. You can also ask candidates about their experience!

5. You don’t have an employee referral program

Your current employee base is a prime place to look for referrals. Jennifer Kim, a startup advisor, tweeted that companies should share new job openings with their teams. 

Tweet from @jenistyping encouraging other motivation for referrals besides bonuses
Referral incentives encourage employees to reach out to connections and share job board listings.

Referral incentives encourage employees to reach out to connections and share job board listings. You shouldn’t rely too heavily on larger bonuses to drive referrals, though. Talk to your team about whether or not they would refer job seekers and what you can do to address any hesitations. Giving employees an easy way to promote job postings and track referrals could also help. 

6. Your communication feels impersonal

Everyone wants to feel appreciated, and your job candidates are no different. Creating a personalized experience at scale can be tricky, though. That’s where templates and automations come in. A great interview invitation email sets your company apart from the others. 

Consider sending short videos to new hires to make the interview process even more special. Presenting a job offer via video adds more excitement to the moment. At Calendly, we also use a CRM called Beamery to help with targeted outreaches and nurture campaigns to top prospects.

7. You’re manually pairing candidates and hiring managers

If recruiters want to speed up the hiring process, it can help to pair candidates with hiring managers automatically. This makes candidates' interview scheduling process faster and lightens your hiring managers’ workload. 

Our applicant tracking system lets recruiters send a specific hiring manager’s Calendly link directly to a candidate. This automation saves valuable time that would have been wasted waiting on the hiring manager to do it.

Calendly for teams lets you assign meetings with a round-robin, first-available, or location-based strategy.  

8. You’re spending too much time checking references

Reaching out to your best candidates’ references can eat up a lot of time with back-and-forth communication. That’s why some teams opt to automate the process where possible. 

A recruiting tool we use that positively impacts speed is our reference-checking tool Crosschq. It takes what used to be a manual and lengthy process and turns into an efficient and more informative and powerful step in our hiring process. 

9. You don’t have a consistent process to train interviewers on the recruitment process

You'll need an onboarding method if you bring new team members or hiring managers into the recruitment process. If you send interviewers into a meeting with inconsistent preparation, you can’t standardize and improve the candidate experience

New recruitment team members need a base level of knowledge before jumping into the process. Ideally, the interviewer could undergo some training beforehand. Even adding details to the meeting confirmation message about the role or candidate can give interviewers context.

10. You don’t debrief with hiring managers fast enough

A delay in the post-interview process can make the difference between hiring your top candidate or another company sweeping them up. 

If a hiring manager or an interview team takes a long time to get feedback from the recruiter on a candidate, that candidate has likely progressed further in the process with other companies.

Recruiters can remedy this by proactively scheduling debriefs soon after a video interview occurs. Have set SLAs that individuals in the hiring process are aware of and agree to.

A Calendly workflow can automate this process. For example, you can send a follow up email to the interview team right after an event ends to get their initial feedback. 

11. You don’t give candidates the information they need

You indeed use the interview process to learn about a candidate’s initiative and attentiveness. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set them up for success whenever possible. Something as simple as an event reminder email before an interview can speed up your recruitment process

It’s also helpful to send information about your company, the new role, and the interview to candidates. Jessica Shadix, a Recruiting Coordinator at Calendly, offered advice for interviewing based on Calendly’s procedures, including this email script she sends to job applicants:

"Before your panel interview, your Recruiting Coordinator will share an interview guide specific to the panel for the new role you’re interviewing for. This is an excellent tool to use to plan ahead! With this guide, you can prepare for questions you may be asked during certain interviews, and come up with questions tailored to a certain interview as well. A panel interview can seem daunting, so this helps to break it down a bit!"

12. You’re letting bias get in your way

When hiring someone, there are so many judgments to make that it’s easy to let assumptions and biases impact your final decision. When you accept arguments like “this person just wouldn’t fit in here” or “I just don’t see that person succeeding,” you might be reinforcing misconceptions that keep new ideas out of your workplace.

Diversity is an essential discussion topic, and it’s a great time to make it part of your recruitment process too. Make sure you can back up all of your decisions about qualified candidates with objective information from their background. Look at where you’re recruiting and ask yourself if you’re getting the most diverse talent pool possible. You’ll get better candidates if you cast a wider net.

Target Australia fights biases with a Weirdly + Calendly integration. Instead of resumes, the company automatically filters candidates on criteria like location and values-fit. Then, candidates can book an interview time on their own.  

Improve your recruiting process one step at a time

Your recruitment strategy isn’t broken. It just needs some tweaking. Try some of the ideas listed here and remember to keep track of what works and what doesn’t. In the end, it’s all about finding your “sweet spot” to hire more ideal candidates. 

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Kelly Minella

Kelly Minella

Kelly is the Head of Recruiting at Calendly. Kelly is a Dog Mom to a corgi pup named Bowser.


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