By: Moon Won

Hiring talent in Malaysia has been an ongoing challenge faced by businesses over the years. This has prompted both the Malaysian government and the business community to jointly strive for a solution to attract top talent especially since skilled workers are a necessity to achieve a competitive edge amidst economic uncertainty and rising costs.

However, each new generation of talent brings its own set of nuances. In this era, economies are experiencing dynamic change due to rapid technological advancement. The way people consume or gain access to information have evolved and recruiters need to adopt new contemporary recruitment practices which appeal to the best talent and stay ahead in a hypercompetitive environment. When trying to engage millennials, adapting to new technologies can be crucial since this generation has been raised in a fast-paced, instant-access and on-demand world.

Those that don’t employ modern HR and talent strategies often miss out on creating real value to the business.

What exactly are key areas that modern HR practitioners should focus on to successfully recruit talent and what are the benefits? Apart from increasing business agility, implementing best practices can help HR managers achieve more in a shorter timeframe, with less resources to transform the business for the future.

  1. Having a Careers Website

A central hub for managing your recruiting processes – and where you should begin if you don’t have one in place. A careers website may offer your company a competitive edge in recruiting the most-qualified candidates quickly, whilst gaining financial benefits from direct and opportunity cost reductions.

  • Give applicants anonymity and highlight your company culture. Potential candidates may still be employed when applying, so by ensuring your database management, workflow rules and processes are aligned, a candidate’s anonymity can be protected. Additionally, branding your company as a well-regarded employer of choice by highlighting mission and values, industry position and benefits can positively sway a candidates decision of applying for a position
  • Post open positions to Facebook. Good talent knows good talent and by encouraging employees and job seekers to refer positions on their Facebook page, this will increase exposure of open positions at a lower sourcing cost
  • Establish a memorable URL and link it to your home page. Sounds simple, but having a memorable URL is crucial to not only promote recruiting, but job seekers will not forget it when sourcing for open positions. Also, a direct link from your home page to the careers website offers easy navigation and drives visitor traffic
  • Enable job searches and focus on urgent jobs. A job search engine is a core component within a careers website as job seekers can find related positions quickly and efficiently. A list of urgent jobs alerts potential candidates that have appropriate skills to apply first, which helps meet high-priority recruitment goals.
  1. Smart Sourcing

When a new position is being filled for the first time, refilling an existing position or when employees switch jobs internally, talent acquisition costs are usually spent on sourcing in the form of recruiting agency fees and advertising costs. With smart sourcing technologies, businesses of any size can enjoy the same talent sourcing advantages as large companies by recruiting faster from a wider network of qualified candidates. You also have the opportunity to build stronger relationships with job seekers and earn higher returns on sourcing investment.

  • Automate job board processes and build a talent pool. Predictive ranking and optimization capabilities can get the most out of your job board investments. Recommend job boards with a high chance of attracting qualified talent and automatically post to these boards. You can also reduce dependency on third party recruiters by keeping a database of quality candidates and tapping into this valuable resource when there is an opening
  • Plug into social networks. As more people use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, go beyond job boards and share urgent job openings on these channels to expand your reach
  1. Smart Screening

The largest block of time in a hiring cycle are sorting and ranking candidates based on resumes. Smart screening pre-screens candidates with targeted questions, which offer a cost-effective way of having an in-house recruiting function without churning through limited financial and employee resources.

  • Narrow down and assess candidate skills. Knockout screening eliminates unqualified candidates by assessing data that merits further consideration through technology. Skills assessments can help identify top performers by analyzing needed skills, experience and fit, then matching it to talent profiles of external candidates. By answering a series of questions in different formats, companies can learn of a candidate’s skill set and if they approach a task in a suitable and effective manner
  • Cut time to hire and don’t forget to check a candidate’s background. After passing the knockout screening process and completing the skills assessments, the highest-scoring applicant moves to the next step of the hiring process – of which the only investment will be setting up the mandatory job requirements and questionnaire. Background checks on potential candidates are also advisable as an estimated 30 – 40% lie on their resumes
  1. Candidate Management

Candidate communication and management play a critical role in identifying and developing a sustaining long-term relationship with candidates and existing employees.

  • Let candidates create profiles for automated response management. The relationship with a candidate begins once they submit an online application. By creating a profile, candidates can expect a notification immediately once their application has been received and check on the status throughout the staffing process
  • Provide status updates and communicate with candidates. Keep candidates apprised of their status during the hiring process, and maintain communication by periodically sending messages to the candidate pool on an ad-hoc basic
  1. Compliance Management

Compliance is an integral to the recruiting, hiring and performance evaluation processes. It also involves documenting and archiving necessary data to maintain compliance with regulatory agencies or internal policies or procedures

  • Increase transparency. A recruiting solution ensures proper execution of notification and advertising of open positions which are usually a requirement for public sector agencies and educational organizations
  • Automate reporting and ensure online privacy. The Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) in Malaysia which was enacted last year stressed the importance for all locally based companies with an online presence to comply and safeguard the privacy of data stored online. To help comply with the PDPA, an online recruiting solution can automate reporting processes to ensure all information is confidential, whilst reducing costs.
  • Define basic qualifications and track expressions of interest. Ensure consistency by enforcing templates when posting positions by making basic qualifications specific, objective and measurable. Documenting and communicating the evaluation criteria and processes can establish the applicant pool, while highlighting a clear definition for expressions of interest and consideration is critical in identifying applicants
  • Track candidate status. Tracking the candidate becomes automatic through a workflow process. It is crucial to track steps, status and reasons a candidate is no longer considered for a position for compliance reporting
  • Ensure proper certifications and qualifications. Automated prescreening and background checks help determine if candidates meet basic qualifications outlined for the job
  • Safeguard against charges of bias. By retaining a record of each applicants assessment, smart screening technologies can safeguard employers by proving each applicant was asked the same set of questions
  1. Reporting and Analysis

In terms of reporting and analyzing recruiting efforts, the first step is to identify proper metrics to assess historical results and, understand the level of efficiency generated during the current sourcing and recruitment efforts.

  • It is aligned with business. To achieve business success, HR alignment with business goals should be a priority to measure and improve upon. Business targets such as directions set by the CEO and senior management must be synchronized with HR strategies, then translated into tactics that HR implements
  • It is actionable and predictive. A good metric must provide information that can be acted upon. The issue with data points is that they are usually lagging indicators by showing what happened in the past. Through the use of leading indicators – data that forecasts the direction actions should take in the future is what will provide true power for companies. Presenting leading indicators that can drive aligned action is where strategic HR is heading to
  • It is consistent. Consistencies in metrics are key for measurement. Cost per hire, for example is a popular HR metric and it is important to ensure data included in any metric is defined at the outset and remains consistent, otherwise the value of its comparison is useless
  • It is time trackable. A good metric is trackable over time and is not simply a snapshot of any activity at any one moment. While the frequency of reporting for a metric varies for different metrics, time to fill for example should be reported weekly. Metrics to address longer term evaluations such as hiring manager satisfaction and new hire performance can be tracked quarterly or annually
  • It is peer comparable. Apart from analyzing internal performance, a good metric should be able to compare external benchmarks amongst a peer group – may it be in another business unit, company or industry. A good peer comparison metric allows for additional analysis of benchmark performance.

Many organizations take recruiting to the next level by using results of performance reviews to improve recruiting efforts. By analyzing performance, it is easy to spot top performers and understand their characteristics –  years of relevant experience, skills or education. This can then be used as a benchmark when filling future open positions and developing screening questions. This enables more-qualified candidates to rise to the top and reduce time to hire.

Lastly, while human resources staff or budget may not be similar to larger companies for recruiting, Web-based solutions offer ease of use, increased efficiency and significantly lower costs. A solution such as Oracle Human Cloud Management enables HR professionals to automate recruitment and staffing activities for improved candidate quality, efficient hiring and strategic advantage.

Moon Won is the ASEAN Sales VP Applications at Oracle.