Should you exclude line managers from recruitment?

A few weeks ago I wrote about what hiring managers really think about recruiters, but how would those views change if they were removed from the recruitment process entirely?

One company trialling such a scheme is Flight Centre, which recently slashed its time-to-fill metric after removing hiring managers from volume recruitment.

Our recruitment news publication Shortlist last week spoke with the global leader of Flight Centre's recruitment and training arm, Carole Cooper, who said prior to the changes it was taking an average of 40 days to fill in-store sales consultant positions.

Flight Centre was losing out on high-quality talent, because the best candidates apply for multiple jobs and get snapped up by faster-moving employers while others drag their feet.

"You'd also have the challenge of team leaders not knowing, or understanding, recruitment as an expert. And so, they may not make good decisions and we'd lose good people as a result of that," she said.

Since removing hiring managers from the process, Flight Centre has reduced its time-to-fill to 15 days - a dramatic reduction!

The company does, however, have its recruiters deeply immersed in the business side of its operations.

"[The recruiters] have weekly meetings with the area leaders, talk to team leaders and go to team leader meetings, so there's lots of communication happening. The recruitment team across the country are open to feedback and have very good relationships with all the leaders, and that's what makes it work," said Cooper.

(Shortlist subscribers can log in to read the story here, or our free trials give you access to our archive and email updates linking to the latest content.) 

GE halves recruiters' admin workload, removes reference checks 

Flight Centre is just one example in a string of big businesses simplifying their recruitment process. Another that springs to mind is finance, health and technology giant GE.

The simplification initiative is ongoing, but according to global recruitment operations leader David Bell, the company is already making better use of its recruitment resources.

"For example, if we said all background checks are going to be going out of a low-cost hub in Manila or [Kuala Lumpur] or somewhere like that, it meant that here in Australia I needed less recruiters... In Malaysia, I could get four people for the price of one here, so it really did save us a lot of money," he said.

One of the biggest changes is a reduction in the amount of time GE recruiters spend on admin tasks (down from 50% to 20%), which has made the company a more attractive employer for recruiters who don't want to spend all their time doing admin.

(If you're not a Shortlist subscriber you can sign up for a free trial to read the story here, which includes more info on GE's transformation.)

The company has also eliminated reference checks, after an analysis of 1,500 checks found it hadn't knocked back a single applicant as a result of a bad reference.

GE does, however, still undertake thorough background checks, including a criminal check, qualification check, and employee validation.

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