What is a center of excellence (COE) and what can it bring to your recruiting effectiveness?
COEs are a group of functions organized within HR to put best practices in play to develop and support critical capabilities.
Building excellence means establishing goals and best practices that are built around experience, team effort, and consistency of performance. And when it comes to recruiting, a center of excellence combines the skills and experience of leaders throughout the organization to establish a successful and repeatable hiring process.
6 Best Practices for Building a Center of Excellence
If you’d like to build a recruiting COE for your organization, here’s how to do it:
1. Start at the End
A strategy to achieve excellence starts with the end in mind. You can’t achieve excellence if you can’t define it.
Developing a COE within your organization begins with value alignment among organizational leaders and your COE team members. What are your big-picture and long-term hiring goals? What are the values you want to uphold throughout your recruitment processes? Once these goals are established, you can begin to work backward to determine the steps that will get you there.
It’s ok to not have 100% clarity on how to achieve these goals – that will be worked out over time, if you have a strong team behind you.
2. Establish a Team & Align to Goals
Assemble a team of diverse, knowledgeable employees who embrace innovation within your organization. Building a center of excellence requires thinking outside of the corporate box, taking risks, and defining principles and strategies for best practices.
Your leadership team needs to be willing to align to your hiring goals by working together. If your hiring managers struggle with flexibility and change, they’ll need support and accountability from above. Successful recruiting comes down to the manager: you can have an amazing process and the best technology behind you but hiring effectiveness will break down at the manager level if there is no alignment or if bias gets in the way.
3. Eliminate Bias & Analysis Paralysis
To find the best talent, bias needs to be worked out of the equation. Managers must avoid the temptation of hiring people just like them as well as the habit of automatically rejecting candidates. By focusing on reasons to interview a candidate instead of reasons for rejecting them, you can dramatically improve your chances of success, saving time and money in the process. Candidates should only be rejected after they are interviewed.
To avoid analysis paralysis, hiring managers must recognize that of the three things over which they have control— quality, time and cost—they can only have two at any one point. They have to prioritize which is more important. For example, if you need someone quickly, you cannot expect the highest quality or the lowest cost. And, if quality expectations have to be reduced, it’s better to quickly let them go if things don’t work out – i.e., fail fast.
4. Develop DEI Statement & Practices
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are central to effective recruiting and can also help your organization reach new heights of innovation and success.
“Blind” hiring further reduces bias, helps ensure DEI best practices, and can be achieved by removing names, focusing on skillsets and experience, and being open to a variety of recruiting methods, like including video resumes.
5. Standardize Your Processes
Once you’ve improved your recruiting and hiring processes, it’s important to document them so they can be communicated to existing and future hiring managers, used to hold managers accountable, and refined over time. Consistency is crucial to creating a recruiting COE.
6. Commit to Continuous Improvement
Your COE must evolve alongside your organizational, cultural and economic environments. What is your employee retention overall and in each department? What can be further improved? What are new process steps and technology that should be considered?
Committing to continuous improvement means regular meetings with your COE team to evaluate the efficacy of your recruiting processes and brainstorm ways to build on its success.
Your Recruiting Center of Excellence Partner
Developing and managing a successful recruiting COE is not an easy undertaking: it takes time, and can include some missteps and stress. The right partner, however, can help you achieve a recruiting center of excellence faster and with less friction.
BlockForce Talent can partner with you to build a recruiting COE that improves and standardizes your processes, technology and reporting to achieve more successful hiring practices – and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
At the same time, we can also help you recruit high quality recruiters, train them in best practices, oversee and guide them, show you how to assess their effectiveness, and aid them in finding the temp, hourly and salaried talent you need.
Want to shrink your hiring costs while improving the quality – and quantity – of your candidates? Find the right partner. Speak to a BlockForce recruiting expert today to learn more about establishing your COE.