To create and maintain a steady stream of quality talent in a recruitment landscape that is constantly in a state of flux can be an enormous challenge. In-house hiring teams often find it difficult to cope with the dynamic and evolving hiring demands. They are not only left in the lurch when trying to bring together an in-house panel of experts to interview niche talent but also end up facing several obstacles while trying to engage industry experts when they need a second opinion on candidates.
Besides, organisations that need to hire in high volumes within short timelines tend to experience logistical problems and inordinate delays. With the mounting average cost per hire and average days to fill a position added to the mix, organisations are increasingly opting to outsource interviews to enhance the quality of hire, reduce the time to hire and minimise costs substantially.
Interview outsourcing involves a partnership between an organisation and an interview outsourcing partner, wherein the latter deploys a dedicated panel of industry experts to interview candidates, as per the specifications given by the former, to identify top-notch talent. Interview outsourcing is a subset of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO). In RPO, the service provider undertakes the responsibility of executing all the functions in the recruitment cycle on behalf of an organisation, thereby fulfilling talent acquisition and hiring needs either completely or partially. While RPO has been widely adopted, interview outsourcing is an emerging trend.
The brass tacks of interview outsourcing
Let us first explore the steps involved in engaging an interview outsourcing provider.
Assess your requirements
Auditing and assessing your specific requirements ensure that you secure buy-in from all the relevant stakeholders on the need to partner with an interview outsourcing provider. Doing so also gives the interview outsourcing provider a clear picture of the goals that your organisation is aiming to achieve with interview outsourcing. Your goals may include scaling up your teams rapidly, gaining speed and flexibility in the interview process, improving the quality of candidates, ensuring a cost-effective and standardised interview process and introducing interview technology to enhance the interview process for more accurate talent acquisition results.
Choose the right interview outsourcing partner
The difference between a good interview outsourcing partner and a great one is their focus on consistent delivery of interview excellence by employing both a highly qualified and competent panel of experts and leading-edge interview technology. In addition, the right interview outsourcing partner will make efforts to precisely understand your interview requirements, imbibe and honour your organisational culture and offer a customised and holistic strategy to ensure that the best candidates are selected during the interview process. They will also ensure timely delivery of a sustained stream of candidates that meet your specifications, at minimum cost and without any hassle.
Select the best-suited interview panel
Your interview outsourcing partner will present you with the portfolios of relevant and highly skilled individuals from their large pool of industry experts, hand-picked after in-depth analyses, to meet your specific requirements. You can select the right set of qualified experts to constitute interview panels for various domains and departments within your organisation. These interview experts will possess the skills, mindset and experience to accurately identify top talent for your organisation. Further, your interview outsourcing partner will provide the industry experts with interview skills training from time to time and update them on the latest interviewing tools, techniques and technologies for superior results. Be it technical interviews or non-technical ones, you can choose the right set of vetted and verified experts to interview candidates for the various job descriptions for which your organisation wishes to hire candidates. What’s more, virtual benches can also be set up to facilitate remote interviews.
Opt for an apt interview mode
interview outsourcing providers offer several interview modes that you can choose from. Some of these interview formats include traditional face-to-face interviews, panel interviews, group interviews and video interviews. You can also choose between synchronous or live video interviews and asynchronous or pre-recorded video interviews. Apart from interviews, technical or coding assessments and functional assessments can also be outsourced. Besides, up-to-date and tech-first interview outsourcing partners will offer interview services on mobile interview platforms for added ease of use, scalability and flexibility.
The mechanics of a winning partnership in interview outsourcing
Now, let us delve into the services provided by your interview outsourcing provider after being apprised of your specific requirements and preferences.
Analyse your requirements and challenges
At the start of your interview outsourcing engagement, your interview outsourcing partner will meticulously analyse your requirements and dissect the various talent acquisition challenges faced by your organisation. It will also identify opportunities and the scope for improvement in hiring quality talent. It will work closely with your talent acquisition team and hiring managers to learn your organisation’s long-term hiring goals and strategy. It will absorb your company culture and study your target market, competitors and industry. Besides, it will conduct a thorough analysis of the job descriptions and selection criteria provided by you. It will also share relevant information with your chosen panel of experts for their perusal.
Design a customised interview programme
Your interview outsourcing partner will use the details provided by you, the insights gained from analysing your inputs and the inferences drawn from conducting additional research to formulate a highly customised interview strategy and framework. It will create a made-to-measure matrix of experts, tools and technologies to ensure the selection of quality talent. It will shoulder the entire responsibility of managing scheduling and logistics. It will not only resolve common challenges faced by candidates and interviewers but also employ strategies to tackle obstacles unique to your organisation. The harmonious blend of consultation, partnership and efficient execution, coupled with a tailor-made approach towards interview excellence, is what sets apart an experienced interview outsourcing partner from a staffing agency.
Communicate with candidates
One of the main reasons why candidates have a poor interview experience is the lack of communication and engagement by hiring teams. Your interview outsourcing partner will accept the responsibility to regularly communicate with candidates and proactively engage with them on your behalf. It will provide candidates with guidance at every stage of the interview process, keep them informed on the next steps, have regular conversations with them, answer their questions, provide transparent feedback and address any problems that they may experience. It will also tactfully handle candidates who do not clear the interview process such that they hold your organisation in high regard. Further, your interview outsourcing partner will be skilled and experienced in treating all candidates with respect and consideration, thereby enhancing your employer brand.
Implement interview technology solutions
The adoption of new and innovative technologies in the recruitment and interview space has been rising in recent years. Today, interview outsourcing providers have the capability to incorporate AI technology, machine learning, data analytics, predictive analysis and more into the interview process. Now, you can instruct your interview outsourcing partner to deploy and implement any combination of these tools and technologies to simplify, streamline and optimise the interview process while simultaneously reducing the cost to hire and time to hire. What’s more, leading interview outsourcing providers deploy tools and technologies, developed keeping interviews and assessments in mind, such as AI-based tools for identity verification, which drastically reduce instances of impersonation. They also employ tech-assisted live human proctoring and AI-powered proctoring technology to detect and deter fraudulent behavior and suspicious activity.
The industry experts chosen by you to conduct interviews will be well-versed in the best practices and skills for interviewing. The interviews will be conducted professionally, transparently and in the format of your choosing. The interviewers will prepare the interview questions in advance, listen to the candidates intentionally and actively, take exhaustive notes for future reference, give candidates sufficient time to ask questions, provide constructive feedback and give them information on the next steps after the interview. Further, the interviewers will maintain the highest standard of professionalism and embody your company culture to provide all the candidates with an exceptional interview experience.
Filter suitable candidates without bias
After the interviews, the interviewers will take additional notes to record their final observations. Then, they will review each candidate’s technical or functional assessment, if any. In some cases, interviewers may also conduct follow-up interviews. While screening candidates for niche skills, the interviewers will be trained to avoid conscious and unconscious biases such as stereotyping bias, generalisation bias, gender bias, racial bias, recency bias and more. Besides, the use of AI technology, automation and data analytics will assist interviewers in making objective and balanced decisions while filtering candidates for your organisation. You can rest assured that the outcome of the interview process will be a diverse selection of top-notch candidates that personify your company culture.
Provide a detailed report to your organisation
After filtering suitable candidates, your interview outsourcing partner will collaborate with the interviewers to create and share a detailed and data-driven report with your organisation. This report will include details about candidates such as communication skills, overall behavior, technical knowledge, previous experience, potential for growth and forecasts on employee retention in the long run. The remarks by the interviewer will also include any observations that stood out during the interview and which may have a bearing on candidate selection. Thus, these customised and comprehensive reports will enable you to efficiently and effectively select the best and brightest candidates for your organisation.
The global RPO market, which includes interview outsourcing, was valued at $6.32 billion in 2020. It is estimated to expand to $14.5 billion by 2026 and grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.7% during the forecast period. Today, organisations are aware of the ground reality where a large pool of talented professionals remains untapped due to constraints of time, costs and lack of expertise. Hence, in the near future, we can expect to see a steady rise in the number of organisations partnering with interview outsourcing providers to optimise and streamline interviews for smooth and timely acquisition of superior quality talent.
The interview outsourcing vertical at HirePro can speed up the processing of your talent pipeline like never before. Our interview services help scale your teams with agility and ensure the selection of the best candidates without interviewer bias and at a minimal logistical cost. As your partner, HirePro takes up end-to-end responsibility to schedule, coordinate and conduct interviews on your behalf in a seamless manner. HirePro’s data-driven reports, customised feedback and other value-added services make candidate selection a smooth and hassle-free process. Find out how HirePro can help you clinch top-notch talent today!