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The ROI of Talent Infrastructure

Talent Infrastructure is the foundation for long-term strategic hiring, but knowing how to "invest" in it is easier said than done. Here are the actions your team can take to invest in your infrastructure and reap the benefits.

What is Talent Infrastructure 

Talent Infrastructure is a toolbox of guidelines, resources, best practices, workflows, templates, and systems. For example, it could be your ATS, case libraries, screening/interview templates, salary benchmarking, and recruitment data.

Not only does a good recruitment infrastructure give your recruiters all the tools they need to perform their job responsibilities from A-Z, but it significantly impacts the hiring process's efficiency and quality. 

At Amby, we have our infrastructure in place and ensure that we set our clients up with solid infrastructure so that their hiring teams are geared for success even after we are gone.

Let's take a closer look into how investing in infrastructure such as tools & systems, talent attraction, RecOps, and compensation infrastructure will give your team peace of mind and can reap financial gains in the long run.

How to Invest in Infrastructure

Getting talent infrastructure up and running is an investment - which means it requires some startup time and effort that will be repaid over time (with interest).

But what does it mean to "invest" in infrastructure in practice? Here are a few examples: 

  • Investing effort into documentation (process flow, communication guidelines, feedback principles, and interview guides)
  • Taking the time to review and test various ATSs
  • Building workflows to review and adjust behavior based on candidate data
  • Developing recurring training programs for hiring managers

All of these initiatives require one thing: upfront time and effort. That means putting some other projects aside and carving out time here and there to clean up documentation, get your systems right, and get everyone on your team rallied behind a common way of working.

Keep in mind that the benefits gained from that investment aren't instant. You won't notice an x% faster time-to-hire or an x% increase in candidate satisfaction overnight. In fact, it might take weeks or months before your recruitment process feels like a well-oiled machine.

However, the good news is that deciding to invest in infrastructure is the gift that keeps on giving. Because your initial investment won't just save you time once, it will save your team time, effort, and confusion across dozens, or even hundreds, of recruitment processes. Even small efficiencies like answering five fewer questions a day will save your team hours, or even days, over a year.

The Components of Talent Infrastructure

Now let's look at concrete ways you can start building up your infrastructure pack.

For starters, by investing in top-class tools and systems like a solid ATS, you can get detailed and updated information about your candidates at your fingertips. In fact, 94% of companies say that having an ATS has significantly improved the efficiency of the hiring process.

Additionally, invest your time in creating talent attraction documentation, like building outsourcing strategies, standardized outlines of job descriptions, and best practices for job ads. This will ensure that these resources are readily available and ready to be used when you need them so that you don't waste time when it comes to starting a new role, ultimately freeing up time now and later in the process. That's not to say you should copy and paste job descriptions and cases. It just means you follow cohesive layouts and messaging across your candidate-facing material. Additionally, it will ensure that you are attracting the best, which may, in the end, impact not only your cost and time-to-hire metrics but also your quality of hire metric.

That's not to say you should copy and paste job descriptions and cases. It just means you follow cohesive layouts and messaging across your candidate-facing material.

In addition to candidate-facing material, internal documents such as interview guides and case libraries are equally important. Having a bank of interview guides available mitigates the need to scramble for last-minute questions, safeguards the candidates against bias, and reduces chaos for hiring managers - all of which can lead to candidates dropping out of the process. In fact, 68% of potential candidates have said the interview experience impacts their decision to join the company. This will ultimately affect metrics like overall candidate experience and time to hire.

Aside from interview guides, investing in a case library makes it easy to turn out meaningful cases repeatedly, reducing time spent between interviews and ensuring alignment among the evaluation team.

When it comes to the final steps of the recruitment process, one topic rules above them all: compensation and benefits. Piloting projects to track salary data, find compensation benchmarks, and collect feedback on your setup from candidates and current employees can help you keep a pulse on how competitive your compensation structure is.

Additionally, investing in perks and benefits documentation will ensure that you can answer common questions from candidates and that you are attracting as many candidates as possible, as everyone wants to know "what is in it for me." Having your perks and benefits documented for internal use is a great place to start, but ideally, this information is publicly available to candidates. Being transparent about your compensation and benefits policies builds trust and rapport with candidates right off the bat. It also alleviates questions or concerns that may arise throughout the recruitment process.

Using Infrastructure to Impact KPIs

The point here is that by investing in your recruitment infrastructure, it will have an impact on key metrics (such as the ones below). And if you can positively impact these metrics, then you will see a significant improvement in the efficiency and quality of your hiring process, and thus, the overall return of investing in it should be super clear.

  • Time to hire
  • Cost per hire
  • Quality of hire metric.
  • Quality of applicant
  • Candidate experience

A good way to measure impact is to start by measuring the "baseline" of these metrics before you start building up your infrastructure. Then after a quarter, half year, or year, compare these metrics again to see the impact. Of course, it can be difficult to attribute all improvements to infrastructure directly, but it will at least serve as a proxy for you and your team. 

We hope this has provided a fresh perspective on the importance of investing in your infrastructure and provided some insight into how you can show the ROI when you do so. Let us know what you think!

Author profile Sally Tarr

Holds a Masters in Industrial Psychology and is currently a Talent Acquisition Consultant at Amby. Writes on culture, employee experience and talent strategies.