What Is RecOps And Why Does My Organization Need It?

December 19, 2022
Mikaella McInerney
What Is RecOps And Why Does My Organization Need It?

You don’t need to spend long in the recruiting space before you start hearing whispers about RecOps. A recruiting and HR-specific framework comparable to DevOps, RecOps offers a modern technique to make recruiting better.

Though that’s a simple concept, the way RecOps works is more complicated. If you’re struggling to understand it, no fear! In this article, we’ll break down exactly what RecOps is, the strategy behind it and how you can begin to implement RecOps in your organization today. Let’s get started!

What is RecOps?

RecOps is a framework that connects recruiting, operations and strategy to drive transformation and success in recruiting. It focuses particularly on improving the recruiting process and key recruiting metrics related to experience, speed, cost, quality and satisfaction.

It answers the key goal of recruitment—better candidates, acquired faster, at a reasonable cost—within a strategic framework that operates smoothly, efficiently and with a future-proof focus.

RecOps is also sometimes called Talent Ops or HR Ops. But it should not be confused with “recruiting operations”, even though that is broadly what it stands for and from where the name comes. While recruiting operations typically refer to everyday administrative tasks like scheduling interviews and running background checks, RecOps is a more modern and holistic practice which focuses on recruiting optimization and transformation.

Why does my organization need RecOps?

To fully understand the strategy, purpose and definition of RecOps as well as why it’s so significant for your own organization, we need to take a step back to look at recruitment as it stands today. 

“Recruitment is broken” is a common and frustrating statement in the industry. While there are many outstanding recruitment teams working around the world, and while there’s never been a better time for smart hiring technology, it’s also true that it can be difficult to stay ahead in the game. And recruitment needs to be a flawless and smooth operation, or it impacts badly on a whole ecosystem of people: the recruiting team itself, hiring managers, the rest of the organization, candidates and even candidates’ families. 

James Colino, Head of Talent Acquisition at Sheetz Inc. and author of the book RecOps is one of the leading experts in the field. He describes the current issues in recruitment by explaining, “As recruiting professionals we have a variety of tactics, tools, processes and programs that we use. Many of them are very useful. But as an industry we lack a unified practice that rolls up all of these proven techniques into an operational model.”

As Colino sees it, the lack of an operational model means that recruiters are constantly chasing after the latest shiny thing. In between all the heavy daily demands of recruiting, like scheduling and conducting interviews or posting job vacancies, recruiters have to keep up with the latest technology, respond to demands from the rest of the organization and try to implement process-saving technology. It means that recruitment tends to work on a day-by-day, meeting-by-meeting, project-by-project timeline, rather than functioning on a strategic and overarching level.

In contrast, RecOps centers a forward-leaning approach. It is guided by Colino’s two principles:

  1. Set the stage for transformation by creating a clear vision for your team.
  2. Create a system that drives ongoing transformation at a pace that your team and the organization can handle.

And unlike the patchwork, bandaid-style focus on solving recruiting problems that you see on a day-to-day basis in recruitment teams, RecOps is not short term or even a one-time change. Rather, it’s a long term commitment to optimizing and strategizing recruitment options. And it leads to recruiting excellence.

That’s why no matter how streamlined you might think your current recruitment process is, RecOps can ensure you reach new heights of efficiency and success. And it preserves that efficiency and success for every future hire to come!

How can I implement RecOps into my organization?

There are a few important tactics you can use to start implementing RecOps into your organization. Let’s look at them.

Prioritize data

Because ReOps is all about an efficient and successful framework, data is crucial. Using the RecOps framework, you can extract data from the hiring process to analyze sore spots, see what’s working and streamline your entire hiring funnel.

According to a report by Bersin in 2018, high performing talent acquisition functions are six times more likely to use data-driven decision making. At the same time, high performing talent acquisition functions themselves are three times more likely to supply top talent. That means no recruiting team can afford to skip prioritizing data-driven results and decisions.

Apply AI and automation - carefully

There’s simply too much administrative work in recruitment to handle it all on your own. Luckily, modern recruitment offers plenty of aspects where you can streamline or even delegate whole portions of your workload to automation and AI. 

However, RecOps urges us to use critical thinking as we work out when to install AI and automation. AI and automation for its own sake is not a good thing, and sometimes it falls short. For example, chatbots were once all the rage: but they have shown little concrete results and efficiency in the realm of recruitment. Rather, work with smart hiring technology to use automation when you need it - and people when you need them!

Strategy and speed are not the same thing

Be cautious as you begin to implement RecOps. Don’t shift overnight to a RecOps framework for your entire recruiting department, which will only cause chaos and confusion. The whole point of RecOps is to transform your entire recruitment process for the good, and you can only do this by considering data, taking it step by step, seeing what works and what doesn’t. Consider implementing RecOps to one process or goal and seeing how it plays out before you move to the next. For example, you could take a RecOps approach to candidate reference checks.

Stay in the know

RecOps is a new and growing field, so it’s a good idea to keep informed and track the latest developments and thinking. Do your research to ensure you understand the concept fully before you start applying it to your own work. You could start by reading James Colino’s book, RecOps. Or look out for future articles from HiPeople about making RecOps work for your organization!

Want to integrate RecOps today? HiPeople can help.

HiPeople’s smart hiring technology integrates effortlessly within a RecOps framework. Data-driven insights, automated processes and high quality testing ensure you hire the right candidate in an efficient and future-proof way. Book a demo today