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17 December-2019

The Need for Speed: How Employers Can Move Faster in the Hiring Process

How long does it take for your company to hire someone? From the day you post the job ad to the day someone starts? This process may take several weeks — and if so, that’s keeping you from successfully acquiring the market’s best talent. 

What’s the Rush? 

It continues to be a candidates’ market, with demand for available and appropriately-skilled service industry employees outstripping supply, particularly in software, technology, etc. Job seekers are getting a lot of attention and have more interviews lined up than 12 months ago or even six months ago. That means these folks aren’t going to wait for your company to call before making multiple, decisive interview moves. The majority of the people you’re interviewing are passive seekers, meaning they have a job. If your total opportunity turns out to be markedly better (if your porridge is “just right!”), they’ll come on over. But no worries to them if not. On to the next highly-interested suitor. 

So what is one sure-fire tactic to help those in the hiring game win in such a candidate-leaning marketplace? Speed. Yep, it’s that simple. Speed. We’re currently involved in interview processes for clients where candidates have multiple phone screens and on-sites lined up with other companies — in the same week. And not through us. By the next week, if our clients do not move quickly enough from evaluation to screen to an in-person meeting, those candidates may be gone. Some will have an offer after one interaction with a company; others could choose to pull out of our process because they are already further along with multiple other opportunities. While our client is stuck in committee evaluation mode (“do we really like this resume?”), their top option is often already scanning a signed offer back over to the company that moved the fastest.

Speed, folks. If your entire interview-to-offer recruiting process cannot be compressed into two weeks or less, you are going to watch the lion’s share of your ideal candidates slip away.  

How to Speed Up Hiring 

Accelerating the hiring process means streamlining your internal processes before you post a job ad or call a recruiter (we’d love to hear from you!). Here are the typical key factors we encounter and attempt to assist with: 

  • Require a 24-hour turnaround from a hiring manager on resume review, if that person’s approval is required before initial contact.
  • Instead of two phone interviews before an in-person meeting, conduct just one.
  • Make sure multiple company’s stakeholders can attend the main on-site or video interview. Or stack interviews — have the interviewee meet all the key people inside the same extended time window. Compress the process.
  • Move to the offer faster. At least to a verbal offer. People continue to interview after they meet with you the final time. Most will keep interviewing after verbally accepting your offer. Send your formal offer over within 24 hours of the final interview, and give NO MORE than 48 hours before expiration.  
  • Start any required background and reference checks no later than the moment you make a verbal offer. Express that the formal offer will come through once checks are completed, and all looks good. Do not let administrative processing time cost you a critical hire. We have watched recently as multiple clients have lost candidates to other offers — not because the jobs were better or paid more, but because those companies moved faster. During the week+ it might take your background check to process, your #1 pick is going to receive other offers. You can count on it.
  • Reply quickly to emails and phone calls from job seekers and recruiters. Speed to respond is crucial, and it’s also entirely within your ability to control. 
  • Keep candidates informed about their status along the way. Communicate in the gaps. Candidates will feel left in the dark if there are lengthy delays in hearing from you between various steps in the process. As such, they may just decide that you are not as interested in them as those companies that are communicating more quickly and more consistently.

Some might say that “speed kills.” Moving an interview process faster than average may feel uncomfortable for some hiring teams. “Are we rushing to judgment?” “What about having comparison candidates?” “We don’t want to move too fast and make the wrong hire.” Well, we’re here to tell you that speed WINS — at least in today’s race to hire. You might just have to get uncomfortable if you want to bring on the best people. 

If you’re struggling to find the best sales or marketing people, contact us for help. 

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