March 25th, 2019 | Sterling

Five simple ‘wins’ to speed up your hiring process

In today’s competitive, fast-moving labour market, where the best candidates can get snapped up within a matter of days, you don’t want to risk losing out on top talent because your hiring process is slow or inefficient. Research by Glassdoor revealed that average hiring times have risen significantly in recent years, with the interview process taking 27.5 days in the UK, compared to 14 days in 2010. Meanwhile, a CareerBuilder study found that 66% of job seekers would wait less than two weeks to hear back from an employer before moving on to another opportunity.

Of course, you don’t want to be too hasty and risk a bad hire either – which will waste more time in the long term. So, here are a few tips on how to speed up your hiring process, without compromising on quality.

Write a great job ad and description

Having a well-written job ad and job description, which clearly outlines the requirements for the role, is a sure-fire way of ensuring you attract the right candidates – and filter out less relevant ones – which will ultimately lead to a faster recruiting process.

Job ads need to be written in a way that attracts the right candidates and compels them to apply for the position. You must also select the most relevant job boards to place the ad, to ensure you reach as many of the right candidates as possible. Also, make sure you include pertinent information such as job title, location, company name, salary, role and benefits. That may sound obvious, but it’s worrying how frequently these points are missed, which has the potential to waste the time of both the candidate and recruiter.

Job descriptions are your chance to consider exactly what person you need to fill the role and to set those standards and expectations. Get it right, and you can avoid a flood of unqualified applicants that may waste crucial time, while ensuring you attract the best, most qualified candidates. It’s therefore important that HR works with the hiring manager to create an accurate and clear job description that includes elements such as skills and experience required, and the key responsibilities of the role.

Communicate quickly and clearly

It can be very frustrating for candidates if communication during the recruitment process is intermittent, or worse, non-existent. If they don’t hear from you when they are expecting to, chances are they will continue their job search elsewhere, and you will lose them to your competitors. Also, any delays in communication will slow things down, so as soon as you have information to share, do so immediately.

Make sure communication is open and frequent, so they feel they are being kept in the loop throughout the process, in a timely manner. Let them know when you’ve received their application, when they can expect to hear back, how long the process will take, and so on. If you consistently communicate throughout the hiring process, then even if you’re moving a little slower than other organisations, you have a better chance of the candidate sticking with you, rather than moving on to your competitors.

Outsource your background screening programme

Conducting a background check on your applicants plays a crucial part in reducing the risk of making a bad hiring decision. However, screening can take a big chunk of time out of the hiring process. In fact, research conducted last year by Sterling found that the biggest challenge employers face when screening candidates is the time it takes to complete the process, with 67% reporting it as too long.

It could therefore be wise to outsource part or all of your screening to a reputable third party provider, who has both the expertise and technology to save valuable time by speeding up the screening process, and ultimately your time-to-hire.

Be picky with your candidates

When employers are desperate to find someone to fill a role, it can be tempting to invite lots of candidates to an interview, in the hope that you’ll have a larger pool from which to choose the best one. Yet this can waste valuable time as some may not be suitable for the role, and too many candidates will obviously lengthen the interviewing process for all involved.

Trust your instincts when looking through CVs, focus on crucial skills and cultural fit, be really selective about who you invite for an interview, and only choose the most qualified, suitable candidates. By restricting the selection process, your hiring process will be faster as you will be saving yourself potentially hours of unnecessary time on those who aren’t right for the role.

Eliminate unnecessary steps

Multiple interviews, presentations, tests, and questionnaires are an important part of making a good hiring decision, but they can also make the recruitment process so long-winded that a candidate may accept an offer elsewhere in the meantime.

The more steps you have in your hiring process, the longer the whole thing will take, so consider streamlining it by removing any unnecessary elements. Ask questions such as: Are there any steps in the process that slow things down too much? Could you change something about the process that will remove the need for certain steps? Is there a specific stage in the process when you typically lose candidates, and if so, how can you improve that?

Also, if you’ve found the right person for the job, don’t hang about – make an offer of employment as quickly as possible.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.