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How to streamline your recruitment process to speed up hiring

18 Jun 12:00 by Mark Baker

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There is nothing more draining on a company’s resources than being slow to respond to its recruitment needs and failing to make swift and astute hiring decisions.

A sluggish recruitment process hinders profit margins, reputation and morale if a business is seen to be failing to attract and retain the brightest and best candidates and is in fact losing them to competitors.

A long vacancy can result in a skills shortage within a specific area of the business which puts extra pressure on current employees, in turn impacting on their own role and productivity. Equally, making rash decisions and bringing in the wrong type of people can have a detrimental effect on the company culture, which is why it pays to be thorough when evaluating candidates. 

In 2018, Workable published global time to hire benchmarks that revealed big differences in the time it takes to hire across continents, countries and industries. The UK’s average time to hire in the HR sector was 22 days, compared to 29 in Asia. The UK average for the IT market was 24, compared to 32 across Europe as a whole. Within the engineering sphere, the UK average stood at 27 days, compared to a global average of 29.

To counteract any recruitment issues arising, it is vital to have a streamlined framework in place that sets realistic timelines and does not compromise on the quality of your hires. This will keep your pipeline moving when you need it most.

Identify Your Needs

It is important to have a clear idea of what the new role entails and the competencies that go with it. This should enable you to quickly target the candidates best suited to the job.

Instead of focusing solely on the job description, take the time to define the mission of the role, the objectives it should achieve and the skills required to make that happen. This background work will give you a much clearer idea of what you are looking for in a new candidate.

Stay True to Your Values

Hiring someone for the sake of it and who is, ultimately, a bad fit for your business can be worse than simply not filling the vacancy at all. The best way to avoid a bad hire is to align the recruitment process with your company’s ethos and select people whose values mirror that of the business.

Build Talent Pipelines

Talent pipelines are groups of candidates that have been screened and engaged before a position opens. When a vacancy arises, you can immediately contact these candidates without having to wait for applications and conduct screening calls.

Interview Planning

Take the time to plan your interview structure well in advance and be creative, rather than asking the same overused questions. Think about whether you need to meet every candidate face-to-face or if a video interview would suffice.

Conduct Group Interviews

Having several candidates participate in one interview saves time and can provide multiple perspectives to the same answer that help you to reach the right decision more quickly.

In one-on-one interviews it is possible to miss certain cues that a candidate may not be the best person for the job. In addition, when an interviewer becomes comfortable with a candidate, they may subsequently fail to ask some of the planned questions. Group interviews can help to avoid making decisions based on emotion and ensure that rational hiring choices are made.

Cover All Bases

If you rush the recruitment process you may cut corners or leave out important steps, such as reference checks. This means that you will be more likely to make a wrong decision. Instead, listen closely for any concerns or red flags and in the post-interview debriefing, spend time talking about why the person may or may not be a good hire.

Internal Hiring

Think about whether any existing members of your team are qualified for the role on offer. It is these staff members that are most likely to share your company values, know the organisation inside out and hit the ground running from day one.

Provide Feedback

For every faster and smarter hire you make, review what went well and what could be improved upon. This will help you to understand which elements of the recruitment framework need improving and which are most effective.

Implementing these stages will ensure the following:

Higher Quality hires

Moving quickly quite simply means that you will attract and retain the best talent.

Better Candidate Experience

Being decisive with your hiring process will help to set you apart from your competitors and candidates will be more likely to feel goodwill towards your business. This is because you are not making applicants complete seemingly arbitrary interview stages and leaving them waiting when it comes to providing feedback. Responding rapidly to talent and making fast hiring decisions is something that candidates will always appreciate.

Higher Acceptance Rates

Reducing the time from interview to offer gives candidates less time to reconsider whether they want to join your company. It also gives them less time to interview elsewhere or listen to counter offers from current managers. This means there is less chance that they will get poached by someone else.

Happy Recruiters

A long hiring process requires a good helping of recruiter time with which to schedule interviews, take feedback and manage the process through to completion. Hiring quickly helps them to close deals, hit targets and stay happy and motivated.