While being able to hire the right person for a job is crucial, running an efficient hiring process is just as important. This article explains how to improve your hiring process.
The longer it takes to fill a position, the more it costs. Aside from the expenses directly associated with advertising for the role and selecting the right candidate, you also have to reckon with the revenue your business would have generated with the right person on board, that you’re missing out on while the position is empty.
How do you make your hiring process faster and more efficient? In this article, let’s discuss six ways you can streamline the way you hire new employees. But first, we need to know how long your hiring process should take.
How long should your hiring process take?
Most companies follow a similar hiring process. It starts once the hiring manager meets with the human resource department and discusses their requirements. Next, the recruiter posts a job opening in hiring portals and receives applications.
After an initial review of the candidates’ CVs, those who pass the screening go through one or more interviews. If the position requires technical expertise, companies may require some technical skills testing before making a decision. Finally, the recruiter sends a job offer to the successful candidate.
The amount of time the talent acquisition process takes – known as time-to-fill – varies across companies and industries. For example, according to a report from Glassdoor Economic Research, government jobs take an average of 53.8 days to fill. It will also take you a substantial 40.8 days to hire a software developer for a startup.
On the other hand, restaurant jobs take an average of just 10.2 days. However, while restaurant staff hiring may be easier, retention is more challenging. Overall, it takes companies based in the United States an average of 23 days to hire a new employee.
Whatever your niche is, your goal should be to reduce the company’s average recruitment time without compromising hire quality, since there are costs associated with a long time-to-fill and with hiring the wrong person for the job. According to CareerBuilder, the cost of a bad hire is a hefty $15,000. On the other hand, Builtin claims that filling a position in 36 days costs $4,425.
This means that if you hire the right person in the shortest possible time, your company can save a lot of money.
6 tips for improving hiring process efficiency
The key to improving your hiring process is to look at individual stages and to determine what you can change in each. Here are six things you can do to speed up your recruitment process:
Use an ATS
Your talent acquisition process can benefit from technology. Using an applicant tracking system (ATS) can make candidates and their applications easier to monitor. An ATS can simplify the IT recruitment process by screening and ranking candidates using specific criteria, such as skills, experience, and training.
Since an ATS can automatically rank applicants based on skills and experience, you won’t have to manually sift through all those applications to determine who makes it to the next stage of the hiring process.
Aside from making the initial screening easier, an ATS will improve your hiring process by storing candidate information and track your communications with each person. Instead of manually searching through your email inbox for a candidate’s resume or interview notes, you can instead use the ATS to look for the data you need in moments. You can use another pre-screening tool post the ATS – interviews. Have a look at a few pre-screening interviews by Hireflix to know more.
Focus on your job description
Writing a detailed job description is possibly the most important part of the hiring process. But you need to think carefully about what you include. Before you list something as a requirement, ask yourself if it is truly necessary.
According to Forbes, a Hewlett Packard study found that women tend to apply for a post only when they meet 100% of the requirements in the job description. In contrast, most men felt they only needed to meet around 60% of the criteria to have a shot at the job.
This implies that adding unnecessary details in your job description will narrow your talent pool, potentially making you miss out on many good candidates and harming the diversity of your organisation.
When you write a job description, include only the must-haves for the position. Listing optional or “nice-to-have” skills as essential requirements will only turn away candidates who might otherwise be a very strong fit.
If you fail to attract enough quality applicants, you might end up having to extend your candidate search, spending more time and resources on recruitment and leaving the role empty for longer.
Maintain communication with candidates
To maximise the efficiency and improve your hiring process, you need to communicate with your candidates regularly. You’re most likely not the only one entertaining them as a possible hire, and many of your strongest candidates are probably getting interview invites or offers from other companies.
If they don’t hear from you weeks after an interview or assessment, they might just end up accepting other offers, which means you might need to do the candidate search all over again.
Even if you haven’t heard back from the hiring manager about interview results, you need to check in with your candidates once in a while throughout the process.
Keeping in touch will keep you at the top of their minds. You can use your ATS to keep track of your top candidates and ensure that they know you’re still considering hiring them.
Create an employee referral program
A job post by itself might not generate much attention, especially if your company isn’t very well-known. If people aren’t aware of your company, they probably don’t know that you’re hiring either.
You can spread the word about your job opening and speed up the hiring process by involving other people in your candidate search. The best people for this are your existing employees.
There are many reasons you should use employee referral programs to help you find the perfect candidate. First, company employees are likely to recommend someone who will fit into the company culture.
Your employees will recommend their friends for a job that would make them happy. When your new hires are an excellent cultural fit, they are engaged, productive, and likely to stay in the long run.
Employee referral programs make your employees happy, too. Not only can they get incentives (such as financial or other rewards) by referring people who are then hired, but referral programs also help them feel valued and trusted. Referring someone for a role allows them to make a tangible positive impact upon the company.
Pro tip: Before creating an employee referral program, you need to understand the types of incentives that will motivate your employees.
According to Talentlyft, almost 70% of companies reward employees with cash for referring qualified candidates, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only incentive you can give. You can also offer vouchers or physical gifts, extra days off, all-expense-paid trips, or company recognition and opportunities for advancement.
Promote your current employees
Sometimes, you don’t have to look far to fill a vacancy. The ideal person might be right in front of you! Consider promoting from within the company to hasten the hiring process. If you open up a vacancy to current employees, you won’t have to spend time posting on jobs boards and other channels.
All you need to do is send a company-wide email, and you can expect the applications from qualified candidates to roll in.
With internal recruitment, you’ll probably see fewer applicants. While a limited candidate pool isn’t usually good news for external hiring, fewer internal candidates means less time spent sifting through applications.
Since you are already familiar with the candidates, you can also reduce the time you spend on interviews – even less so if you encourage their managers to send their feedback as well.
Above all, when you hire from within, you also improve employee morale. Few people want to have the same job for years without opportunity to advance.
If you allow your current employees to grow with the company, you increase employee engagement, leading to lower employee attrition and longer tenure.
Build a talent pipeline
Even if your company doesn’t have any job openings, you can still keep looking for qualified candidates. Building a talent pipeline, especially for jobs with high attrition rates, means you don’t need to spend a lot of time searching for candidates once a position becomes available. It also means you can engage your prospects early in the recruitment process.
Here are the steps you need to follow to build a talent pipeline:
Identify your company’s long-term goals and needs
Be proactive and always adopt a “what if” mentality. Assess the developments in your company. For example, is it expanding in three years? Is management planning to transfer to a new location or expand into new territories? If so, what positions will you need to fill in those locations?
Once you’ve identified the positions you might need to fill, start sourcing your candidates. Take advantage of job search websites and social media. LinkedIn is an excellent source of candidates.
All you need to do is type a job-specific keyword and filter for relevant details such as geographical location, and you’ll get a pretty comprehensive list of potential candidates. Then just create a spreadsheet where you can export LinkedIn contacts of the candidates you found suitable for a certain position. That will come in handy for your future outreach campaigns.
Create a database
Add your candidates in a recruiting database to get back to when the need arises. If you don’t have an ATS, you can use a simple spreadsheet with your prospects’ contact details and relevant experience.
Engage candidates in your database
It’s never too early to contact the people on your list. At this point, you’re not asking them to submit their applications yet. Instead, introduce yourself and your company and ask them about their long-term goals and career plans.
Getting to know your prospective candidates and gaining their trust early on will give you the inside track to hiring them when you do have a suitable opening.
Assess your talent pool
Now that you know more about the people on your list, you can assess who would be a good fit in your company. If you find the quality lacking, you can go back to the drawing board and revisit your sourcing strategy.
Once you’ve filled your pipeline with high-quality candidates, you need to communicate with them regularly. Send them content about industry trends or talk to them about what’s going on in your company. When a position becomes available, you no longer have to introduce your company and what it does. They’ll be primed to apply straight away.
Building a pipeline means pouring a lot of time and effort into sourcing. But it’s worth it in the long run because you make your hiring process more efficient while pre-identifying candidates who might be a good fit for future positions.
Companies should strive to improve the efficiency of their hiring processes. The less time they spend on recruitment, the less money they shell out. And the faster they fill a vacant position, the sooner they will start earning revenue through the successful candidate.
Efficiency, however, should not be at the expense of the quality of the hire. You should aim to send out a job offer in the shortest time possible while ensuring that the successful candidate is the most qualified for the job.
You can use an ATS, write more concise and focused job descriptions, create an employee referral program, build a talent pipeline, keep in touch with candidates regularly, and hire internally to achieve your goals.
Now that you know some of the different ways you can make your talent acquisition process more efficient, the ball is in your court. In the process of streamlining your hiring process, you’ll not only succeed in reducing your time-to-fill, but also get the quality employees you need to get ahead of the competition.
About the Author
Tom Winter is the lead Tech Recruitment Advisor and Co-founder of Devskiller, a developer screening & online interview platform powered by RealLifeTesting.™ Devskiller has helped companies like ING, Accenture, PayPal, and Deloitte improve the quality and speed of their technical hiring.