5 Ways to Expedite the Hiring Process

Five people sitting around a wooden conference table

Jobvite - 5 Ways to Expedite the Hiring ProcessHow long does it take your company to hire a new employee? More importantly, how long are new employees likely to stay aboard?

With today’s unemployment rates skirting an all-time low, and employees demanding more fulfilling work lives, finding the balance between speed and quality of hire presents quite the challenge. But it can be even more difficult when job candidates face a long-winded hiring process. In fact, it can be downright frustrating.

Today, hiring a new employee takes an average of 23 days, up from 13 days just a few years ago. And while there are many reasons employers don’t want to rush through the hiring process—e.g. they’ve fallen victim to the Perfect Fit Syndrome—moving at a snail’s pace runs the risk of losing great candidates along the way.

On the other hand, hiring an applicant too fast may result in an employee that truly isn’t a good fit for your company. And as Anya Beadry, director at ConvertiCulture points out, there is no refund policy if you wind up with a bad hire.

I am against shortcuts—rather we focus on investing in the hiring process, budgeting for it, and ensuring we’re hiring the right candidate. Companies who ‘expedite’ the process are often losing the same person within 6 months and posting for the position again, costing time, money, frustration and added stress to employees who have to step up and do the job until it’s filled again.

When you’re in need of top talent, the last thing your company wants to convey is a poor candidate experience, or to have to fire someone later on down the line. We talked to human resources experts to see how they streamline the hiring process—and why a little preparation goes a long way in recruiting and retaining employees.

Modernize Your Hiring Process

It’s no secret that the world of recruiting has changed. Just one problem: companies aren’t acting like it. Implementing a modern talent acquisition strategy is the only route to go, says Beadry.

Companies are hiring like we’re still in the 80s. Everything has changed; if companies don’t embrace this, they will continue to lose talent to companies that are. The answer is to change your hiring process to make it current and innovative.

Beadry suggests highlighting your company’s culture through social media, advertisements and open houses, in an effort to engage candidates in the business.

Other methods such as recruiting automation, virtual interviewing, and job portals that inform candidates about the position—but also allow them to opt out of the process—can also speed hiring and get you closer to the right candidate.

Says AJ Saleem, academic director at Suprex Tutors Houston:

What I have started doing for new employees is asking them to do a video recorded pre-interview. I send them a group of questions and ask them to record an 8-minute video response. This allows me to view these interviews in one session, rather than doing a ton of small individual sessions.

Brad Stultz, a human resources coordinator at Totally Promotional, says the company turns to technology to expedite hiring:

Totally Promotional hired over 100 new employees during its peak season, last year. To accomplish this, we created a series of email responses that allowed us to quickly schedule, respond to and engage applicants in a timely manner. We also created a process for hiring that allows us to interview, screen and onboard an employee within a 2-3 day timeframe.

By keeping the timeline succinct, the company was able to process applicants and new hires en masse with ease.

Prioritize the Pre-Screening Process

One of the most effective ways to streamline hiring is to get to know candidates before they move through the hiring pipeline. An easy way to do this is through employee referrals, says Gene Caballero, co-founder of GreenPal.

Referrals from your ideal employees will allow you to vet the work history, work ethic, and cultural fit a lot faster than your standard off the street hire. Referrals in our organization tended to stay with the company longer than 18 months, 70% of the time. This hiring practice is best for any long term hires, or seasonal ones.

While recruiters should still take the time to research candidates on their own (especially in a passive candidate situation), Greta Sculz, president and CEO at Schulz Business, says they should also set aside time to pre-qualify a candidate.

After you identify a few candidates, you must pre-screen. Don’t have everyone come in! This should be done on the phone and should take no more than 10 minutes. What you are looking to see the style of the representative, their ability to ask questions, have some general knowledge and how they use that knowledge, and to see the confidence they show in the conversation. Most importantly, what do they know about your company?

Once a candidate has been pre-qualified and meets your internal criteria, the next step is to administer an assessment. This gives human resource managers a non-subjective look at their candidate. Anything else should be revealed in an interview, Schulz says.

With Interviews, Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Juli Smith, president at The Smith Consulting Group, has seen interview faux pas on both ends of the spectrum. She once had a client who was so intent on filling a job position that they prepared an offer and presented it to the candidate at the end of his first interview.

A separate client waited more than three weeks to respond to resume with an interview request. In both cases, the candidate’s interest fizzled and the companies were left empty-handed.

The interviews need to be kept at a good, steady pace; move too quickly and you’ll scare off the good candidates. [The candidate] turned the position down because he got the sense that they weren’t truly interested in him, as much as they were interested in putting a behind in the seat.

Smith compares the interview process to dating.

In today’s job market and with the unemployment rate at a 10 year low, most candidates I place are passive, meaning they are not actively looking so it’s even more important for companies to romance and sell the candidates on the value proposition of their organization.

When you’re looking to fill a new position, don’t view it as simply filling a void. With the right amount of research, modern recruiting tools, and a streamlined approach to hiring, you might just land your next star employee.