A Guide for Streamlining Your Recruiting Process
by Ed Daugherty
May 1, 2019
Can you go from open role to new hire in just 10 days? According to Inc., that’s how long the best candidates stay on the market. Low unemployment rates in hot sectors like IT, healthcare, and others create extreme competition for talent that sees some employers race to make offers while others adhere to less efficient strategies. While 10 days may feel unrealistic, there are still distinct steps that can help with streamlining your recruiting process and making it more effective.
Limit Decision Makers
One of the biggest reasons why hiring processes stretch on so long is because there are too many cooks in the kitchen. Collaboration and teamwork are desired traits for any business, but they can slow down recruiting when too many people bring different ideas to the table. In reality, very few individuals should have their hand in the process, and yet 94% of hiring professionals say multiple people are involved in hiring.
Who truly needs to be involved? Someone from HR is understandable, plus the potential candidate’s immediate supervisor. A departmental manager could provide input as well, particularly toward the later stages, but even then, should serve in a less time-consuming advisory role. That leaves very few people as true decision makers in the process, which translates to increased confidence and authority to make key decisions quickly. Less talk and more action is the name of the game.
Nail Down Job Duties
Changing the scope of a job not only slows down the recruiting process, but it just doesn’t look good to candidates you’ve already spoken with. It’s imperative to determine job requirements early in the process and, importantly, adhere to them. While it’s a great time to perform a job analysis and rethink the open position, it’s necessary to be realistic. Seeking talent that perfectly matches every aspect of the role will take a long time and can be expensive in a tight labor market.
What skills are essential and truly required for the role versus those that are preferred? Many job descriptions break these down, but few hiring managers leverage them to streamline the process. Consider trainable candidates for more effective recruiting. If you’re open to a professional with 85% of the necessary experience, including all the most important skills, and if that person shows signs that they can be trained the rest of the way, then that individual is your quickest and most affordable option.
Creating proper job descriptions isn’t easy. Computer programmers, nurses, and even accountants often get pulled in different directions and are asked to help in different areas for different supervisors. Nonetheless, sticking to a core set of duties determined by a very small number of individuals is how to keep the right momentum in your recruiting process. Otherwise, you’re left turning away perfectly trainable candidates, burning bridges, and searching endlessly.
Pre-Approve Salary and Benefits
We all deal with the confines of budgets, and it’s understandable that in rare cases anticipated budgets have to change. However, a budget should never interfere with the speed of the recruiting process. Nothing is as wasteful as going through part of the hiring plan only to abandon it because the money simply isn’t there for a new employee. Set a budget and decide benefit offerings for roles before even considering candidates to avoid candidate-facing delays later in the process.
It begins with a simple question: how much can I afford to pay someone in this role? From there, consider what benefits would also be on the table in an offer. Long-term incentives can be ways to increase the dollar signs attached to a job without needing to increase the salary. Having a pre-approved salary range and array of benefits means not only can a hiring manager go from final interview to offer instantly, but they can respond to a candidate’s counteroffer quickly as well.
Accelerate the Interview Process
A slow interview process that lacks communication is a surefire way to push great candidates into the arms of your competitors. It may feel like several interviews and weeks of deliberation are important for vetting talent, especially for high-profile roles, but the luxury of time does not exist in today’s market. If you’ve already limited the number of decision makers, then accelerating the interview process is easier.
Get decision makers together to interview candidates at the same time. An initial HR screen is common, followed by a thorough combined interview. After that, any further interview should only be to tie up loose ends, ask any final questions, and extend an offer on the spot. To make that happen, all parties must review documents and resumes in advance and plan their questions to ensure no time is wasted once contact is made with the candidate. Along the way, make sure to regularly keep talent updated about their status in the process and when they can expect further information. Whether by phone, email, or text (a method expected to increase), make sure you’re reaching out to candidates the way they want to be updated.
Automation and Innovation
Introducing technology into your recruiting process is a fine line: too much automation comes off as impersonal, while not enough is inefficient. Examine your hiring process and use technology to minimize time-consuming administrative tasks. This will free up recruiters to spend more time building relationships than working in excel files. After all, a Dice survey of hundreds of recruiters found that 72% believe a lack of automation has created a slow recruiting process, while 60% felt they lost at least five hours per week to manually completing tasks that could be automated.
Take care of the low-hanging fruit first by looking at your applicant tracking system. While they vary from simple to robust, you want to be utilizing one that can keep track of detailed candidate information like: Which recruiter called a candidate, and when? What was the outcome of that communication? When does a follow-up need to be scheduled? This information is easier to work with in an ATS primed for automating the organization aspect of recruiting.
Of course, the sky is the limit when it comes to recruiting technology. When considering an ATS, resume-scanning programs, or even video interviewing tools, the key is to find what works well for your organization and candidates. While artificial intelligence is leading some to develop robot-led interviews, 76% of recruiters believe interviewing can never be automated. It’s critical not to get wrapped up in the promise of new innovation, but to utilize the technology that streamlines your process without removing the human element.
Streamlining Your Recruiting Process
A lot goes into recruiting and hiring. Do you institute an employee referral policy to obtain pre-screened leads? Do you overhaul your onboarding and initial training programs, which, after all, are extensions of the candidate experience? With so much to consider in addition to all of the above, it’s necessary to remember that candidates are vetting your organization along the way. An inefficient recruiting process implies a disjointed, unorganized company, while a streamlined process represents a professional and decisive company. How do you want candidates to see you?
When there just isn’t time to overhaul your recruiting process, IntellaPro can deliver the right talent to your door.