In a high-velocity, competitive job market, the efficiency of your hiring process can be the difference between hiring your top candidate or finding out they’ve accepted an offer elsewhere. According to Bullhorn, three-in-four workers expect to be hired in four weeks or less.
Skilled and experienced candidates may receive multiple job offers, and if your hiring process is slow, you may be too late.
At the same time, there are many steps to an effective recruiting and hiring process. You want to ensure you’re hiring a qualified candidate who fits the position well.
So how do you accelerate the hiring process while making quality hiring choices? Let’s look at 10 effective strategies to speed up your hiring processes.
1. Write a clear and enticing job description
Let’s start with the very beginning of the process. Job seekers scan dozens of job postings a day. You might turn away potential quality candidates if your job description is too general, hard to read, or unclear. A better candidate pool makes the hiring process run a bit smoother.
A job posting isn’t just a job title or a list of duties. It is an opportunity to share a little about your company and present a clear outline of the job so qualified candidates apply. A well-written job description is easy to scan and includes information job seekers want to see, such as a salary range, included benefits, and required skills, experience, and qualifications.
2. Detail growth potential
Candidates are attracted to growth potential. If the position can lead to a promotion or offers development opportunities, reference that in your job description—and throughout the hiring process.
You and the job seeker are both looking to satisfy an immediate need. You need to fill a gap in your organization, and they want to take the next step in their career. However, a successful hire is one that goes beyond simply filling a gap. When you communicate upfront that there is growth potential within the role and company, you plant a seed in the applicant’s mind that this could be a place to continue their career growth.
3. Maintain a talent pipeline
A hiring manager’s job is never done. The moment all available positions are filled, another need arises, whether through expansion, acquisition, turnover, or retirement. A talent pipeline becomes an asset you can tap for qualified, pre-vetted candidates as you need them. This can really help accelerate your hiring process.
There are many strategies for building a talent pipeline. The key is consistent effort. Some strategies include:
- Mining social media for passive job seekers
- Identifying current employees for upskilling
- Attending job fairs
- Partnering with local universities
- Searching portfolio platforms for viable candidates
- Looking for out-of-the-box candidates where appropriate
Proactively building a pipeline puts you in a more resourceful recruiting position. You are creating a network of qualified applicants who know and trust you and are familiar with your organization.
4. Make the application process easy and accessible
Candidates are searching job boards and social media job postings on their mobile phones. Long or tedious application processes that are not mobile-friendly can turn candidates away and really decelerate the hiring process. Ask yourself some of these questions:
- How long does it take to complete your application?
- Does it require applicants to re-enter information already listed on their resumes?
- Does the application simplify the process by using autofill for address, phone number, and email address?
Minimize what you require in your application to what you really need to know. Once you receive applications, you can ask the candidates you interview for any additional information. You need to welcome them in the door first, though, and that starts with them completing the application!
A simple and easy application process puts more quality candidate choices in your hands.
5. Streamline your hiring process
You want your hiring process to be thorough but efficient. You have to be agile enough to make an offer on a strong and qualified candidate while they are interested and available. A cumbersome or overly complicated hiring process can prevent that. Review the steps of your hiring process. What can be automated or simplified? Where are the bottlenecks? At which point are you losing the most candidates?
Once you analyze your current process, you can accelerate your hiring processes by developing effective and efficient steps to get great candidates in the door.
6. Encourage employee referrals
Employee referrals tend to cost less than other hiring avenues. Employees hired through referral tend to stay longer, have greater job satisfaction, and be a better cultural match to the organization.
You can leverage your employees’ networks by offering an employee referral bonus. You can also request that employees share job postings on their social media networks.
7. Avoid a lengthy interview process
How many interviews does it take for your company to hire a typical candidate? If it’s more than two, you’re likely missing hiring opportunities. There are exceptions to this rule. Some executive and high-level positions warrant more interviews. However, in many cases, two are three maximum are best.
Multiple interviews can get cumbersome to schedule. The longer the process drags on, the more opportunity you’re creating for another company to come in and make the candidate an offer.
Here are some tips to accelerating the hiring process with a better interview plan:
- Get everyone involved on the same page. Before starting the interviews, share the details of the position and the critical skills required with everyone on the team. You want to ensure the candidate hears the same message from each interviewer.
- If several people want to be involved in the interview, have an initial interview with the hiring manager, then follow up with a group interview style with other key team members. The next interview can then include a next-level leader, but review if this really needs to happen.
- Schedule a short debrief after each interview, including everyone involved. This ensures all parties have the same information and facilitates steady progress.
- Reschedule other meetings to fit in an interview sooner rather than later. The sooner everyone can meeting, the more you speed up the hiring process.
- Ensure each interview has a clear purpose and is relevant to the position.
8. Consistently communicate with candidates
Communication is key across all parts of the workplace, and that includes the hiring process! Good communication with candidates help them understand the timeline of the interview process, whatever the next steps are, and what you’re generally expecting out of a good candidate..
Be sure to communicate with candidates regularly, even if there is no additional information to share. Staying in touch will keep the candidate engaged. A lack of communication can result in lost hiring opportunities.
When you do need something—a reference, a pre-employment test, etc.—from the candidate, make sure your instructions are clear and easy to follow. Never assume they are familiar with the process or know what to do. Offering more information’s always better than leaving them confused.
9. Make an attractive offer
Make a solid offer in line with industry standards and based on the information you’ve gathered from the candidate about the salary and benefits they expect. Be detailed and include all relevant information. And do so in a timely manner following the interview process!
10. Hire an experienced staffing agency
If your hiring needs are pulling your staff away from their core focus, or if you’re struggling to fill positions with top talent, a staffing agency can accelerate your hiring process.
Staffing agencies focus on all parts of the hiring process, from curating job descriptions to sourcing candidates to interviewing. A good one will find candidates for you. A great one will find the perfect candidate efficiently and fit to your needs.
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