When Ben Franklin said, “Lost time is never found again,” he hadn’t had the pleasure of applying for jobs in 2018!
Lengthy hiring processes should be yesterday’s news. Employers have no time to waste with the current job market tighter than a college graduate’s necktie. Now is a good time for your company to take a second look at recruitment to consider whether you might be missing out on top talent because of an overzealous, overly digitized, and lengthy hiring process.
There are two key time traps that applicants must face. These include online employment screening applications and the hiring company’s interview process.
Don’t Annoy Your Candidates
At a recent campus leadership workshop on career planning, a top frustration pertained to online pre-screening applications. Attendees complained at the length of time necessary to complete them –several hours, in many cases – for a single job questionnaire. The reward for spending hours each week filling in blanks? In many cases, a “black hole of silence,” as busy hiring managers failed to update candidates.
Sure, online pre-screening tools might save time by helping HR identify initial candidates for each position. But in today’s labor market with fewer people to choose from, you could be missing out on real talent who decide to skip your onerous questionnaire and opt for your competitor’s one-click process.
Hurry up and Wait
The second time sink for both job seekers and hiring managers is the interview process itself.
After completing job applications, candidates may or may not get a response on their application. They may try to follow up on an initial interview, wait weeks to hear back before desperation leads them to take the first offer.
In the past, recruiters felt they could afford to take their time queuing up the candidates before running them through a gauntlet of interviewers. But that was before a May 3.8% unemployment rate and reports that the top candidates are snapped up within ten days. Despite these stats, employers aren’t necessarily streamlining their hiring activities. Glassdoor reports recruitment process trends averaging 23 days in 2015, up almost four days since 2009. In a June 1, 2016 article, SHRM cited 32 and 49 days for selected industries like IT, finance, and healthcare. If hiring managers don’t change tactics by reducing hiring inefficiencies, they will continue to regret the loss of talent to more nimble competitors.
Top Tips to Speed Up the Hiring Process
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to nimble up your hiring process so that top talent doesn’t slip through your fingers in this tight labor market. Using a recruiter like Partnership Employment for preliminary screening is one way you can streamline this process for both the candidate and the hiring manager.
Roy Maurer, writing for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM, June 2016) shares some other helpful tips from experts:
- Target and collaborate on job profiles. A good recruiter engages all interested parties and assists hiring managers and interviewers in creating out a hiring profile and job description before the search begins. Everyone should be clear on the job, its requirements, and the skills, abilities, and traits necessary for the ideal candidate to fill that role and fit into the culture. The best recruiters help hiring managers go beyond the job description and create a profile – or persona – of the best person for the job, distinguishing between “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.”
- Set a timeline with expectations. Maurer cites a common time-waster, which is that “resumes sit untouched in a hiring manager’s inbox.” Requiring the hiring team to commit to a timeline and service level will help speed up the process. For example, experts recommend using a calendar, with commitments to a timeline for resume review, interviews, and follow-up. Ideally, resumes should be reviewed within 48 hours, and rescheduling interviews should be kept to an absolute minimum. Set a target onboarding date.
- Review your hiring structure. If you think that your hiring process is out of control, take some time to review and restructure it. Maurer points out that too many interviewers, too many rounds of interviews, and unrealistic expectations of a “unicorn candidate,” can bring onboarding to a grinding halt.
Streamlining the process begins by evaluating your hiring efficiency and benchmarking for your jobs location, company size, and availability of talent in your area. Plan for your workforce and ensure that your hiring managers and recruiters are communicating on a regular basis.
So, stop wasting recruiter and candidate time and start reducing hold-ups in the hiring process. Begin by overhauling an overly aggressive and intrusive ATS online application designed to steer a star straight into the arms of your competitor. Internally, minimize excessive time-to-hire and lost productivity by clarifying hiring criteria and setting timing expectations. Work with your recruiter to ensure that only the best candidates end up in your interview pipeline.
Dr. Andrew Chamberlain. (June 18, 2015). Why is Hiring Taking Longer? New Insights from Glassdoor Data. Glassdoor. https://www.glassdoor.com/research/studies/time-to-hire-study/
Chirag Kulkarni. (May 26, 2018). 4 Things That Are Keeping You from Hiring the Best Talent. Entrepreneur. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/312403
Roy Maurer. (June 1, 2016). Why Hiring Is Taking So Long – and What HR Can Do About It. SHRM. https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/0616/pages/why-hiring-is-taking-so-long-and-what-hr-can-do-about-it.aspx
Dr. John Sullivan. (February 15, 2016). Top Candidates are Gone Within 10 Days…So Assign Each a ‘Hire-By-Date’. ERE. https://www.ere.net/top-candidates-are-gone-within-10-days-so-assign-each-a-hire-by-date/