11 Ways to Speed Up Your Hiring Process

Hire Success
Hire Success

In a landscape of talent shortages and increased competition, hiring new employees can prove challenging. Top candidates are often swept off the market quickly, meaning businesses who fail to act fast are left to choose from a smaller, less-qualified applicant pool. And in addition to making you miss out on talented employees, a slow hiring process can create unnecessary expenses, straining your hiring budget.

By shortening your recruitment process, you’ll be able to maintain the interest of potential hires and keep a competitive edge over other employers. And speed doesn’t have to come at the expense of quality. Here are some ways you can reduce your time to hire while still finding the talent you need for a position.

1. Collect data on your current time to hire

In order to speed up your hiring process, you need to answer the question “How long does the recruitment process take at my business?” Start by getting an accurate measurement of your current time to hire.

Time to hire begins when a candidate first applies for a position and ends once they’ve formally accepted an offer. Measuring your time to hire involves the tracking of several metrics, such as how long it takes to fill a position, the time it takes to move candidates through the stages of the hiring process, and how your figures compare to industry standards.

Once you’ve established how long it takes for candidates to move through your pipeline, you’ll be able to pinpoint problematic areas and figure out where you can shave time off the process.

2. Create a uniform hiring process

If your hiring process lacks structure, you may get stuck reinventing the wheel every time you begin recruiting for a position. This can not only drag the process out but also make it costlier and less effective overall. Implementing a standardized hiring process can help you establish a framework that outlines what each step of the process looks like and how long each should take.

With this added structure and consistency, you’ll be able to eliminate the guesswork and get candidates through the pipeline more quickly and efficiently.

Hiring process flowchart

Creating a visualization of your hiring process can give you some much-needed perspective and make it easier for you to assess your overall employee recruiting timeline. Here’s a hiring process flowchart that can be adapted to your business’s needs.

hiring process flowchart

3. Determine exactly what you’re looking for in a specific role

It’s hard to fill a position quickly if you’re unable to pinpoint the type of candidate you need for the job. Taking some time upfront to figure out exactly what’s required to be successful in a given role will benefit you later in the hiring process. By setting clear parameters on your search, you’ll be able to tell whether a candidate meets the base qualifications for a position much earlier.

With the help of pre-employment testing, determining the qualities that are essential to a given position is simple. Begin by compiling test results from your employees and looking for trends in the data, especially what separates top performers from the rest. The dominant skills and traits that you uncover can then be used to inform your benchmark moving forward. Matching potential candidates against your benchmark can shorten your recruitment process and add confidence to your hiring decisions.

4. Write concise, inclusive ads that attract the right applicants

Given that 55% of candidates use postings to decide whether a company is right for them, the importance of writing high-quality advertisements can’t be understated. To start, it’s best to keep the information as accurate and concise as possible. But to reach the most talent, you should also make the ad inclusive so that quality applicants will feel welcome or supported no matter their identity. A lack of talent responding to your posting will make the hiring process longer than you want.

Just as importantly, though, you should also incorporate language that specifically attracts the right personalities for the position. Wording that would appeal to a risk-taking, fast-paced personality may not resonate with a detail-oriented perfectionist, and vice versa. Accurate, concise, inclusive, attractive — these are all qualities that will improve your talent pool and shorten the recruitment process.

5. Keep your applications simple

If your application process is lengthy or overly complex, you’ll likely deter qualified candidates from applying. And the statistics back that up: 60% of job seekers have quit in the middle of filling out online job applications because they were too long or confusing. The less applications you receive, the smaller your talent pool will be, in turn slowing your hiring process.

Adjusting your application process to be more straightforward and user-friendly is an effective way to attract more applicants for your positions. For example, by making your online job applications even 10% easier to complete, you stand to see a 2.3% increase in applications submitted by mobile users and a 1.5% increase by desktop users. To do this, you should avoid asking duplicate questions. And request only the information you need to make a sound decision about whether the applicant meets the base qualifications to move on in the hiring process.

6. Maintain a strong candidate pipeline

Regardless of whether you’re actively hiring, it’s wise to put some effort into developing a quality talent pipeline. Doing so will reduce the amount of time spent promoting your vacancies and waiting for qualified applications. You’ll be able to not only make your hiring process faster but also cut business costs by limiting hiring expenses.

Building up your pipeline doesn’t have to be a challenge. As an example, you could have candidates complete a skills test along with their application. Those who meet the required criteria outlined in your benchmark can be added to your pipeline. And if it turns out an applicant isn’t right for the role they applied for but has a good skill set, keeping them in your talent pool for other roles could speed up the hiring process when other job openings arise.

7. Utilize an applicant tracking system

One of the best ways to speed up a slow hiring process is to automate aspects of your hiring efforts with an applicant tracking system. An effective ATS can help you perform a number of tasks with ease, such as tracking your candidate’s application status, prompting applicants to take relevant pre-employment tests, viewing and sharing test results, and keeping your pipeline organized throughout the entire process. A good ATS removes significant administrative burden from you and your staff and helps you confidently and efficiently develop shortlists, especially if you’ve developed a detailed job analysis beforehand so you can compare candidates against it.

8. Focus only on top candidates

The time and money you invest into recruiting new employees for your business is valuable. It shouldn’t be spent on candidates who don’t meet the necessary requirements for a given position. With the right applicant tracking system, you can quickly separate qualified applicants from the unqualified and reduce your time to hire.

But to figure out who your top candidates are, you’ll want to assess more than just experience. You can use skills testing to determine a candidate's on-the-job capabilities, as well as personality testing to get a much better idea of whether they’d be a good fit in the role and for your company. A personality test can reveal, for example, whether an applicant is intuitive or analytical, whether they’re inflexible or adaptable, or how they react to stress.

Using your initial job analysis as your baseline, you can quickly compare an applicant’s test results against it and to other applicants’ scores to see who’s the best match. You can then confidently focus your attention only on the top performers, saving valuable time.

9. Source candidates from multiple places

Limiting your recruiting efforts to a single platform can reduce the amount of applications you receive for a position, slowing down your hiring process as a result. The more sourcing methods you use throughout the process, the more likely you are to find the right candidate quickly.

Some of the top channels that job seekers are using to look for new opportunities include job boards (60%), social professional networks (56%), and word of mouth (50%). But those aren’t the only options available to you. For example, you can also utilize employee referrals, internal hiring, and your own recruitment website to help fill open positions faster. And by tracking data — such as the applicant-to-interview ratio — for each channel, you’ll be able to see which ones are bringing you the most qualified candidates.

10. Improve candidate communication

Communication with candidates should be consistent, timely, and transparent. However, that’s not always the case: Roughly 63% of job seekers said they were dissatisfied with the communication they received — or didn’t receive — from most employers.

By improving your candidate communication, you’ll be able to keep candidates interested in the position and avoid damaging your company’s reputation among job seekers. Additionally, more effective communication can make the hiring process faster since candidates will be more likely to wait for a job offer. That means you won’t be set back by having to repeat previous steps in the hiring process and reconsider other final contenders.

Prioritize communication with the top candidates that have been surfaced by your applicant tracking system; reach out to them first.

11. Use your interview time more effectively

Interviewing too many candidates for a position can increase your recruiting expenses and prolong your hiring process. Furthermore, too many rounds of interviews can effectively drive qualified candidates away. By being selective and interviewing only top candidates, with a high level of efficiency, you’ll be able to limit the time and resources involved in the interviewing process, all while preventing bad hires.

To streamline interviewing without sacrificing quality, you’ll want to enter the situation prepared. One way to do this is by leveraging the information you gathered about candidates from pre-employment personality testing. Using what you’ve learned about candidates will allow you to construct more effective interview questions that your interviewee is much less likely to have heard before. That means you’ll avoid prepared answers and get a more authentic glimpse of who the candidate is and whether they’re right for your business. That leads to faster, more confident final hiring decisions.

Why is the hiring process so slow?

No one enjoys a slow hiring process. So, why do some companies take so long to hire? The reasons are many:

  • Loosely defined needs. If you haven’t firmly established the criteria that candidates need to meet, you’ll be less sure of making a hiring decision, and the process could be dragged out.
  • Poorly written job advertisements. Ads that are vague or undescriptive can push potential applicants away and prevent you from filling a position quickly.
  • Ineffective interview process. Whether you’re failing to get the information you need from candidates or are simply lacking a standardized procedure altogether, an inefficient interview process can prolong your time to hire.
  • Considering too many applicants. It’s good to consider your options before hiring for a position. But adding too many candidates to your shortlist can cost you valuable time and resources.
  • Unrealistic expectations. If you wait to extend an offer until you find a candidate that meets every single qualification and job requirement, you could end up waiting awhile, in turn dragging out the hiring process.
  • Lengthy decision-making process. Sometimes, it can be difficult making a final decision on a candidate. But if unnecessary procedures and red tape are what’s holding your decision back, you could end up losing the candidate’s interest.
  • Hiring process includes too many steps. Each step in your hiring process should help you to evaluate the quality of a candidate. Any unnecessary steps could feel burdensome for candidates and ultimately drive them away.

The cost of a slow hiring process

If you try to rush through the hiring process, you may end up overlooking key aspects of a candidate and making a bad hire. Similarly, moving too slowly in the hiring process can also have some negative consequences:

  • Losing out on top candidates
  • Increased recruitment expenses
  • Reduced revenue and productivity
  • Poor candidate experience
  • Potential damage to your business’s reputation

Make your hiring process faster with Hire Success®

When hiring is inefficient, qualified candidates can end up slipping through the cracks, leaving you struggling to fill your vacancies. Any steps you can take to speed up your hiring process and improve the overall candidate experience improves retention and preserves your bottom line.

Hire Success® can help you reduce your time to hire without sacrificing quality in the process. Easily establish benchmarks for any position, use pre-built or customizable pre-employment tests to quickly assess a candidate’s skill set, administer personality tests that can help you determine whether a candidate would be a good fit, and share results with your hiring team in a matter of seconds.

You’ll be able to keep your candidate pipeline organized and running smoothly with its lightweight, user-friendly applicant tracking system, bubbling up top talent and even offering suggestions for interview questions tailored to the candidate. Hire Success® gives you all the tools you need to make quicker, more confident hiring decisions, fill your staff with the best employees, and keep your business moving in the right direction.

Hire Success
Hire Success

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