How to Increase Your Speed of Hire

In today’s job market, you run the very real risk of losing top talent to the competition unless you hire quickly and effectively. A prolonged hiring process is costly on many levels: for every day your company has an open position that meets a business-critical need, you’re seeing dollars disappear out the window.

Getting high-performing people on board and ready to work as efficiently as possible is key to your ongoing business success. Among the most significant benefits is that the time saved allows your HR department to focus on initiatives and activities to help retain good employees. Especially as the global economy continues to improve, your team can keep their eye on the prize: ensuring that A-level talent is engaged, satisfied and inclined to continue growing within your organization.

The Harsh Cost of a Slow Hire

According to one recent study, the top 10 percent of candidates are often gone from the marketplace within 10 days or less. Depending on the position, the recruiting loss from missing a single game-changing hire can amount to $1 million or more in the long run.

Unless you strike the right balance between quality and speed of hire, your employment brand image can suffer as well. A reputation as a slow decision maker will cause you to lose top prospects, who tend to be quick and accurate in making their own choices. Your laggard hiring process sends the message that business would proceed just as slowly once they were on board.

Steps to Success

Create an efficient process to ensure that your job offer gets out the door and is accepted within a minimal time frame, without skipping any key steps that might impede overall hiring quality.

  • Utilize your internal network for referrals. Notify your employees as soon as possible when a position becomes open. Begin by giving internal candidates a chance to apply. Encourage your current team members to be brand ambassadors, spreading the word to their own professional networks for possible new talent.
  • Be selective about who you interview. Use phone and other pre-screens to narrow the field before you choose candidates to bring in for personal meetings. Don’t schedule time-consuming sessions with 10 people if there are four or five contenders who really strike your interest.
  • Expedite offers. Candidates are more likely to accept offers that are made earlier on in your process. In other words, extending an offer ASAP is better than waiting. If an offer requires multiple approvals, make them happen simultaneously rather than serially.
  • Build a talent pipeline. Much of the time spent during your hiring process is the result of seeking out qualified candidates. Hold informational interviews with prospective candidates – both active and passive – in advance of job openings. In many cases, this eliminates the need for first-round HR screenings that can add weeks to your time frame.
  • Capitalize on technology. Use a quantifiable job analysis process to identify key knowledge, skills and competencies for jobs. Based on this analysis, implement pre-employment assessment tools such as work samples and personality tests. Then structure your interviews based on the results. Because candidates have been effectively filtered, your recruiters can concentrate on those who are best qualified, saving them significant time. Your entire system should be web-enabled and linked to key performance systems, which means it will get better and smarter as time goes on.

Help from the Pros

Consider bringing in a staffing and recruitment specialist to assist as you strategize, develop and implement your industry-leading hiring process. You’ll benefit from their administrative assistance, market intelligence, industry knowledge and deep candidate databases. To learn more, contact Employment Professionals Canada today.