Too often, businesses will attempt to speed up the hiring process, inadvertently cutting all-too crucial corners and landing themselves a bad hire.
We understand. Sometimes there’s a gap in the business that needs to be filled quickly. You simply don’t have the time to go through the entire ‘proper’ hiring process and so you see what fat you can trim from the system.
However, this inevitably causes problems when the person you decide to hire turns out not to be a good fit, or a crucial piece of information was missed in the interview stage that causes them to leave, sending you straight back to square 1. This ends up taking far more time than if you had done the process at the usual speed.
We’re not saying that there aren’t any ways to speed up the process and reduce the time to hire. What we’re saying is that these ways are not about simply cutting out stages in the process, but streamlining those stages so that they’re working as efficiently as possible.
Given the events of the Covid-19 pandemic, everyone is now aware that video can be used for a majority of communications. Video Interviews are easier to schedule, don’t require travel, and are shown to reduce certain cognitive biases. This means you’ll be able to hold far more interviews without sacrificing quality or depth. Also, most software will allow you to record the interview, making comparing and contrasting much easier.
You should always look internally before looking externally, since there will be far less vetting to do for someone that already works in the business. That said, you shouldn’t wait until you’re hiring to network with external talent. Too many businesses have an ‘on/off’ recruitment switch; continuing to build relationships in ‘off’ periods will mean that when you need to flick the switch and start hiring, you will already have an established pool of talent that you can pick from. Specialised recruiters are ideal for this, as they will come with their own talent pools, saving you the time of building your own.
Applicant Tracking Systems
Your ATS should not be used solely as a glorified Filofax. Instead, use it to rank your candidates and rate each one’s suitability. You can also keep all conversations and personal details there, as well as notes about particular candidates or interviews. Taking proper advantage of your ATS will streamline your process more than you may think, and give a clear view of your candidate pipeline. While the data may not evolve, the candidates will; someone who’s a ‘no’ today may end up saving you thousands in the future and weeks of worry.
It stands to reason that a process will run quicker when it is formulated and standardised. Decide on a rigid hiring process that treats every candidate exactly the same, right down to asking them the same questions. Once every candidate is being assessed by the same metrics and by the same people, it will be far easier to compare them against each other. Well-oiled businesses use candidate scoring cards, so they aren’t left scratching their heads on what they need to assess.
Have your offer package locked down before you begin the process, and ensure you ask for salary expectations early on. Make it clear that you will not accept negotiation, stating that most people will be joining for the opportunity over the salary. There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of a process just to find out that your ideal person only wanted an offer to get that dreaded counter offer or, worse still, that their expectations don’t match your commercials.
The key takeaway from all of these points is preparation. If you have a complete and solid recruitment strategy before commencing your search, you will find the process runs slicker and more smoothly. You will also avoid all of the pitfalls that come from a lack of planning, ensuring you’ll get the right hire on the first try.
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