The hiring process can be long. The drawn-out process can be irritating to everyone involved. There are good reasons to take time during the hiring process, such as adequately comparing candidates.
But if the hiring process takes too long, candidates might move on to other offers. Top Echelon’s 2018 State of the Recruiting Industry report asked recruiters, “What is the most common reason your candidates give for rejecting client job offers?” To which, 22.4% of respondents answered, “They took too long to make an offer.”
Clearly, it’s necessary to shorten the hiring process timeline to keep candidates interested.
Tips for shortening the hiring process timeline
Below are ways you, as the recruiter, can speed up the hiring process.
Be more selective about candidates
Try to be more selective about which candidates you interview and send on to your client. If you’re choosier, you save yourself time during the initial vetting and interviewing stages. Instead of interviewing 25 OK candidates, you might choose to interview 10 exceptional candidates.
When you pass candidates on to your client, only send the most qualified candidates. If your client doesn’t have to interview questionable candidates, then the process goes faster for everyone. Candidates won’t have to wait as long to hear a decision.
By simply narrowing the starting candidates, you can save yourself and your client hours of unnecessary work. And, you might be able to cut the hiring process down by weeks.
Cut out unnecessary steps
Take a close look at your recruiting process. Find out if any bottlenecks or tasks take a long time. When you find these areas, make a recruitment process improvement plan to clean them up.
Eliminate any unnecessary hiring process steps. For example, if you have candidates fill out a seven-page questionnaire that takes candidates an average of five days to return, you might evaluate if all the questions on the form are necessary.
You can speed up some parts of the hiring process by using technology.
For example, instead of waiting for a candidate to fly in for an interview, you might conduct a video interview. This allows you to complete the interview faster. And if the candidate remains on the list after that interview, you can then fly the candidate in for an in-person interview.
You might also use automations to speed up the process. For example, if a candidate completes a specific step of the hiring process, an email might be triggered and sent to the candidate telling them what the next step is. This lets you save time on communications, letting you spend more time on other parts of the hiring process.
Eliminate software programs
If you use several software programs at your recruiting firm, it might be time to consolidate. By using software that contains more features, you don’t have to constantly log in and out of the programs. And, you don’t have to waste time tracking down and transferring information between the programs.
For example, you might use a recruiting software that includes an applicant tracking system, job posting function, and email marketing service. Because the software includes all these things, you don’t have to switch between individual programs to complete your work.
Check references sooner
You might be able to speed up the hiring process by checking candidate references sooner. Often, references aren’t checked until the very end of the hiring process, near an offer. But, there’s no reason you have to wait that long.
When you ask candidates for their references, it probably takes them several days to round up information and get it back to you. But if you ask for reference information sooner, you can start calling sooner.
Don’t think all this means you need to check references for every candidate who starts down the pipeline. That might slow down the hiring process even more. Instead, you might choose a certain place in the process where you start checking references. For example, you might check the references of anyone whom you send to your client.
Communicate quickly between parties
As the liaison between your clients and candidates, you must communicate quickly. If you don’t, the hiring process slowdown rests on your back.
When you have information to share, go to your client or candidate immediately. Throughout the process, follow up with your clients and candidates to make sure they tell you everything you need to know. You can also put a little pressure on clients and candidates by encouraging them to share information and decisions faster.