Isn’t it Time to Declutter Your Hiring Process?

The life-altering magic of decluttering and refocusing have been frequent discussion points lately, with experts weighing in on how to create the best possible environments for living and working. Many companies could also benefit from applying the principles of decluttering to their hiring processes. If your company hasn’t examined the recruitment-to-onboarding process in a while, it may be time to revisit these procedures to eliminate steps that may be slowing the process.

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Streamlining the hiring process is important to attracting and bringing in new talent, especially in the current candidate-driven market among the executive and professional ranks. “Potential candidates who are unimpressed by the way they’re being evaluated will almost certainly go elsewhere, and word spreads quickly about long and confusing recruitment procedures,” says Laura Burgess, interim director of learning and talent development for MRINetwork. “Condensing the hiring process eases stress on hiring managers, reduces the cost of hiring and ensures that top-tier candidates are coming through the talent pipeline with ease.”

Burgess provides the following tips for shortening the hiring process:

Assess your current process
The first step in determining if there are kinks in the recruitment process is to conduct an internal audit. Take a look at the process in place and document it all the way through to address what is working and what isn’t. Seeing how things are flowing will provide perspective and let you know where improvements can be made. Additionally consider the process from the candidate’s perspective. What feedback have they given regarding the interview process, or why they turned down your job offer?

Refine your job descriptions
An effective job description should do the initial screening for you. It shouldn’t just tell candidates what is expected of them; it should display the company culture, showcase the brand and ultimately let candidates know why this is – or isn’t – the job for them. This demands understanding the core requirements of the position. Every requirement you put in your job description has the potential to negatively impact or limit the number of people who might apply for the position, and that can hurt you in a market where the best candidates know they have multiple opportunities.

Use mobile-friendly, quick-apply platforms
Today’s candidates live by modern technology and look to companies offering a mobile, quick-apply process, rather than those that require filling out endless online forms. Many companies are finding that a mobile-friendly process leads to an increase in passive applicants (high performing employed candidates) overall, which is especially helpful when it comes to filling positions in sectors where talent is often in short supply. If you have not implemented new technologies into your hiring process, that make it easy for candidates to apply for jobs instantly, you are in danger of losing out to the competition.

Establish a reasonable timeline
Start with the “drop dead” date that a new hire needs to be on board and work backwards. Estimate that interviews will take at least two weeks, then assume that two more weeks will pass between the time an offer is extended and when a candidate starts, enabling you to begin backfilling dates on a calendar. If the job is open today, figure out now when you need to interview candidates for the first round. Take into account flight and hotel scheduling for on-site interviews, background checks, testing, references and other paperwork that must be completed.

Involve decision makers early
Have hiring managers sign off on the job description and commit to making room in their calendars to schedule interviews. Delaying the process because of scheduling difficulties causes candidates to lose interest. Ideally, the first interview should occur no longer than a week out from first contact. If multiple interviewers are involved, the candidate should know with whom they will be interviewing, and how long it will take.

Make interviewing pay off
Ensure that your interviewing team is fully trained on the interview process and aware of their role, so that ideally a decision can be made after one full-cycle interview with the candidate, possibly two if there are a couple of candidates who stand out. Assign topics or areas that each interviewer will be discussing with the candidate. When interviewers head into the interview without a guideline, they will most likely ask similar questions and come out of the meeting with a limited profile of the candidate. Having a plan allows the interviewers to collaborate and share detailed information about each targeted area.

Make the most of your recruiter
A quality recruiter can help you through the process, saving time on screening applicants and expediting communication. Count on your recruiter to communicate all decisions to candidates and to follow up with them after each stage of the hiring process, up until the final decision has been made. The recruiter can also provide feedback to candidates on why they were not selected, approaching the conversation in a way that keeps the door open for an ongoing relationship.

“A long, drawn-out process turns the best candidates away from your company and costs you both time and money,” concludes Burgess. “By streamlining your recruiting process and shortening time-to-hire, you’ll be able to attract and retain top talent for your organization.”