8 Ways to Streamline Your Hiring Process
Do you view the hiring process as a long, drawn-out, and tedious chore? Have you found that, by the time you are ready and authorized to extend an offer, your chosen candidate has moved on? If so, perhaps it’s time to accelerate and streamline your hiring process.
“But wait!” … you may say. “We want to be certain to choose the best candidate. Doesn’t that mean we should really take our time to make sure we don’t make a bad hiring decision?” As it turns out, just the opposite is true. There is no correlation between an extended hiring process and candidate success on the job. In fact, in our current “applicants market,” highly qualified candidates get job offers quickly and are poised to be discerning regarding which position they choose to accept.
A slow hiring process leads to missing out on top talent.
Conversely, a streamlined hiring approach will not only save your organization time and increase efficiency. It will also help you onboard top talent before your competitors scoop them up. Furthermore, the benefits of a streamlined approach are likely to change your outlook about the entire process, putting an end to that ominous feeling you have become accustomed to when it’s time to fill a new position.
Eight Ways to Streamline your Hiring Process:
- Identify the Bottlenecks – Do a thorough review of your organization’s hiring process and identify the bottlenecks. For example: Are your HR team and/or hiring managers so busy that résumés sit simmering on the back-burner awaiting review? If so, you may want to consider revising your procedures to prioritize hiring – after all, your organization is only as good as it’s people. It makes good business sense to make the time to bring the best candidates in promptly. Or, perhaps you are required to obtain multiple sign-offs prior to creating an offer letter. If so, amend internal protocol to ensure that the avenues to these authorizations aren’t obstructed with red tape. Similarly, review your reference-checking process to be sure that it is as efficient as possible.
- Set a Deadline – Choose a date by which you must have someone “in the seat”. Work backwards from that date to set other deadlines, such as writing the position description, contacting a recruiter, reviewing applicant résumés, interviewing, and making an offer.
- Include Key Decision-Makers – Bring the right team leaders into the process from the beginning. By having the entire hiring team engage as active participants throughout the process, you can avoid having to press the pause button to bring team members in at critical junctures.
- Clearly Define Position Roles – Poorly defined roles can lead towards valuable time being wasted interviewing the wrong candidates. Well-defined roles, on the other hand, help identify the best candidates from the outset. Think about the position’s core requirements. What knowledge, experience, skillsets, and abilities should your ideal candidate possess? What types of personalities mesh best with your company’s culture? Also, which competencies are necessary on day-one, and which can be trained or taught? When going through this exercise for each position, keep in mind the common good predictors (and bad predictors) of a great hire.
- Train Your Hiring Managers – Take the time to train all your hiring managers on best-practices for conducting effective interviews and making good hiring decisions.
- Pre-Screen Candidates – Consider responding to applicants via email with a set of several questions relevant to the position. You can easily remove from consideration any applicants that don’t take the time to respond, and you will gain valuable pre-screening insight from those who do. Next, conduct a 15-minute phone or video interview to further identify which candidates meet the criteria that you clearly defined at the beginning of the process.
- Avoid Multiple Interviews – Bringing in candidates more than once for an in-person interview is a time-drain. Instead, be prepared and invested in the interview the first time around. One way to do this is by scheduling time for all the key decision makers to meet with the candidate during the (first) visit.
- Stay in Touch – Stay in contact with your top candidates. Let them know they are a top contender and keep them informed of where things are throughout the decision-making process. No one likes to be left hanging, wondering where things stand. And, when you do send an offer letter, make it as comprehensive as possible by including all the important details. Clearly explain everything that you offer entails (e.g., base-compensation; commission structure, bonus structure, paid time off, health insurance, 401-k, and any other perks or allowances for equipment, etc.).
Roll out the Welcome Wagon!
Once you have streamlined your hiring process and onboarded your great new hire, be sure to roll out the welcome wagon! Anticipate the questions that new-hires may have and include time in your onboarding process to proactively address these questions. If you don’t have one already, develop a modernized company directory that all employees can look to as a resource for who’s who and who does what. Also, send out new hire announcement emails introducing new employees to their co-workers. A great onboarding experience sets up new hires for success from the very beginning. Just as importantly, it will leave your new team member confident that they discerned well and made the right decision in choosing to join your organization.