How to Hire Employees Faster
In the current labor market, the competition for talent is fierce. And when hiring is this hot, top talent doesn’t stay on the market long. It’s important for organizations to offer competitive compensation and benefits…but it’s often not enough. You must also be quick!
Here are some practical steps your organization can take to recruit more efficiently and more effectively.
Standardize Your Hiring Process
The most basic—and most important—step your organization can take to streamline hiring is to make it a standardized process. Consistency is key—not only for overall recruiting efforts, but also for making the process more efficient.
After all, if each hiring manager is doing their own thing, they could be wasting time scrutinizing resumes, preparing for interviews, or just figuring out what to do next. Also, how could HR know where to focus improvement efforts with so many variables in hiring approaches?
To be clear, HR has a strategic role to play in the hiring process—maintaining consistency and training managers—but the hiring manager responsible for filling any particular position should be the person that position will be reporting to.
Of course, in some organizations, the recruiter and the hiring manager are separate roles. The recruiter may be responsible for prospecting, screening, reviewing resumes and cover letters, and lining up candidates for interviews. The recruiter may then hand off candidates to hiring managers for interviews, reference checks, and the final hiring decision. This can make the hiring process more efficient by specializing roles.
However, there’s an advantage to having the same person be responsible for recruiting and hiring—which is the case in many small to midsize businesses. This combination of roles can also be efficient by requiring less coordination between multiple people.
More importantly, though, this consolidated approach can be more effective in the long run than the division of responsibilities because one person is wholly accountable for the outcome of the hiring decision.
The desire to fill open positions quickly should never overshadow the importance of hiring the best person for the job. Otherwise, you’ll just have to keep filling that position over and over again.
How to Make the Seven Stages of Hiring More Efficient
Now that we’ve clarified the importance of standardizing your hiring process, let’s look at the Seven Stages of Hiring and how your organization can speed up the process at each stage:
- Identify Need and Update Job Description
Many hiring managers may drag their feet throughout an employee’s two-week notice period, but you shouldn’t wait until the position is vacated to start updating the job description. Use previous postings as templates rather than starting from scratch. Your organization should also have some copy to use for all positions, introducing the company and its values.
You should also include a salary range or target compensation in the job description. Target comp is what you expect a reasonably good performer to earn in a given role, including bonus opportunities or other incentives.
Disclosing compensation in the job description could be the most important thing you do to make the hiring process more efficient. So much time is wasted when both parties find out they’re not on the same page only when an offer is extended.
- Develop and Implement Recruitment Plan
Next, you’ll need a recruitment plan. In other words, how will you find candidates, and how will they find you? At the very least, you should update your organization’s Careers page, let your professional network know you’re hiring, and post to a major online job board like Indeed. We’ll come back to this in a moment.
You should also use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to manage the process more efficiently. Check out a free version of BerniePortal’s ATS—which includes an Indeed integration for job postings and template library for job descriptions and applicant communication.
- Screen Applicants
In the online application itself, you should use a few screening questions to quickly weed out candidates who don’t meet your non-negotiable requirements.
For example, if the position is in-person, a good screening question would be: “Do you live in the Greater Nashville area? If not, would you be willing to relocate?” Don’t ask so many questions up front, though, that qualified candidates weed themselves out too early.
Also, you shouldn’t overthink resumes. Read them, at least, but make a decision as soon as you finish each one. The time it takes to carefully consider every single resume will cost you a lot of time—and qualified candidates! Know what you’re looking for before you start looking.
If you’re interested in a candidate, it’s likely that other employers are, too. So, reach out to them within 24 hours of receiving their application.
- Interview Candidates
When you decide to reach out to a candidate, you should outline the interview process to set expectations. Give candidates what they’ll need well before the face-to-face interview, and set deadlines for any written responses, personality tests, and skills assessments you plan to use.
Best practice is actually to conduct at least two interviews: a phone screen followed by a face-to-face interview. The phone screen is an efficient and inexpensive way to learn more about a candidate with relatively low stakes. Even though it’s another interview, phone screens can save you the time of a full interview with a poor candidate.
- Check References
Once a promising candidate has made it through the interview process, you’ll need to check their references and verify their employment. Do not skip this step for efficiency’s sake. Red flags are just as valuable as green lights: a bad hire will cost your organization more time and money than you think.
Be prepared to reach out by phone and then email. No one method is best for all references, and you don’t want a missed communication to slow things down unnecessarily.
- Extend Offer
When you decide to extend an offer, call first. If they accept, follow up with an email that outlines the full details of the offer.
To make this step more efficient, use a template for communication.
- Onboard New Hire
To make sure your onboarding process is both efficient and compliant, use a checklist.
In order to best standardize and streamline your hiring process, HR should take the initiative to train hiring managers and to create a Manager Manual, outlining the process and providing templates.
Approach Recruiting as Selling
Many hiring managers have never been in sales, but sales experience can be a great foundation for recruiting. To be clear, though, salespeople still need training in how to become effective recruiters and hiring managers.
Essentially, recruiting is selling. The mindset, experience, and process are transferable. In a competitive labor market, recruiters have to sell the position and the company to qualified candidates, who likely have other options.
The hiring process is comparable to a sales funnel, and like salespeople, recruiters need to understand all the stages and where prospects are along the way. By using scripts and templates for communication, recruiters can efficiently guide candidates through the process.
Salespeople also understand that timing is critical—even after you’ve led a prospect most of the way through the process.
Be Proactive and Timely
To hire faster, recruiters must be proactive and timely.
Simply put, proactive recruiters stand out. The best candidates for an open position on your team may not be actively looking for a new job. But of course, they may still be open to a good opportunity if the right one comes along.
That’s why recruiters should prospect for passive candidates via social, professional, and personal networks. Being the first to reach out will definitely make you stand out.
Being proactive also means being timely. Just as much as you want to fill the position as soon as possible, qualified candidates are eager to get started in a new position.
Waiting means losing out on talent. Reach out, respond, follow up…and fast!
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