Speed up Your Hiring Processes or Miss Out During a Skills Shortage

Faster hiring has its challenges, but getting it right will enable your organization to snap up top talent ahead of your competitors.

When I wrote about the possibility of a post-Covid resignation surge back in June 2021, I never expected a skills crisis of this scale. The latest Job Openings and Turnover Data (JOLTS) revealed a quit rate of 2.8% in October (down from a record 3%), with open positions rising to 11 million. According to ManpowerGroup research, the U.S. skills shortage is at a 10-year high, with 69% of employers struggling to find skilled workers.

Hiring organizations are reacting by ramping up their employee value propositions (EVPs), offering higher remuneration packages, flexible working, greater opportunities for promotion, intangibles such as team culture and value-alignment, and sought-after technology stacks. HR managers are doubling down on retention programs, while a dearth of active candidates has led talent acquisition teams to shift focus to attracting passive candidates.

Avoid drawn-out recruitment processes

Securing talent in a highly competitive, candidate-led market requires a holistic approach, but even the best EVP will be ineffective if you run an unnecessarily lengthy recruitment process.

Consider a hypothetical candidate with two near-identical offers from competing organizations. While company A hesitates over making an offer, company B recognizes great talent and secures that person by making their best offer as fast as possible. Predictably, the candidate accepts the first offer.

What is slowing company A down? Reasons may include:

  • Multiple rounds of job interviews: While a second interview is often necessary to validate the findings from the first, ask yourself why you would need a third or fourth round. What questions are you asking that couldn’t have been addressed in the earlier rounds? Who is present in the third round, and why couldn’t they have attended the second interview?
  • Lengthy “decision-making” time where (for whatever reason), organizations hesitate for days before extending a job offer. Think about what this suggests about your ways of working: if the candidate were to accept the offer, would every workplace decision be held up by inefficiencies and red tape?
  • Manual processes: While recruitment processes are becoming increasingly automated, there may still be manual hotspots that slow everything down such as manually exporting candidate data to a spreadsheet, or using a paper-based skills assessment.
  • Process bottlenecks: It may be only one part of the recruitment process that is causing the delay. Perhaps it’s caused by approval bottlenecks with a single decision-maker, or reference/background checks are slow.
  • Poor response times: Candidates will inevitably ask questions during the process, which should be responded to within minutes or hours, not days. In a high-volume situation, it may be necessary to use an automated communication solution to keep candidates informed. 

Seven tips for faster hiring

  1. Never assume your offer is the only one on the candidate’s table.  
  2. Review your end-to-end recruitment process to discover where bottlenecks exist.
  3. Communicate and respond to candidates faster.
  4. Make the most of technology to boost efficiency, such as online skills assessments, smart meeting scheduling software, and video interviewing platforms.
  5. Don’t compromise on quality: use a skills assessment, ensure steps are taken to minimize hiring bias, and conduct due diligence (background checks).
  6. If you feel that multiple interview rounds are necessary, consider holding them all in a single day. Google, for example, will conduct three to four interviews in one day.
  7. Consider recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) if you do not have the technology or the capacity to speed up your hiring processes in the near future.