This may not come as news to you, but currently, the US is experiencing unemployment at the lowest levels it’s seen since the first time a man walked on the moon. With unemployment rates at around 3.7%, it means candidates now have more options available to them than ever, making it that much easier to say no to the role you’re offering. While the recruiting process may usually take a long time to accomplish, since you want to make sure you’re getting the absolute best person for the role, the longer it takes the more you risk losing that talent to another opportunity that comes their way.
Not only that, just think of all of the money and resources you’re spending with a tedious hiring process. According to Glassdoor, the average US company spends around $4,000 on every new hire, and the time it takes to fill each position averages 52 days. With other studies suggesting that top candidates typically stay on the market for no longer than 10 days, it’s no wonder that so many of the HR conferences this year deal with methods of improving your hiring methods. If you wish to streamline your hiring and make sure that you’re not missing out on the best talent out there, here are some methods you can start practicing today.
HR Technology is Your Friend
There are so many different software programs out there to help you cut through the initial noise of screening, and you shouldn’t be afraid to use them. There is software to help you get better employee referrals, HR Analytics to assist you in spotting trends in your recruiting methods, and Applicant Tracking Systems that will organize and automate the entire hiring process for you. The initial set up may be a little daunting and time-consuming, but it will be worth it in the long run, when it can help you go over resumes and spot keywords and attributes in a breeze, keeping track of communications and more.
Pre-screen and Use Skills Testing
Interviewing may be the longest step of recruiting, as it requires careful planning — making sure that the candidate and all interviewers are available, setting aside at least an hour and spending it with no interruptions. That is why you want to make sure that only the most qualified and relevant candidates make it to this stage. A good way of doing it is with pre-screening. For example, the initial application form can include questions about experience and skills, which if the candidate does not possess, they are directed straight into the “no” pile.
Another way to pre-screen is with skills tests — these can be language proficiency, industry knowledge, even cultural fit. However, it’s important not to overdo it, and only pick the test that is the most important for the role, as this can deter the right candidate from pursuing the job. Finally, you can also perform a short phone or video interview. This will give you the best impression of the candidate and eliminate those who don’t fit the bill, without spending time on both ends.
Cut Back on the Different Stages
If you want to make sure you save time, as well as keep the candidates engaged, it’s best to think of ways to skip some steps during the process, both for you and the candidates. For instance, instead of inviting the applicant to one interview with the HR manager, one with their direct manager, and one with the CEO, try to compile a panel for one efficient interview with all necessary personnel. Another example can be in reviewing resumes and applications. If currently, you have three different people going through every application to make sure the person goes through to the next level, this can create a bottleneck. You can audit your recruiting process and try to identify the point where you lose the most candidates — this is probably the step that needs optimizing.
Keep the Candidates in The Loop
There is nothing worse for candidates than not knowing where they stand with a job they really want. Hiring managers may not always notice how quickly time passes, as they handle so many resumes and candidates, but after not hearing anything for three weeks, many candidates will assume they did not qualify for the next step. Just like in dating, we’ve been conditioned to think that no answer simply means no, which makes candidates lose interest and move on to the next role. This is why it is extremely important to keep communicating with your candidates, even before you’ve interviewed them, and especially after. Communicating doesn’t necessarily mean giving an update if you don’t have one — it’s enough to send them a quick message that says that you are still looking at all of the potential applicants, and you will let them know soon.