In 2021, the job market took a dramatic turn. Resignations peaked in April and have remained abnormally high for the last year, with a record-breaking 10.9 million open jobs at the end of July 2021.
The Great Resignation shifted the employer-employee dynamic, making recruiters’ jobs harder than ever before. And with more skilled workers rethinking their workplace priorities, recruiters need to act fast to spark their curiosity and convert candidates into quality hires.
Why? In a tidal wave of resignations, countless organizations are competing for qualified candidates. On average, it takes around 27 days to make a new hire—but top candidates are usually off the market within 10–14 days. To stop falling into the trap of losing candidates, you need to rethink your hiring process.
The clock is ticking—what are you waiting for?
Here’s how to streamline your recruitment strategy without sacrificing quality candidates.
Why You Need to Step Up Your Hiring Game
Countless organizations spend an immense amount of time and money on recruitment—often without the results they’re looking for. Why? Because their hiring process is too long and complicated.
Whether you’re playing phone tag to schedule interviews, waiting too long to make an offer, or dealing with a slow resume screening process, here’s how a slow recruitment timeline can impact your bottom line.
- Time kills all deals. Sure, it’s an overused phrase in the world of talent acquisition, but it’s true. Especially amid today’s talent shortage, recruiters need to take action. If you don’t make quick decisions, you’ll lose qualified candidates to other competitors.
- Quick decision = better candidate experience. Candidates typically view their hiring experience as a reflection of how your company operates. As a result, slow decisions can wreak havoc on your bottom line. According to a LinkedIn survey, 27 percent of candidates would actively discourage others from applying for a job with a particular company based on a negative experience.
- Avoid the “bidding” conversation. Newsflash: Waiting too long can actually cost you money. Your top candidates are on your competitors’ radars. If you’re not moving quickly to secure those candidates, you’ll have to top your competitors’ offers to keep your top candidates interested.
Even if you have an amazing employer brand, top candidates aren’t going to wait for your offer. Don’t believe us? Google found that its knockout employer brand wasn’t enough to keep them from losing top college prospects to faster-moving rivals.
What does that mean for your business?
If you want to win top candidates, it’s time to rethink your hiring process.
When you take too long to make an offer, your competitors will swoop in, interview them, make an offer, and get them through the door before you ever get back to them.
How to Expedite the Hiring Process
To successfully reduce your time to fill, you’ll need to identify unnecessarily slow segments of your hiring process that create bottlenecks and communication delays. To reflect on your current strategy, download our HR self-audit checklist.
Once you’ve identified potential areas of improvement, it’s time to expedite the process. Here’s how to refine your recruitment timeline to get your ideal candidates through the door.
1. Collect the Right Data
You can’t measure your recruitment success without the right data. And when it comes to measuring time to fill—and eventually reducing it where possible—data can be your MVP. Start by reviewing your hiring timeline, including:
- The average time it takes to fill a role
- The average time it takes for candidates to move between stages (i.e., from the application stage to the interview stage, or from the interview stage to the offer stage)
- How your average time to fill compares with your industry
- The number of calendar days from your final selection to sending the job offer
Now that you’ve gathered hiring data, you can figure out how to improve bottlenecks and slowdown times. For example, if it takes two days to schedule an interview but two weeks to send an offer, it’s probably time to speed up your interview process with phone interviews or speed interviewing.
2. Offer Flexible Interview Options
Ineffective communication can cause major hiring delays, especially if you’re conducting multiple rounds of interviews. In fact, interview scheduling is the top challenge for recruiters, with most recruiters spending two-thirds of their overall hiring time on the interview process.
So, how can you expedite your interviews? If you’re not doing it already, use mobile platforms to communicate with your candidates. Chances are, your ideal candidates carry their smartphones with them 24/7—and SMS texts with interview scheduling options can help you streamline the process.
Alternatively, use an automated interview scheduling tool to eliminate delays. Automated scheduling also helps reduce frustration on the applicant side by offering a better, expedited candidate experience.
Want to expedite the interview process even more? Use one-way video interviewing to conduct an initial round of interviews. This way, you only have to ask questions once—even if you’re interviewing multiple candidates.
Even though it’s less effort, one-way interviewing paints a vibrant picture of your candidates. And when you’re ready to schedule in-person interviews, you’ll only bring the best candidates to the table.
3. Invest in Automation
Automation goes far beyond interview scheduling. If you’re not harnessing the power of automation in your recruitment strategy, here’s your sign to start. After all, nobody wants to sort through hundreds of unqualified applicants, play phone tag, or reformat job descriptions for 20 different job boards.
Time is money—and automation is a worthwhile investment for any recruitment team. Steps like screening candidates, analyzing CVs, and reviewing the results of pre-interview screening questions can all be automated so you can spend more time finding the perfect candidate without the hassle (and have a better time doing it).
Automation benefits both the candidates (who move through the process faster, thus securing an offer sooner) and the recruiters (who free up time for more important tasks).
4. Assign a “Hire By” Date
Take a step back and think about your marketing strategy. Do you have processes to handle high-value leads? Whether you’re sending email reminders, following up with sales calls, or serving display ads, nearly every business has expedited processes to nurture qualified leads before they slip out of the marketing funnel.
In direct contrast, most organizations don’t have the same process for high-value candidates. Even worse, almost no one has processes to identify top talent so they can start guiding qualified candidates through the recruitment funnel.
So, what should you do when qualified candidates enter your talent pool? Two words: Act fast. Start by estimating how many days they’re likely to remain available. Then, place a reminder in your calendar (or customer relationship management system) to make a decision before that date.
When you assign “hire by” dates to your top picks, this should trigger an expedited hiring process. This way, if you make an offer, you can send it before the assigned date (and, ideally, before any competitors make a better offer).
Wrapping It Up: Making the Job Offer
Once you’ve found the perfect candidate, don’t delay the offer.
Believe it or not, one of the biggest reasons candidates reject job offers is because they’ve found a better salary and benefits elsewhere. After all the time, money, and resources you’ve poured into recruitment, you don’t want this to happen to your #1 pick.
If your top candidate makes a counteroffer or shares details about a competitor’s offer, be prepared to negotiate. By the time you’re prepared to make an offer, you should know your candidate well—and you can use the information at your disposal to emphasize lucrative perks beyond the paycheck.
Act Now to Beat the Talent Shortage
Tired of losing your best candidates to the competition? Stop letting bottleneck hiring processes ruin your chances for quality hires. By auditing your current strategy and identifying areas for improvement, you’ll take one step closer to filling your open positions with top-tier candidates.
The war for talent is raging on. You need to act now to lock in your ideal candidates. Schedule a discovery call with our team to expedite your recruitment process and beat the talent shortage.