A recent report from Glassdoor found that the hiring process is taking longer than it has in years. In the U.S., for example, the hiring process has increased in duration from an average of 12.6 days in 2010 to 22.9 days in 2014. This trend is reflected across many of the major economies, including the U.K., France, Germany, and Australia.
The researchers behind the study believe that extended hiring times are the result of two factors. First, employers are using more screening and evaluation tools to sort candidates. Second, many companies these days are hiring technically skilled workers for complex, highly specialized jobs. Evaluating these candidates takes longer than, say, evaluating a candidate for an entry-level customer service role. In many respects, then, the extended hiring process may be more of a sign of the times than a sign of inefficiency.
Even if there is good reason for these extended hiring times, there is no excuse for employers to get comfortable with longer hiring processes. Indeed, longer hiring times come at a cost: they can potentially increase an employer’s candidate dropout rate, as applicants forced to spend more time in limbo may grow frustrated or end up accepting opportunities from companies that moved more quickly.
There may be a reasonable cause for longer hiring times, but in these highly competitive days, we can’t afford to be satisfied with longer hiring processes. We should still be looking to minimize hiring times. To that end, I offer these three ways to accelerate hiring speed while maintaining quality of hires:
1. Remove Redundant Screening Processes That Don’t Add Value
You may be extremely pleased with yourself at having built the Fort Knox of hiring processes, but you might want to make sure that you haven’t overdone it. Could you get away with a little less screening and assessment and still have similar results in terms of quality of candidates? Has your assessment process become bloated?
The Glassdoor study found that skills tests, personality tests, drug tests, and background checks are now being used far more frequently than they were four years ago. Are all these tests actually improving the quality of hires in your business? If not, you may be sacrificing speed and creating a more frustrating and ponderous hiring process for no good reason. Check that all your assessment processes are adding actual value to the hiring process and eliminate/modify any that aren’t.
2. Use Video Interviewing
I think that first-round video interviewing is finally making the move from a nice-to-have to a must-have hiring technology — and it may be a great way to accelerate the hiring process.
Using video interviewing technology is a great way to combine short-listing and first-round interviewing into one process. If you use one a recorded video interview solution, you can ask applicants to submit their resumes and answer a set of screening questions in the same step.
HR departments and hiring managers can view the resumes and recorded screening interviews and use this information to short-list candidates and jump straight to second interviews. With this method, you could bypass the time-consuming, first-round face-to-face interview altogether, removing a significant chunk of assessment time without reducing quality of candidates.
If you still want to do live first-round interviews, you should at least consider moving your first-round interviews from face-to-face to video. This can reduce delays arising from scheduling conflicts, as interviewers and candidates are usually more readily available for video interviews.
3. Eliminate Any Unnecessary Delays in the Assessment Process
Do a full review of your hiring process and identify any needless delays. For example, do you spend an excessive amount of time trying to set mutually convenient dates for interviews? If so, why not clearly set out suggested interview dates well in advance in the body of the job advertisement itself?
Perhaps you still rely on paper-based assessments, requiring candidates to come into the office. You could use an online assessment instead, which candidates can do at home, potentially reducing delays arising from scheduling conflicts.
Are you too slow to get your background checks started after making an offer? Could you move to another background check provider that delivers a faster turnaround?
These are just some examples, and there are plenty of other steps that can be taken to remove unnecessary delays from the assessment process.