Businessman Turning Gold GearAre hiring managers complaining that posts aren’t being filled fast enough? Are decision-makers and budget holders concerned that there is too much lost output due to rising amounts of empty desk time following company departures? Is your time-to-hire rising, above that of industry norms? Do you even measure time-to-hire and benchmark it against industry norms?

If you find you are answering “yes” to these questions, the painful truth may be that your hiring process may be slow – and it may be time to step back and take some action to put your hiring process into top gear. And below I have set out five steps to help you do this:

1. You need a speedometer. Before you decide to accelerate your hiring process, you need to know how fast you are going. Are you measuring time-to-hire? If not, you need to start and know what your average time to hire is for each professional area. You should then compare that against industry norms for each professional area to really see if you are fast, slow or on target. You may be surprised to find you are going at a good speed already. Develop a digital dashboard so your current hiring speeds are always known.

2. Map out the hiring process and identify delays. Take a detailed look at the hiring process, starting from initial notification of vacancy going through: job description preparation, posting the advert, waiting time, sifting, short-listing, scheduling interviews and making the offer. Are there any unnecessary delays? Are hiring managers slow to notify HR of vacancies or slow to develop job requirements? Are delays occurring in scheduling interviews due to diary coordination? Are there too many interviews, or is your business slow to produce offers? Do you encourage and coach applicants on how to shorten their notice periods?

If you map out your end-to-end hiring process, you can quickly identify delays in the process and take steps to eliminate them.

3. Build a talent plan and communicate it. This may be old fashioned, but it’s effective. Engage with hiring managers around budget time and take note of their scheduled hires for the year, and if you don’t have a formal planning process, then initiate it. Also, look at flight risks, based on above average tenure, poor performance and having hit career ceilings. Develop your plan and communicate it to your team and preferred agencies to create inertia around recruiting, meaning you can respond much faster to recruitment needs, as you will be ready.

4. Develop a hot prospects list to reduce response time. Build your own talent community of hot prospects using LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook as the medium(s). These hot prospects might be talented job applicants who didn’t quite make the grade or passive professionals fishing around for opportunities for progression at your business. Build a ready-made pipeline of external talent that you can call on when needed, reducing your response time.

5. Promote from within. There can be a reluctance to promote from within, yet research shows that internal applicants can be both cheaper and perform better than external applicants hired to similar roles. And typically, there will be a much shorter time to hire.

6. Start an employee referral scheme. Research shows that one of the fastest sources of quality hires at the moment are employee referrals. You could spend 3 weeks finding talent, yet one of your employees may be aware of someone who is looking right this second, which could knock three weeks off your candidate search. So, why not develop an employee referral scheme? It needn’t be hard work as there are a range employee referrals applications on the market, which make these schemes incredibly easy to administer.

Now you may be aware of other techniques to move your hiring process in to top gear, but I have tried to focus on the top six that I believe will have the biggest impact.

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