StairsWhen it comes to creating recruitment processes or making hiring decisions, I like to do my research. So, in my fact-dependent fashion, I did a little refresher research before I began screening and interviewing last fall’s round of interns and new talent at Red Branch Media.

What I found out heavily influenced my approach to hiring, and I think it will influence yours, too. Here’s what I mean:

1. The Average Time to Hire Is About 27 Days

Time to hire tends to be on the higher side these days, which means there very well might be an opportunity for you to beat competitors to the punch. You’re not under the impression that you’re the only employer being considered by a candidate – especially not when it comes to candidates with solid resumes and a knack for interviewing – so don’t hire like you are. Instead, place a little more trust in your ability to spot a good thing.

What this means to me: If I move fast, I have an advantage that larger companies may not have. This motivated me to include other managers and departments in my hiring process so I didn’t lose the advantage.

2. The Top 10 Percent of Candidates on the Market Are Often Hired Within 10 Days

This informal metric provided by Dr. John Sullivan should paint a vivid picture for those who operate on the slower side of hiring. The best of the best are proactive and driven by potential career progression. Those high-potential candidates you want are busting it to be seen by amazing companies. As I said before, that may include you, but it doesn’t include only you.

What this means to me: The old “hire slow, fire fast” mantra is tough to put into practice in the Omaha market. Instead, we’ve got our hiring process down to a science with automated reminders, specific (but not tedious) applicant instructions, pre-hire assignment templates, and a streamlined onboarding process.

3. A Recruiting Algorithm That Prescreens Candidates Can Increase the Accuracy of Selecting Productive Employees by More Than 50 Percent

Recruiting is getting a lot more mathematical thanks to big data. As a small business, we’re not able to collect the hard-hitting data that others can, but I will say that mid-sized businesses and corporations should listen up. Data can improve hiring process effectiveness, determine job competencies, and even measure potential performance – all before you even extend a job offer. We’re talking predicting the future here.

SuccessWhat this means to me: Erm, not a lot just yet. But we do have a series of smaller tests designed to weed out those who won’t do well here. While we only collect anecdotal data, it has proven accurate in predicting the success of new hires.

4. Thirty-Six Percent of People Who Change Jobs Do So Because They Are Unsatisfied With the Company Culture at Their Current Workplace

When I’m interested in a candidate, I like to speak to them as though they are a top choice – even if I haven’t really made a decision yet. I talk to them about our environment as if they were already expected to perform within it, and I outline our perks as though they were sharing them. This allows candidates to relate to our culture without being a part of it yet. Plus, it shows them I’m seriously considering extending an offer (see No. 1).

What this means to me: I’m brutally honest about what it’s like to work here. It’s not always a party, and like any job, there will be aspects new employees don’t love. Do we have a ping pong table in the office? Yes, we do. Will you get fired if you play ping pong all day? Yes, you will.

5. Sixty-Six Percent of Candidates Think the Best Way to Learn About a Company Is to Interact With Its Employees

As consumers, we should all have seen this one coming. Just as we scour the reviews before making big purchases, job seekers look to employee opinions before accepting job offers. That’s why I’ve built employee meet and greets into the interview process. Candidates can rub elbows with their possible coworkers and see firsthand how employees work at Red Branch.

What this means to me: While I discourage employees from stalking applicants on social media (Omaha is a big little town), I do value their feedback when we get further along in the process. Moving fast doesn’t mean we need to risk hiring someone who will treat one of my Branchers poorly.

6. One in Five Employers Has Unknowingly Asked an Illegal Interview Question at Some Point

This stat terrifies me. In the early days, I wasn’t as consistent in my interview script as I probably should have been. While I’ve made some great hires, this fact still made me rack my brain for all the questions I may have asked candidates before I formalized my structured interview process. Thankfully, reading over the list settled my nerves – but will your own list of questions calm your nerves?

Question MarkWhat this means to me: I’ve probably asked an illegal interview question at some point. Make sure you know which ones can get you in trouble.

7. Forty-Seven Percent of Talent Acquisition Teams Around the World Share Employer Branding Duties With Company Marketing Teams

As employer branding becomes a bigger priority, more companies are trying to find new ways to communicate their cultures to potential candidates. Recruiters and HR pros are experts on happy employees, and marketers have the experience with communication. Combine the two and you have the makings of an excellent employer branding initiative.

What this means to me: Everyone is a recruiter at Red Branch. I know we’re a small organization, but I do think larger companies can take the same approach. Just look at what Celinda Appleby did when she was head of global recruitment branding at Oracle. No matter the size of your company, you can leverage employee stories to attract talent. Use LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, your website, and IRL opportunities to brag about your team and coworkers.

8. Seventy-Four Percent of Business and HR Leaders Report Their Work Environment and Business Practices Are ‘Complex’ or ‘Very Complex’

This statistic didn’t necessarily affect my recruitment and hiring processes, but it sure made me feel a lot less alone.

What this means to me: I cannot lie to job seekers. There is too much at stake. I cannot promise applicants their experience at Red Branch Media will be simple, but I can promise it will be challenging, rewarding, and educational. Plus, we have wine!

As I went through this list, I realized there is more to these statistics and studies than an easy tweet. These facts can change the way we recruit – hopefully, for the better.

A version of this article originally appeared on the LinkedIn Talent Blog

Maren Hogan is founder and CEO of Red Branch Media. You can read more of her work on Forbes, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, and her blog, Marenated.

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