Time. There never seems to be enough of it, personally or professionally. The amount of time it takes to do things can literally be the difference between being successful or not. People have been looking for ways to get things done faster forever. Efficiency was probably a goal when Neanderthals went out hunting wooly mammoths!
Seriously though, inefficiency is a problem that costs businesses in many ways. Hiring people is one of those areas. Every day a position remains open is a day that your company is not as productive as it could be. It’s a day that your team is working harder to absorb the duties of that open position. It’s a day that your project potentially falls behind schedule. It’s not a great day.
Inefficiency contributes to those positions being open. Hiring processes that take too long make open positions harder to fill. This is important for any hire but especially so when you are hiring highly skilled consultants. Good candidates don’t last on the market for long. Nearly everyone is aware of the critical shortage of skilled IT consultants but there are talent shortages in many of the professional ranks like engineering and finance as well. The market is hyper competitive right now and shows little sign of abating. Processes that take weeks, or even longer to make decisions, while well intentioned, are creating a problem.
That’s why my advice to those who ask how they can improve their hiring process and by extension their workforce is to cut wasted time and inefficiency from your hiring process. Cast a truly critical eye on every step and figure out how to do it faster. The more efficient you are, the more quickly you can move from open to filled. Make your hiring process quicker and more streamlined. You will instantly see better results.
- Automate wherever you can – there are tools that can help manage the mundane yet often time-consuming parts of the process. Use them wisely.
- Write complete and accurate job descriptions – incomplete or poorly developed job postings result in unqualified candidates wasting your time. Whether it’s your own HR department or an external recruiting firm, if they don’t know what you really need in a candidate it’s difficult to efficiently find the best person.
- Give feedback promptly and remove roadblocks to communication – Once an interview has ended give your feedback promptly. If you’re using an outside firm to help, it’s better to not funnel your thoughts through an intermediary like HR or an MSP. This slows the process down and risks miscommunication that results in delays.
- Limit decision makers – Make sure that everyone who has to sign off on a hire really needs to do so. The more layers of approval there are, the longer it takes to get to a final decision and an offer. If it can’t be done for all hires consider an abbreviated approval list for the most critical, hardest to fill positions.
- Make your onboarding process faster – Lengthy onboarding procedures cause further delays and should be avoided. Shorten the process and make sure that you stay in touch with the candidate throughout. Don’t make them feel unwanted or forgotten or assume they will wait around. Good candidates are in demand. They receive lots of calls from recruiters and other companies and are likely fielding multiple actual offers. At any time during the process you can lose a candidate to another more efficient company.
Losing a great candidate to another company happens more than you think. My guess is that many managers have experienced this first hand. Companies that make hiring decisions more quickly have a competitive advantage. Take steps to make sure your company is one of those. Be efficient, don’t waste your or the candidate’s time and you’ll see results!