According to Glassdoor, the average length of the UK’s hiring process in 2016 was a record high of 27.9 days. During such a tumultuous economic climate it seems nonsensical that companies would deliberate for so long over a new employee, so what’s been taking them so long?
There are numerous factors that contribute to the length of the hiring process, some of which are unpreventable. The size of the company, for instance, is bound to affect how quickly a candidate can be contacted and subsequently assessed; larger companies will have more candidate attraction and therefore more difficulty reaching a final decision due to the amount of people involved in the process.
The current trend of hiring professionals with specific skillsets rather than a ‘jack of all trades’ has also extended the hiring process. Candidates are often made to jump through many hoops in order to determine their suitability, and although this sense of caution is justified – it costs three times more to hire someone new than it does to retain an existing employee – it is still a frustrating experience for the candidate.
Fortunately there are many ways the hiring process can be accelerated without compromising on the quality of the search. The key is to be as organised as possible, settling on a definition of the ideal candidate early without creating a checklist for an unobtainable ‘perfect’ person. Separating a list of vital skills from desirable traits from the outset will simplify any decision-making and will alleviate a lot of pressure from the interviewer.
Using talent psychometric tests and tools can also help and inform the decision-making process. That being said, even if you have carefully defined your ideal candidate and filtered through the time-wasting CVs, hiring someone new will still take an unnecessarily extensive amount of time if the company’s recruitment process hasn’t been properly evaluated. It’s useful to create a flowchart with an estimated timescale for each stage so that you can streamline the process and remove any superfluous steps. Ask yourself who would the candidate be meeting at each step of the process and why. Are they adding to the candidate experience?
To improve the quality of your search it’s beneficial to decrease the quantity. By interviewing fewer candidates you will be able to thoroughly assess everyone you meet without being pressed for time. You might want to consider an initial ten-minute telephone interview just to ensure it’s worthwhile organising a face-to-face meeting.
Finally, when you have found your ideal candidate move swiftly and decisively. It speaks volumes to a prospective employee about the way you approach all decisions and issues. Remember, the candidate is assessing you just as much as you are assessing them.