We all know it's a tough candidate market with record numbers of jobs on Seek, top candidates looking to shoot for the moon in terms of salary and benefits, and the numbers of candidates moving overseas starting to rise again.
As a result, speed is of the essence in the recruitment process. Not at the expense of a quality process but the importance of moving quickly with a preferred candidate cannot be understated. The difference between a candidate being open to new opportunities and snapped up by another company can be hours.
Here are our top five tips to speed up (and improve) the hiring process, making your job easier and your candidate journey better:
1. Have a clear brief.
What are your expectations for this new hire? Are they realistic? If you are expecting an Administrator who can also use adobe photoshop, run accounts payable, manage the reception desk and clean the office every night, you may need to rethink your expectations.
A great analogy is to think of your perfect candidate as a flower. The middle part, where the seeds are, is where the absolute ‘deal breakers’ sit, and then the petals are the ‘nice to have’ attributes. The more petals the better, but if the candidate doesn’t have all the petals, they will still be able to be successful in the role, and be able to learn and upskill and add petals, as they spend time in your business.
The clearer you are on the ‘dealbreakers’ and the nice-to-haves, the easier it will be to screen suitable candidates, speeding up the process to hire.
We know candidates are in charge in a candidate short market. Remember, if you have managed to connect with a fantastic, skilled candidate, other recruiters or businesses probably have too. Therefore, you need to make sure your opportunity comes out on top. This is where selling yourself and your business comes in.
Make sure you emphasise the reasons that your business and the opportunity you are offering are a fantastic fit for the specific candidate. If the candidate has indicated they want to work closer to home and your office is round the corner from their address, remind them of that! If they have mentioned they really want to step up and learn more in their industry, emphasise the training and development opportunities in your team. Get specific, talk about actual courses the candidate may want to do, make sure they know that their needs will be met with your business.
Making sure your opportunity is at the front of your preferred candidate’s mind will speed up the hiring process and will result in the candidate being much more likely to say ‘yes’ to your opportunity.
3.The recruitment process is a window into your organisation. Act accordingly.
The importance of a simple, easy, pain-free candidate journey cannot be understated in the current market. Firstly, because your recruitment process actively reflects on your business. If you take three weeks to get back to a candidate (whether or not it’s you or the hiring manager holding up the process), this will tell the candidate that you are not serious about hiring them, and they will more than likely go with another opportunity.
Secondly, candidates talk. As we know, it’s a challenge to find skilled, ready-to-move candidates right now. Don’t alienate the ones you are yet to talk to by treating other candidates with no respect. The smoother your candidate journey, and the happier they are with the whole recruitment process, the more likely they are to tell other professional in their network.
The recruitment process, although an internal process, has a direct effect on your employment brand. It effects how your future candidates will respond to you reaching out to them. Make your own job easier by having a smooth, robust, well communicated and pain-free recruitment process. Your future candidates will thank you for it. This extends even to the offer documentation and contract. Does it sell your organisation? Is it welcoming and are all your benefits clearly identified and not hidden in the contract?
4.Eliminate red tape and unnecessary box-ticking.
Often the part of the process which holds things up is the interview process. Trying to pin down hiring managers or stakeholders and getting opinions from various interested parties. Before commencing the recruitment process, find out who needs to be present at interview or screening stages, and make sure they have the availability to work around candidates. Aarti Patel, Consultant in our Supply Chain & Operations team knows this first hand, having a perfect candidate ready to go, screened and reference checked, and had the frustration of waiting on a hiring manager to get back from a two-week holiday, which by the time they returned, the candidate had been approached by a competitor and had accepted another opportunity. All within two days!
Compliance and good rigor often require a second or even third interview to be completed. If you have a fantastic candidate who you know will suit the role and is ready to sign on the dotted line, try and be flexible in your recruitment process and shorten the process if you can. Your candidate will be happy they don’t have to be dragged through multiple interviews, and will feel as though you are really keen for them to start in the role, plus you will be able to speed up the overall hiring process. A win-win situation.
Finally, if administration like reference, credit or police checks can be conducted simultaneously to the interview process – do so! This will speed up the process overall but will also make sure that your candidate doesn’t get snapped up by a competitor while waiting for that one final reference check to get back to you.
5.Openness and honesty go a long way.
If there is something holding up the process, tell the candidate. Likewise, if they are not a good fit and you have found someone else, tell the candidate. Communication is everything. While sometimes it feels counterproductive when trying to save time to keep the candidate informed at every step of the way, communicating with the candidate and keeping them informed throughout the process will not only keep your opportunity front of mind but will improve your employment brand and your candidate journey overall. This will future-proof your recruitment process and ensure the process is faster next time.
Overall, it’s time to look at your recruitment process. Whether you are utilising the help of a recruitment agency or not (I know a great one, how about OCG Consulting?), it is essential that the process is helping, not hindering you in attracting and retaining great candidates.
To help streamline your recruitment process, source top talent, and make your life easier, get in touch with our team.