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Recruitment and HR Blog

Seven ways to speed up your time to hire

10th December 2021

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If you’re recruiting for a role in your business, it’s highly likely you’ll be keen to find someone who can join you as soon as possible. But that must be balanced against the need for a thorough and careful approach that results in the right decision first time round. If you get it wrong, it could be an expensive and disruptive mistake; in the worst-case scenario, it might even mean letting someone go once it’s apparent they aren’t the right fit and then starting the process again. So how do you strike the ideal balance? Here are seven ways you can improve your recruitment process to help you find the ideal candidate quickly and effectively:

1. Get your employer branding right

The way you are presenting your job opportunity and company must get across who you are and what you do. That may sound obvious, yet many companies struggle to define what it is that they stand for and what it’s like to work for them. Treat it as a marketing campaign; unless there are specific reasons not to, we advocate putting your employer brand up front and centre.

Make sure you’re articulating it in your job advert content and throughout all other locations, such as your career pages and on social media, to get across your selling points both as a company and also in terms of the job itself. Having an effective job advert is essential for helping potential applicants assess whether they could be the right fit and apply if they think they are, or screen themselves out if they don’t.

2. Take advantage of recruitment software

Being faced with numerous emails or application forms to deal with can be pretty overwhelming, not to mention extremely time consuming. From a candidate journey perspective, it might be a while before you’re in a position to respond to them whatever your decision might be. That could mean you lose out on some great candidates. And unfortunately, some employers might overlook the need to get back to the applicants they’ve decided aren’t right for them – which isn’t great from an employer brand perspective.

Recruitment software can help solve these problems. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) offers an effective solution, providing a single central location where all incoming applications can be held and reviewed. It can be used to quickly manage the entire process including scheduling interviews and notifying candidates about the decisions that have been made.

3. Pay attention to your screening questions

By spending time getting your job advert content spot on, you’re likely to have attracted a selection of high-quality candidates. But inevitably, you will still have to go through the process of whittling down applications and making decisions about who will make your shortlist. Some job boards allow for screening criteria questions to be included, which will help you to assess early on who you should move through to the next stage. An ATS can play a really beneficial role here by automatically flagging up those not meeting your essential requirements, enabling you to screen them out at an early stage. But only add screening questions which are based on absolutely essential criteria. Otherwise you could potentially put suitable applicants off or you may miss them if your ATS automatically flags them as unsuitable. So make sure you don’t include your desirable requirements within the screening questions.

4. Speed up your selection process by utilising skills and knowledge testing

Not everyone is completely accurate in the way they present themselves on their CV or at interview. So it’s worth considering whether pre-employment skills testing could help guide you towards the most suitable candidates and save you time in the long run.

There are a broad range of tests available: as well as skills and knowledge tests it may also be appropriate to use cognitive ability testing and psychometric profiling to help you get better insights into your candidates’ behavioural styles. Of course, it depends to an extent on the kind of role you are recruiting for. But if your vacancy is likely to have a high volume of applicants, it can be a useful way to quickly start identifying the most suitable candidates. And for sales, managerial and leadership roles, psychometric profiling can prove invaluable to assess cultural fit.

5. Don’t abandon video interviews!

The world is, we hope, moving towards a greater level of normality which should mean the return to more face-to-face interviews. But don’t be too quick to think of video interviewing as the emergency default option only!

While face-to-face interviewing is highly valuable, it’s a very time-consuming activity that’s best done once you have a carefully targeted shortlist. Conducting video interviews beforehand to reduce that shortlist is a time-efficient way to get a feel for candidates who are of interest. It can be useful to clarify details and points raised in their applications before you make the decision to go to full interview stage. It does mean work upfront but then you’ll have a shorter and more relevant list of candidates to interview in person.

6. Don’t delay your selection process

If you think the pandemic means it’s now an employer-led market, think again. For many role types, the market is still moving fast and it is candidate driven. If you delay your selection process, it’s very likely that you’ll find the best talent is being snapped up by the competition.

We’re certainly not advocating that you hurtle into making a decision without carrying out a thorough recruitment process. But be mindful of the fact that good people will always be in demand and if you are slow about progressing applications and making your decisions, you could lose out. Candidates won’t wait forever and will be more positive about employers who come across as recruiting in a purposeful and considerate way.

7. Build up a talent pool

Longer term, you might find it’s worth making your approach to recruitment more time and cost effective by building up a talent pool. You might have several great applicants responding to an advert. Even if the original position is filled, it may well be that you’d like to hold onto their details if they could be a good fit for other roles that might come up.

You must comply with GDPR requirements to do this though, and if you’re trying to handle it all manually it could get complicated. This is where an ATS can help by offering a GDPR-compliant way to keep track of that talent pool. It’s straightforward to manage candidate permissions to hold and process their details, update privacy statements and comply with all other requirements.

Do you want to reduce your time to hire?

Would you value specialist help to get your recruitment campaigns off the ground: from writing job advert copy, getting it right first time to attract the best candidates; to benefitting from the comprehensive reach through job boards and social media channels so the right people know about your opportunities; and access to time saving technology that’s instantly available to help speed up your recruitment process?  

Please do get in touch with us if you’d like to have a chat to explore the ways in which our cost-effective job advertising and recruitment support will benefit your company.

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