An effective and speedy recruitment process is a company’s most valuable weapon in the fight for talent.
Any recruiter knows that this is a candidate-driven market. However, time and again we see fantastic employers losing great candidates to competitors due to a slow and inefficient recruitment process. Furthermore, savvy job seekers know they shouldn’t give up on their search until they have a firm offer. It’s the old saying: ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.’
According to recent research, the optimum timeframe between a candidate’s last interview and an offer being made is three days. If you wait too long - which can happen for any number of reasons, such as gathering feedback from executives who are travelling to getting sign off from the board - you risk losing that candidate to a competitor who can make a quicker decision and act faster. Anything more than two weeks and the candidate is 76% less likely to accept the offer!
Here at Joss Search, we work to a 7-8 week time to hire which includes 3-4 weeks for the process and an average of four weeks for the notice period. We can do it in just one week - it depends on the client!
Here are some things that hiring managers can do before they start a search to speed up the process:
- Establish a timeframe with your recruiter. Work backwards from when you want the candidate to start and look at the diaries for the people who are involved in the interview process. Is everyone here? Are some crucial team members travelling? Can a decision be made without those people? If not, is now the right time to search or should you pause?
- Hold time in the hiring managers’ diaries for interviewing and give that schedule to your agency so everyone knows what timeframe you’re working towards.
- Secure sign off on the role from the board before you start the process. You can use this as a selling tool to candidates and then you won’t have that delay at the end.
- Have a clearly defined and agreed picture of the vacant role from the hiring manager/team before you brief the agency. If you’re unsure exactly what you’re looking for, ask your agency to help you put it together with current market analysis and then feedback.
- Agree the interview process in advance internally. Who will meet these candidates at first and second stage? Try to keep the process to three stages - any more and it becomes a real drain on the candidate’s time.
- Be willing to meet candidates at times outside of their normal hours.
- Don’t get too hung up on finding the perfect candidate on paper - if you have a recruiting partner that you trust, let them do their job and trust their judgement with the people they send.
- If you have a testing process as part of your search, try to include that at the first or second stage interview so the candidate doesn’t have to come back over and over again or even think about letting them do it from home.
- Know exactly what your benefits package is before making an offer to a candidate - you want to present the offer in the best possible way at the very start.
- If you happen to be in the fortunate position of having two candidates to choose from, ask your agency to take a reference on the candidates from a previous employer.
- If you have any question marks on fit, don’t bring the candidate back for a second round.
- Give feedback quickly to your recruiter, ideally within 24 hours.
- If getting all the collaborators into a room together to share feedback on the candidates you have met is too tricky, create a quick table that can be filled in on an email and sent back to you so you can share the general consensus with the team.
The benefits of following these steps are clear. You can easily replace and fill a role within three weeks of starting the search but you have to be both swift and efficient!