Reducing Time to Hire - 5 Simple Steps

Tom Stroud By Tom Stroud on 28.10.2016
Choosing a candidate

Virtually every Recruiter, Head of Talent Acquisition or HR Director I speak to says the same thing - "How can we reduce time to hire? Oh, and still find the best candidates." Sound familiar?

So dear reader, here are Tazio's top five tips for reducing time to hire.

1. Plan ahead

Sounds obvious, right. However, very few employers are creating detailed recruitment plans for the next 3, 6, or 12 months based on comprehensive analysis.

If at the start of the year you know you're going to need to hire five new sales people in Q3, you have plenty of time to put the groundwork in place.

With the growth of People Analytics, there are now no excuses. HR needs to work strategically with the business to produce an accurate prediction of hiring requirements.

Not just how many people you'll need to recruit and when, but how long it will take, what the best sources of candidates are and so much more.

We cover People Analytics in detail in a series of blog posts called Tazio On People Analytics

2. Candidate experience

For many employers suitable candidates with the right skills and experience remain in short supply. As a result, the best candidates can be selective, so you need to make a great impression from the outset.

So what should you be doing to deliver a great candidate experience?

  • Branding - the entire recruitment process needs to be consistent with your corporate style, messaging and values.
  • Transparency - explain what your recruitment process involves, ideally using video. Then deliver exactly that.
  • Educate - introduce candidates to existing employees, again with video to show them what the role involves, what it's really like working for you.
  • Communicate - keep in touch on a regular basis, even if it's just a quick call or email to say we've not forgotten you and well have more news soon.
  • Make it simple - applying for your job should be quick and easy. Candidates want to be able to apply from their mobile or tablet, at anytime of day or night.
  • Provide feedback - if you're rejecting a candidate tell them why and give details on what they can do to improve.

3. Sell the job

Is a standard (same as everyone else), bland job advert going to attract a flood of candidates? Not unless you're Apple, Google or Facebook maybe, but even they don't write boring job adverts, so it's tough.

You're going to need to sell the benefits of working for your organisation, tell candidates about all the fun things you do, the annual summer party, etc. Better still, have your employees do it for you.

Use video to show candidates what the job is like and what a great place it is to work. Video clips of last year's graduates talking about their experiences, or a realistic preview of the job will help you stand out.

4. Streamline your recruitment process

If you've got a six-stage recruitment process, is it any wonder it takes three months?

Why ask for a CV at the start? What do they tell you about a candidate? Sifting candidates by their CV is a waste of time.

It's far better to use an online assessment to screen candidates. Include killer questions to filter out those without the minimum qualifications or experience.

Use psychometric tests, or situational judgement tests to compare candidate's knowledge, skills and behaviours with those of your current top performers.

Finally, include a couple of video questions to assess motivation and culture fit.

The whole process should only take candidates around 30-40 minutes. After which, you'll have everything you need to know to shortlist the best and the brightest.

5. Analyse, learn and evolve

It is well known one of the main reasons why Team GB has been so successful in recent years is down to their focus on small incremental improvements.

Once you've created an efficient, online recruitment process, it's time to crunch the data. The technology running your hiring process will be capturing loads of hugely valuable data.

Analyse this data and you'll quickly discover the source of your best candidates. If that happens to be from your employee referral programme, you should double down on this to build a pipeline of excellent candidates.

In summary

Reducing time to hire, while at the same time attracting and quickly spotting the best candidates, is possible. You simply need to focus on candidate experience, make use of technology to streamline and optimise your recruitment process.

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