How to Hire Candidates Faster

For those that can remember back to 1986, and to the blockbuster film Top Gun, the number one quote from the movie was between rebellious, hotshots Maverick and Goose. “I feel the need . . . the need for speed.”

Who ever would have thought that the need for speed would apply to recruiting?

This quote flies in the face of traditional tried and true recruiting methods – you may have heard “hire slow, fire fast.” We’re currently in an entirely new generation of hiring, however. Who would have thought that the resume might be on its way out? Who would have thought that Twitter would be a top way to land a job? Who would have thought that the faster you hire, the more competitive your company is?

Maybe we should take some advice from Maverick and Goose. Increasing the speed of your hiring process could lead you to improving your acceptance rates for top talent, increasing your productivity, and strengthening your company’s brand—all making you more competitive in this fast-moving business environment.

So, what do hiring managers need to do to increase their speeds for candidate hiring?


Develop a talent pipeline

Recruiters’ top concern is competition for talent. The three leading ways that recruiters measure success are: retention of a new hire, time it take to hire a new recruit, and the hiring manager’s satisfaction. The most common length of time to hire is 1 to 2 months.

How can recruiters, or hiring managers as the case may be, increase the speed of hiring while increasing retention and keeping the hiring manager satisfied with the results? Develop a talent pipeline.

By focusing on finding talent before the need arises, hiring managers eliminate the panic of finding a high-quality candidate quickly. It also gives companies time to assess candidates properly, solving the tried and true “hire slow.” You can check out your candidates to see if they’re a fit for your culture and your needs, rather than scurrying to fill a spot with the wrong person.

Start an internship program. Stay in touch with candidates who perhaps took positions at other companies. Promote from within. Be open about where you source your talent.

Also, explore as many talent pools as possible. Don’t limit yourself. When positions become open within your organization, you need to know where to turn for top talent. For example, ask for referrals from your employees. If you have a stellar workforce, your employees will know other stellar people. Like attracts like.

And, if your employees enjoy working at your company, they’ll want to spread the word. Your employees can serve as your best brand ambassadors. If they help you build a talent pipeline, you’ll need to reward them accordingly. Success breeds success.


Reduce delays during the interview process

Talented candidates are interviewing at more than one company. To stay ahead of the talent curve, you want to reduce any unnecessary delays during the interview process.

Interview the candidate by phone initially. You can determine if the job seeker is right for the job or the culture by asking some key questions over the phone. If the candidate passes the initial test, then bring him or her in for a face-to-face interview.

Make scheduling the interview easy. Don’t spend a couple of weeks making it difficult to get the candidate on your calendar. In that amount of time, the candidate could be hired by your competition.

If the candidate lives out of town, schedule a live video interview. By reducing travel, and the associated expenses, you can still meet face-to-face via video conference and have a productive interview. Through this method, you can advance top candidates and eliminate candidates that aren’t the right fit.

If you need the candidate to meet with more than one person in your company, schedule all interviews on one day. The more time delays you can eliminate, the better.

After you conduct your interviews with your candidates, meet in a timely fashion to decide upon who you’re hiring. Again, schedules can be ruthless. The more time that goes by, the less chance you’ll have of securing your top candidate choices.


Close quickly

Top talent is top talent. They won’t hang around long. And more than likely, they’re interviewing at other companies as well.

Close quickly! Make an offer as soon as you can. If you have to bring the candidate back for multiple interviews or wait on the compensation department to finalize numbers, you’re going to lose your top candidate to another company, and perhaps to your competition.

A recent survey found that if candidates are faced with a lengthy hiring process, 57 percent of them will either stay in their current position or take another job. If you want to be competitive in today’s job market, you’ll close those top candidates fast.


Track your hiring metrics

Keep track of your hires and of those candidates that didn’t work out. You need to learn about what works in your recruiting methods and what doesn’t. Don’t simply throw up your hands and say, “There just isn’t any good talent out there!”

It’s there. You just may not be looking in the right places. For example, you may be focusing on active candidates—those people actively looking for jobs. What about passive candidates? Seventy percent of the global workforce consists of passive candidates, meaning potential candidates who aren’t actively looking for jobs. Eighty-seven percent of active and passive candidates are open to new job opportunities, if approached. If you’re just approaching active job seekers, you’re missing out on an entire pool of potential talent.

By tracking your hiring metrics, you can drill into what kind of candidates you’re hiring, or not hiring. You can track your retention and your productivity rates. You’ll have the statistics to know where to make changes in your hiring program.

We live in a fast-paced, competitive world driven by instant decisions. Competition is become more fierce. Productivity, customer satisfaction, and company brand is top of mind. Increasing the speed of candidate hiring while making good hires is critical. Developing your talent pipeline while moving quickly through the process can help drive your business to success.

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