You know the job opening your company needed to fill yesterday? How much longer can you and your company wait until yesterday finally catches up? A week? Two weeks? A month? Chances are, it may be at least a month, and then some.
In fact, according to one recent study, it could be as many as 52 days until you fill your open position. That’s nearly a full work-week longer than it took companies to fill openings less than a decade ago.
Why does it take so long to fill a job opening?
The reasons can vary. Some claim it’s a thinning talent pool, while others point to greater competition, or the fact that job candidates have more options than ever before. Whatever the reason, one simple fact remains: the longer a position stays vacant, the more stress on your business and existing workforce. Either your current employees must pick up the slack, or the work simply goes undone.
Where are the bottlenecks in the recruitment process?
Many professionals point to the interview process as the main culprit. On average, the interview process takes 24 days from start to finish. Add background checks and screenings to the mix, and even after you’ve narrowed candidates down to a handful of applicants, it can still be a slow, uphill battle to fill the position.
So what can a company do to fill jobs faster?
We’ve constructed four “Zen-like tips” to help you find serenity now when it comes to filling your open positions.
- Start within. Sometimes the “peace of mind” you’re seeking is already at your company. As an early step in the hiring process, reach out to your existing employees and let them know about the open position. This will give employees who want to move into a new position a chance to apply.
It also gives hiring managers an opportunity to look into the future with current employees, and develop succession plans involving internal moves. Additionally, it gives current employees a chance to share news about the job opening with friends or former coworkers they believe are a good fit for the position and your company.
- Clarify your intentions. In the past we’ve touched upon how to write a job post like a pro. While the old adage suggests that there’s strength in numbers, a job post that attracts “more candidates” is only successful if it’s attracting a large pool of qualified candidates.
If sifting through the onslaught of applications is part of the slow-down effect, go back to the post itself. Be sure you’re clearly specifying the demands of the position, as well as the skills and experience needed to attract the best candidates.
And while we’re at it, have you filled out your own application yet? We’ve written about this in the past as well. It’s true that your application needs to get the right information. But for your applicant, it shouldn’t feel like they’re slogging through War and Peace (unless you’re hiring a professor of Russian Literature). Along these same lines, keep an eye out for an upcoming post about the reasons candidates abandon job applications mid-stream.
- Focus your gaze. Even though we’re talking about speeding up the hiring process, it’s okay to be picky. After all, when you finally fill the job that needed to be filled yesterday, you want to be sure your new hire will be the best fit tomorrow.
Earlier we mentioned that the interview phase is one of the biggest bottlenecks in the hiring process. Here are a couple of considerations as you focus in on the “best candidate.”
- Take steps before you start interviewing to help you narrow your choices. If possible, conduct brief phone or video conference screenings to get your top 10 list down to a more manageable 5.
- From your top 5, return to their resumes and job applications, and consider what they shared on the phone. Can you narrow your top candidate list down to 3? Keep in mind that when you add a few strategic steps early, you may actually save time on longer steps later.
- Let it flow. Make sure the hiring process runs smoothly from person to person. Every company has its own process of hiring process approvals. Find tools and systems that alert different members of your hiring team when it’s their turn—whether it’s a task for an administrator, or a member of the executive suite. This will help make sure the next step doesn’t become a lost “to-do” on someone’s calendar.
And speaking of steps, remember the journey of a thousand steps. In the end, you may not be able to fill your open position yesterday. But when you reach out to your existing resources and employees, clearly communicate what you’re looking for in a new hire, and make changes to push through any bottlenecks in the process, you will make things a little easier for yourself and your company when it comes to filling your present and future job openings.
Ready to bring inner peace to your hiring process?
The length of the hiring process can be maddening for executives, administrators, hiring managers, HR professionals and job candidates alike. Companies are increasingly looking for software solutions to speed up the process.
myStaffingPro is an applicant tracking system that creates powerful workflows that alert the next person in the process to take action—so your hiring managers aren’t left wondering if they’ll ever get that new employee on the floor.