A protracted hiring process may not only cause you to lose talented tech professionals, it can damage your employment brand. Surveys show that candidates are put off by a lengthy hiring process that stretches on for weeks or even months, and they’re likely to share their frustrations with friends. “Competitors will gobble up the ‘A’ players if you don’t make timely hiring decisions,” said Shaun Androff, VP of client relations for Hiregy, a staffing agency based in Florida. “In my experience, companies that miss out on their first choice become desperate and end up settling for scraps.” The longer it takes to close a deal, the less likely it is to happen. Here are several four steps you can take to accelerate your hiring process.
Consolidate Steps, Eliminate Bottlenecks
Consider each activity in your hiring process, the time between steps, and the dropout rate in order to spot opportunities to create efficiencies and eliminate delays and bottlenecks. For instance, do tech pros really need to answer pre-interview questions via email and then take an online coding test before they even speak to a tech hiring manager? Why not jump to second-round interviews by asking the manager to review the candidate’s coding samples via Skype or on GitHub? And instead of waiting until you’re ready to put out an offer, call the candidate’s references as soon as they pass the initial screen. Waiting days to hear back from hiring managers can cause you to lose top candidates. Why not use a scheduling tool to proactively map out a slate of activities for each candidate, or use a free online survey to gather feedback? Book consecutive meetings with team members and use a structured interview format to keep candidates from making multiple trips to furnish missing information.
Stack Rank Requisitions
Understanding the hiring manager’s timeframe and situation is critical when it comes to creating a sense of urgency, expediting searches and deciding which candidates to target, explained Jori Blumsack, founder and owner of the Vesume Group, a staffing agency in Massachusetts. For example, tech hiring managers are often willing to interview after-hours or train candidates on a new program or tool if they need to replace a departing employee ASAP. But there’s no point in presenting an active candidate who only meets 70 percent of the requirements to a manager who’s willing to hold out for a perfect match. “You can’t manage either party’s expectations unless you understand the reason for the job opening and the timeframe for making a hire,” Blumsack said.
Finalize Details Before Recruiting
Hiring initiatives that sputter and stall are often doomed from the outset. An ill-fated search typically begins with a murky or unrealistic job description. The process is further bogged down by indecisive hiring teams that redefine their list of requirements after every interview. “Don’t start sourcing until you sit down with the hiring manager and get a crystal clear picture of what he’s looking,” Androff said. “Confirm the must-have and preferred skills and make sure that everyone involved in the hiring process is on the same page. The old adage ‘I’ll know it when I see it’ creates a long and frustrating hiring process.”
Myth-Bust Your Recruiting Strategy
The notion that candidates must prove their mettle and commitment by enduring an arduous hiring process needs to be challenged. Highly sought-after tech pros are bombarded with opportunities and offers. They exit the market quickly, leaving only the weak ones to vie for your open position. “Employers mistakenly think that being thorough eliminates mistakes, but nothing’s 100 percent risk free when it comes to hiring,” Androff said. “You can be thorough and still be quick.”
Leslie Stevens-Huffman is a business and careers writer based in Southern California. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the staffing industry and has been writing blog posts, sample resumes and providing sage career advice to the IT professionals in our Dice Community since 2006. Leslie has a bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism from the University of Southern California.
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