New talent is the lifeblood of your business. Whether your business is expanding its operations or seeking to replace key players, finding the right people when you need them can be the difference between exciting growth and stagnation. What’s more, as unemployment rates continue to drop, it is becoming increasingly clear that we are operating in a candidate’s market. Unnecessary delays or onboarding obstacles can easily prove fatal. Yet, studies show that time-to-hire is increasing across all industries, going from 12.6 days in 2010 to more than 20 days in 2014. Here are some things you can do to keep your hiring time down and get the people you need in place quickly to keep your business thriving.
Simplify your screening process.
Every step in the hiring process adds days to your search. Three rounds of interviews (telephone, one-on-one, and group panel) and a background check can easily add up to three weeks or more, even assuming the candidate you want is in the first group. While you’re scheduling interviews with your candidates so are your competitors, and often the candidate won’t wait for your offer to make a decision. It is vital that you do everything in your power to simplify the process. The efficiency and speed with which you move during the hiring process sends a clear message to your candidate how you run your business. Be sure you don’t send the wrong message.
In my experience, nothing is as effective at shortening the hiring process than using pre-recorded video interviews for the first round. As candidates and hiring managers can complete and review the interviews on their own schedule, they take less time overall even than phone interviews and provide you more information to work with. For most companies, pre-recorded interviews can take the place of both phone interviews and first-round one-on-one live interviews. This way you only really need two steps to the interview process: the video screenings and a hiring committee panel interview. Get all your stakeholders together so everyone has the information they need to make a decision quickly.
Don’t lowball the offer.
Salary considerations are the number one reason that candidates reject an offer. While there is always a negotiation process, pitching a number that is well below range will often make highly sought after candidates just disappear. They may believe that even after bargaining, your final offer just won’t be enough. This doesn’t mean you have to give away the farm, of course, but try to make sure your initial offer is reasonable, from a candidate’s perspective, rather than banking on haggling it out later.
If you’re not sure what is a reasonable figure to start with, there are a number of resources you can turn to to help get you started. Monster has a basic salary calculator that will give you a mean salary based on job title and location. Comparing this with your candidate’s personal salary history and the compensation for similar positions at your company should give you a place to start. If you’re using a recruiter, they will definitely be able to assist you in locating the sweet spot—a starting offer low enough to leave room for disucssion and negotiation, but high enough to keep the interest of your top choices. Whatever you do, don’t just throw out a low figure and count on hammering out the details later, unless you want your candidates to quietly disappear.