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Top 5 barriers to achieving a more efficient hiring process

August 26, 2019

Top 5 barriers to achieving a more efficient hiring process

When it comes to hiring top talent, speed and quality are two important factors that recruiters should not compromise on. Finding, contacting, and pushing high caliber candidates through the funnel quickly can often be the difference between finding the perfect hire, or settling for one who isn’t quite as qualified. To accomplish this delicate balance between speed and quality, it’s important to ensure that you have an efficient hiring process in place across your organization.

Unfortunately, the average time to hire is somewhere around 43 days from job opening to final handshake. Sometimes, that may not be quite fast enough. To speed up this process, it’s important to reduce the costly delays and inefficient processes that may be leading to poor hires and, ultimately, lost revenue. 

Before we get into how to create a more efficient hiring process, let’s look at some of the reasons it might be inefficient in the first place. 

What goes into the hiring process?

The first step in creating an efficient hiring process is to understand how it works. That means analyzing each stage of the hiring process, and finding ways to make it better.

If you’re like most recruitment teams, your hiring process will likely look something like this:

  1. Identify the need, and make the decision to hire a new employee.
  2. Decide on job requirements, and write the job description.
  3. Post recruitment ads to attract new candidates. 
  4. Screen candidates – look at resumes, shortlist candidates, interview. 
  5. Select the best candidate.
  6. Onboard and train the new hire. 

Once you have your process mapped out in front of you, it’s easier to identify the steps that might be causing delays. To help get you thinking about what could be holding you back from an efficient hiring process, let’s take a look at some common issues that lead to poor results. 

Issues that lead to an inefficient hiring process

Like most issues in business, inefficient hiring processes often boil down to poor planning, communication, and the improper use of tools. 

Here are the five most common causes of inefficient hiring processes. 

1. Lack of planning

Effective recruitment is all about planning. Planning for what your current and future needs are, planning for how you’re going to fill those needs, and planning the execution of a process to find the ideal candidate. At every stage of the hiring process, it’s important to take the time to plan out how you’re going to execute on a goal. 

Recruiters who fail to plan properly set themselves up for failure down the road. Without planning, an efficient hiring process is not possible.

2. Lack of clarity 

Likewise, it’s critical that recruiters clearly explain what they expect from all candidates to be successful on the job. That means creating unique job requirements and descriptions for every vacant position, and clearly stating what is expected in the recruitment ad. This helps candidates pre-screen themselves, saving recruiters time and energy otherwise spent screening unqualified candidates. 

3. Roadblocks, delays, and lost productivity 

Unsurprisingly, one way to ensure that you don’t have an efficient hiring process is to failing to alleviate any roadblock and delays that lead to lost productivity. This could be as simple as automating certain tasks that hold up the hiring process or removing unneeded red tape that leads to productivity backlogs. 

4. Lack of communication

This issue relates specifically to internal communication. If your recruitment team is not regularly meeting with one another, hiring managers, and strategic leaders in the company, then you’re likely missing opportunities to make your hiring process more efficient. 

Regular dialogue with your co-workers will enable you to continuously identify and remove roadblocks, while also ensuring that you are planning properly and providing clear and accurate requirements to candidates. 

5. Using the wrong technology

Last but not least, using the wrong tool or technology for the job can also cause unnecessary delays and complexity in your hiring process. It’s important to ensure that whatever technology you use is well-suited to the size of your company and your hiring volume. Overly complicated technologies can cause delays due to needless complexity, while outdated or insufficient technologies might not be able to keep up with your team. 

Whether you’re using an ATS, CRM, video interviewing software, or any other recruitment tool, it’s important to ensure that it’s helping, not hindering, your hiring process. 

Now that we’ve looked at what might be holding you back from an efficient hiring process, let’s look at some ways to make it a reality. 

5 ways to ensure an efficient hiring process 

There are many ways to make your hiring process more efficient, all of which will depend on the variables unique to your recruitment team. To help get you thinking, here are some common ways to streamline recruitment. 

1. Fill your talent pipeline

Looking back at the common hiring process stages outlined earlier in this article, you can see that the vast majority of time is spent finding and screening candidates. What if you could jump straight from Step 1 (identifying the need) to Step 5 (select the best candidate)? That would make your hiring process quite a bit more efficient.  

Talent pipelines let you do just that. This tactic calls for recruiters to spend a chunk of time creating relationships with high caliber candidates on a regular basis, even if there isn’t a specific job available for them at the time. By doing so, recruiters create a backlog of pre-screened, qualified candidates that can be called upon whenever an opening arises. 

Talent pipelines require an ongoing and concerted effort by your recruitment team to be effective. They involve a combination of networking, candidate relationship management, social media outreach, and referrals management. 

Here are some common ways you can fill a talent pipeline: 

  • Interact with qualified workers in your industry on social media. 
  • Participate in industry groups and networking events. 
  • Establish and maintain a referral program. 
  • Look to past candidates and keep the lines of communication open.
  • Source passive candidates who may not be looking right now.

Of course, it’s important to always ensure that you know what is required as new roles pop up. This will help you quickly identify pipeline candidates who fit the bill. And, the better and more efficient your talent pipeline becomes, the more time your recruitment team will have to continuously improve your efficient hiring process.

2. Automate tasks

To ensure that your recruiters are focussing most of their energy on the jobs that make the biggest impact (like filling your talent pipeline), it’s important to remove time-consuming tasks from their plate. 

Luckily, recruitment technology has improved dramatically in recent years, allowing companies to automate menial tasks like screening resumes, scheduling interviews, answering simple questions, or sending out rejection emails. 

Like talent pipelines, task automation is a self-fulfilling prophecy of efficiency. The more you can free your recruiters from time-consuming tasks, the more they can focus on improving the overall speed and quality of your hiring process. 

3. Hire collaboratively 

As mentioned earlier, one of the major contributing factors to an inefficient hiring process is poor communication. If recruiters or hiring managers are making decisions about candidates in a bubble, then it’s highly likely that they will make the wrong one. Instead, it’s important to get as much input as possible from other stakeholders to help ensure the best possible decision. 

Collaborative hiring is one way to ensure that effective communication is maintained throughout the hiring process. Many collaborative hiring tools, like Recruitee, allow specific team members to review interview answers and candidate profiles and record their opinions. This gives recruiters a hiring manager a more objective, 360-degree view of not only which candidate is most qualified, but who the team would prefer to work with. 

Combined with talent pipelines, collaborative hiring can even lead to a situation where the perfect hire is flagged and contacted before any recruitment ad is created. In these cases, the company will save money, time, and effort that would otherwise have been spent gathering net new candidates. 

4. Speed up your screening

Creating a more efficient hiring process starts with speeding up the most time-consuming stages while maintaining quality. Unsurprisingly, the most time-consuming recruitment phase is usually screening candidates. That’s because it involves scanning resumes, shortlisting, scheduling and conducting interviews, shortlisting again, and then making a final decision and job offer. That’s more touchpoints than any other stage of the hiring process. 

Finding ways to make screening more streamlined will lead to a much more efficient hiring process overall. Some common techniques for speeding up the screening process include: 

  • Using video interviews instead of in-person interviews early in the recruitment process. 
  • Using structured interviews to ensure consistent and efficient screening criteria.
  • Using pre-screen tests and questionnaires to weed out unqualified applicants immediately. 
  • Automating tasks like scheduling and resume keyword searches. 

Together, these tactics can drastically reduce the amount of time spent screening candidates, while also ensuring that it’s always done effectively. 

5. Enhance the candidate experience 

Lastly, improving the overall candidate experience will help to ensure that you always have an efficient hiring process. That’s because some of the most common ways to improve candidate experience also contribute to faster and more efficient hiring. 

Shortening the application process, for example, makes the overall experience much less tedious for the candidate. It also reduces the number of touchpoints and handoffs that recruiters have to stickhandle for every new hire. 

Maintaining a vibrant careers page and employer brand will help candidates determine whether or not they will be a good cultural fit at your company. This helps them to pre-screen themselves for the position, reducing the number of applicants who won’t make a good fit. This also creates a better candidate experience by helping candidates feel more informed and excited about the position that they’re applying for. 

Finally, by always maintaining clear communication with candidates, you improve their overall experience, while also ensuring that you avoid roadblocks and delays caused by poor communication. 

As you can see, with a combination of talent pipelines, the proper recruitment software, efficient and collaborative hiring, and an exceptional candidate experience, you can achieve the efficient hiring process that your team has always dreamed about. 

Brendan is an experienced writer and content marketing professional with experience working for various HR tech and SaaS companies in Canada. He has an extensive background in web content marketing and journalism.