Candidate Experience

Want to know how to hire better people faster?

September 20, 2019

Want to know how to hire better people faster?

The question of how to hire people faster should be a core consideration for every recruiter. Finding, screening, and hiring the best possible candidate quickly goes to the heart of what it means to be a successful recruiter, and recruitment team. 

Of course, consistently hiring top talent at a pace that keeps up with your thriving business in no easy feat. It takes a strong commitment from your entire recruitment team, and the discipline to constantly be auditing, tweaking, and reviewing your hiring process. 

Luckily, hiring the right people faster often comes down to some specific areas of change and improvement that you and your team can adopt. 

Before we jump into some tips for how to hire people faster, let’s take a look at why you’d want to speed up the process in the first place. 

Why hire people faster?

The reason that a recruiter might want to speed up their hiring process is pretty obvious. Faster hiring means vacant positions are filled more quickly, meaning that teams can stay productive and profitable. 

With that being said, here are some of the benefits that come with hiring people faster. 

    • Reduce the revenue and budget burden of vacant positions. Every day that a position remains vacant, your company is losing money thanks to a gap in skills and productivity. 
    • Top candidates aren’t available for long. In fact, the best candidates are usually snapped up in just 10 days
  • It improves your candidate experience. Applicants prefer a faster recruitment process, and speed will make your company appear organized and efficient. 
  • There’s really tough competition for talent today. Unemployment rates around the world are lower than average at the moment, meaning you need to lock down the best talent faster (or your competitors will). 

But speed in recruitment, as with most ventures, can come with some risk. Think of the famous Fast / Good / Cheap triangle. This thought experiment dictates that, realistically, a project can only accomplish (at most) two of those variables at the expense of the other. This is the risk you run if you attempt to speed up your recruitment without accounting for quality or budget.  

So, before we get into how to hire people faster, it’s important to keep in mind that quality of hire, and cost per hire, should not take hits for the sake of faster hiring. Instead, you should strive to achieve all three! 

To help keep you honest, we’ve compiled a list of common KPIs you can follow to make sure you’re on the right track. 

KPIs to follow when hiring people faster

Before we get into some tips on how to hire people faster, let’s take a look at the metrics you should be following. Here are some of the major KPIs you should keep in mind: 

  • Percentage of qualified applicants per job post. This will show you how effective your overall recruitment strategy is, and how consistent you are in hiring good employees. 
  • Time to fill. This is your core metric for speed, and shows the total amount of time from job requisition to onboarding. 
  • Offer acceptance rate. This can act as an indicator of issues at different points in your hiring process. For example, if your offer acceptance rate declines, it’s likely an indicator of a problem somewhere in the recruitment funnel. 
  • Quality of hire. The core metric for measuring how successful and productive your hiring choices are over time. 
  • Cost per hire. The core metric for keeping track of how much a quality candidate costs, and where there might be opportunities for savings. 

Now that we’ve looked at why you would want to speed up your recruitment, and what metrics you should track to keep your Fast / Good / Cheap triangle happy, let’s jump into some tips on how to hire people faster.

Tips on how to hire people faster

While results and efforts will undoubtedly vary depending on the recruitment team and company, here are some easy tips you should consider to hire great people faster. 

1. Use a data-driven approach. 

Your first step when changing anything about your hiring process should be to look at the data. Review your KPIs, and flag the metrics that are showing your hiring process to be slow and inefficient. 

From there, you can tweak your process, develop new KPIs to measure, and continuously monitor how quickly and efficiently candidates are moving through your recruitment funnel. Without a data-driven mentality, it’s impossible to even identify a problem, let alone come up with a solution. 

2. Create a structured hiring process. 

Once you’ve audited your recruitment metrics and are ready to make changes, it’s good practice to develop a structured hiring process to make things as efficient as possible. A structured process gives your recruitment team a specific set of steps to follow for each new job opening, eliminating missed or redundant steps, or backlogs in the system.

Once in place, you can continuously monitor your hiring process, and make tweaks to improve the pipeline’s overall speed and efficiency. 

3. Automate as much as possible.

Repetitive and time-consuming tasks are the number one leading cause of slow and inefficient hiring processes. This task overload can also lead to backlogs of work at certain stages in the hiring process, which can have a ripple effect across all of your core KPIs. 

To avoid this, it’s advisable that you automate as many simple and repetitive tasks as possible. These can include resume screening, scheduling interviews, changing candidate statuses, or sending emails. The more you automate, the faster candidates can be moved through the funnel.

4. Only interview the best candidates.

Interviewing can easily be one of the most time consuming tasks in hiring. If you’re regularly wondering about how to hire people faster, one of the best ways is to be more exclusive about who you meet with. 

Think about it. If one job opening brings in 250 applicants, and you’re interviewing even 5% of them, that’s 13 individual meetings that you have to attend, plus the time spent reviewing the results. If you take a stricter approach to who you interview, and only invite the top 1% in for a chat, that number drops down to three. 

5. Hire internally

Always hiring new, external candidates can be an expensive and time consuming process. On top of that, only between 40-60% of those candidates you hire externally move on to be successful members of your team. 

One sure fire way to hire better people, faster, and for less money is to lean more heavily on your internal pool of candidates: current employees. Hiring internally is 1.7 times cheaper, and it takes much less time to find and screen qualified candidates. Plus, you already know that these internal candidates are a culture fit, and you have first hand insight into their performance. 

So, it’s a good idea to let your internal team know about openings as a first step before posting them onto job boards. 

6. Use referral programs

Like internal recruitment, referral programs are also proven to be faster, cheaper, and more effective than external recruitment. These work in a similar manner to internal hiring, except that you’re relying on employees to vouch for qualified candidates. 

More often than not your employees will recommend someone who is a good cultural fit, and has the skills needed to be successful. 

7. Make offers faster

There’s nothing worse for a recruiter than to find the ideal candidate, only to have them reject the offer at the last minute. To avoid these scenarios, it’s strongly recommended that you look into speeding up your offers. 

Qualified candidates who get radio silence after a long interview process are likely to start rethinking their desire to work for your company. On top of that, if your chosen candidate is as qualified as you hope he or she is, then it’s likely that a competitor is waiting to swoop in and steal them from you. 

Reduce the risk of either situation by making the decision-making process faster, and automating key components of your job offers. 

8. Know your needs and your ideal candidates 

If your goal is to consistently hire the right people faster, then it’s absolutely critical that you have a strong handle on what your current and future needs are, and who your ideal candidate is to fill these roles. 

Knowing these two factors will enable you to quickly write and post accurate recruitment ads, targeted directly to the people you’re hoping to hire. This will ensure that the flood of applicants you receive will mostly be qualified, reducing your workload down the line. 

Additionally, always being aware of your company’s strategic needs will help you jump into action immediately, allowing you to avoid costly hiring delays. 

9. Use talent pipelines 

Talent pipelines are a backlog of highly qualified candidates that can be mined when needed to fill vacant positions. They’re also one of the most effective techniques for filling vacant positions with qualified candidates as quickly as possible. 

If you haven’t already, you should consider assigning your recruitment team to networking and candidate engagement tasks that will help them meet and communicate with qualified candidates that may one day turn into new hires. 

10. Invest in the right tech stack

Whether your focus is on automation, intelligent analytics, or talent pipelining, it’s essential that your recruitment team has the right tools for the job. The question of “how to hire people faster and more efficiently” should closely be followed by “what technology can we leverage to make that happen”. 

Recruitment technology has never been better and more varied than it is today. Do yourself a favour and research different options that can make your recruitment leaner, faster, more cost effective, and, ultimately, more effective for your organization. 

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.