The typical hiring process goes like this: The applicant will submit their resume to a company, they’ll get a call if they passed the qualifications, and they’ll show up for a test. Sometimes, an initial interview will occur right after the test, or only if the applicant has passed.
But the time between the applicant’s submission and the call from the company is where the issue lies. Many companies take too long to process applications. They’d keep a job posting open for weeks, if not months. In fact, as of 2015, the average time it took to fill a vacant position was 52 days.
That’s more than a month of waiting. A talented applicant could’ve already found a more time-efficient employer sometime around those 52 days. So what’s making companies take this long to hire?
The Problem With a Long and Slow Hiring Process
A long and slow hiring process is hurting your company more than you realize. You may think reviewing a hundred resumes at once helps you spot the best talent in the pool. But you’re actually making them harder to find.
One sign that your hiring process is too slow is a high employee turnover rate. That’s because your organization is most likely composed of second- or third-tier talents. As such, they either don’t pass the probationary period, or they move on to another company that supports their skills better. This problem roots in your slow hiring process. Because it took you a while to process the applications, you’ve lost who could’ve been the best talents. While waiting, they’ve found another employer who was more time-efficient. As a result, you’re left with mediocre applicants.
Making applicants go through two interviews is inefficient as well. But sadly, many companies are guilty of this. They’d make the applicant go through an initial interview first, which is conducted by the HR officer. Then they’d schedule another interview, this time with the applicant’s prospect supervisor. Sometimes, there would even be a panel interview, which determines if the applicant will be hired.
If you conduct three or more interviews, you risk losing the applicant before their third interview. It’s important to note that applicants have no commitment to wait for your decision. If another employer has processed their application faster, they’ll beat you into acquiring their talent.
If you insist on maintaining a slow hiring process, your company will experience these scenarios:
Lost Productivity and Revenue
Recruitment has the highest impact on your income and profit related to your talent functions. If you keep an accounting position vacant for months, for example, how are you going to organize your tax returns? Or what if it’s a sales position that’s been empty? The slower you hire a new sales associate, the more revenue you lose.
You’ll Suffer a Negative Reputation
Applicants and employers commonly use job-hunting sites like LinkedIn or Monster. These sites allow applicants to leave a testimonial about an employer. If it took you too long to process a candidate’s application, that candidate could leave a negative testimonial on your page, preventing other applicants from submitting their resumes to you.
Your Hiring Costs May Increase
The hiring process is costly for both applicants and employers. The applicant will spend money on traveling, while the employer will spend time away from their posts to conduct tests and interviews. Stretch the hiring process longer, and the costs both parties incur increase. But ultimately, it’s the employer who will spend more, because the applicants can just move on after losing their patience.
Ways to Streamline Your Hiring Process
To avoid the lengthy process of reviewing heaps of resumes, you can use a software tool that does that for you. The software will look for keywords in the resumes, and “save” the ones with those keywords, helping you narrow your options. From there, you may start calling in the applicants and ask them to take a test.
But instead of a traditional written exam, prepare a pre-employment skills testing instead, a computerized exam that you can customize based on the job position’s needs. This helps you assess an applicant’s talent better because they didn’t answer an exam that everybody took, regardless of the position they applied for. Tailoring an exam’s questions based on a job position allows you to gain an accurate grasp of an applicant’s strengths and weaknesses.
With regard to your interview processes, consider letting applicants interview you as well. You’d get an idea of what’s important to them through the questions they ask. It also gives them the chance to decide whether they truly want to work for you or to assess if their personality will fit into your organization.
Simply put, make your hiring process short and beneficial for both parties. You can’t be the only one getting answers and expecting your applicants’ cooperation. The hiring process can also be a two-way street. If your applicants see that you value their time, they’d return the favor by contributing their best to your company.