The Biggest Mistake You’re Making When Hiring

By Robert Half August 22, 2018 at 1:00pm

Many companies are taking too long to hire. And it’s one of the biggest hiring mistakes employers can make these days.

Candidates lose interest if they’re left waiting. In today’s tight labor market, that could be a death sentence for your hiring efforts. In a survey from Robert Half, nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of workers said they lose interest in the firm if they don't hear back within one week after the initial interview. Another 46 percent said they lose interest if there’s no status update from one-to-two weeks post-interview.

That’s no way to attract hard-to-find talent to your company.

Here are some tips for speeding up your recruitment process without sacrificing thorough candidate vetting:

Fine-tune the job description

Make sure your job description that drives the job posting is current and accurately reflects the skills needed for the position. If it doesn’t, you’ll lengthen the hiring process by increasing the number of resumes you have to pour over from applicants who fall short of your requirements.

Do as much as you can in advance

Get all your hiring ducks in a row internally before you even begin recruiting. For example:

  • Make sure you have all the approvals (and required paperwork) to staff the job.
  • Know who needs to interview and sign off on the hire and keep them updated throughout the process so hiring for your role remains top of mind for them. Stay in close contact. Check with them before you schedule interviews, for instance, to ensure they’re available and you don’t have to call a candidate back for another round.
  • Have your compensation range set so you can make an offer ASAP. Know how much wiggle room there is in case a candidate negotiates.
  • Once interviews are completed, press stakeholders for a decision, explaining the need to move quickly.

Stay in touch with your top candidates

Doing so will reinforce your interest in them. Let them know you haven’t forgotten about them if things are dragging on, being clear when they can expect an answer. Also ask them if they have questions that arose after the interview and answer any concerns promptly.

Realize the perfect person may not exist

Hiring managers often waste time requesting additional interviews to do side-by-side talent comparisons of two strong candidates. However, they’d be wiser to invest their time and energy in moving top candidates through the process quickly. This doesn’t mean you should “settle,” just that delaying hiring for that elusive perfect candidate — one who might not even exist, of course — might yield you no candidate at all.

Instead, consider hiring someone who is a good fit with your workplace culture and has most of the required skills, then offering training in the areas they need to strengthen. A good question to ask if you find yourself on the fence about a candidate: Does this person have most of the necessary skills for the role and, short one or two, can they be taught?

Get expert staffing assistance

A recruiting firm can help you more quickly pinpoint the best candidates. Recruiters who specialize in your industry know the most in-demand roles, the skill sets needed and the average salary range offered today. Because helping you hire is their only job, they can more efficiently handle the time-consuming aspects of the hiring process, including writing and placing the job ad, initial skills testing, and sorting through resumes. They also have a broad network of strong candidates available — many who are available to start right away, no less — increasing the speed of the process as well as your chances of getting the right employee the first time.

If you choose a reputable staffing firm — even better, one that specializes in the professional field you’re interested in — you should take their recommendations to heart. Some businesses waste valuable time and miss out on top candidates because they don’t value or acknowledge the heavy lifting already done by recruiters, delaying the process even further.

By streamlining your hiring process and enlisting reputable allies, you can avoid making one of the costliest hiring mistakes today — taking too long to hire and missing out on what could’ve been a great addition to your team.

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