The cost of hiring an employee isn’t just about the salary and benefits your company offers. And it goes beyond the budget you devote to advertising available positions, attending job fairs and other recruiting events, or even investing in technology tools to help manage your hiring process. The cost to hire an employee includes all the time that you and your staff members must spend on the process — as well as any lost productivity the business may experience while a position sits open.
However, you can reduce your time commitment, and your cost of hiring an employee, by improving your approach to key steps in the recruiting process. Here’s a look at three of those steps, along with tips for increasing efficiency to save you time, stress and money:
1. Writing accurate job descriptions
It’s easy to underestimate the time it takes to create a job description that will help you land the best hire. The time you spend weeding through resumes from unqualified candidates contributes to the cost of hiring an employee, so it’s important to reduce the chance of attracting applicants who don’t have the skills and experience you seek.
Tip: Don’t wait to develop a job description until a position is open. Keep job descriptions on file and update them over time. Consider revisiting them during the performance review process for employees to make sure details — from skills to responsibilities — are accurate. This process will also help you monitor how roles are evolving at your firm and decide whether you should adjust job titles or compensation. And when the time comes to hire someone new, you’ll have the latest information at your fingertips.
2. Selecting job candidates to interview in person
The cost of hiring an employee can rise when you spend time interviewing candidates who look great on paper but fail to impress in the interview. Resumes and cover letters can offer an overview of a person’s work history and some insight into their writing skills. But you’ll want to go the extra mile to learn more about a promising candidate before inviting them to an in-person interview.
Tip: That extra mile doesn’t have to be long or arduous. You can gain more insight quickly and easily through brief phone or video interviews. A 10- to 15-minute interaction with a candidate can help you learn a lot about a potential hire’s personality and verbal communication abilities.
Ask open-ended questions such as, “Tell me about the last project you worked on, and what steps you took to ensure success,” or “What type of work environment do you typically thrive in?” These types of questions will prompt candidates to expand on their abilities, interests and preferences, giving you a better sense of whether they would be a good match for the job and your organizational culture.
3. Onboarding new hires
The cost of hiring an employee includes helping a new team member adapt to their new role and work environment. Onboarding may take weeks or even months, depending on the job and organization, and it may also include skills training. So, it makes sense to do what you can to get a new hire settled in and down to work faster.
Tip: One time-saving technique is to have new hires complete paperwork before they even report for their first day of work. What routine documents can they fill out in advance? What information can you provide them regarding the company’s mission statement and values, basic products and services, organizational structure, and so on, so they can start growing their knowledge of the business? Also, consider pairing new hires with coworker “buddies” or mentors who can help guide them through their initial days and weeks on the job and set them on a course for productivity.
4. Working with external staffing experts
One strategy that many employers use to help lower their cost to hire is to work with external staffing experts. Outsourcing the hiring process to specialized staffing agencies can also help to expedite the hiring process. Robert Half, for example, has highly skilled, pre-evaluated job candidates with a wide array of expertise who are ready to begin working right away, either on a temporary basis or full time.
Tip: Working with external staffing experts can help you avoid another potential cost of hiring an employee that can really impact your firm’s bottom line: the cost of a bad hire. Hiring mistakes are common: More than 80% of employers say they have hired the wrong person, according to a Robert Half survey. When a new employee doesn’t work out, it can undermine productivity and drag down employee morale. It can also lead to delays on existing projects or the postponement of special initiatives that may have hinged on the new hire being part of the team.
Recruiting talented people is always an investment, but it can deliver a high return, especially if you’re efficient in your hiring process. You can reduce the cost of hiring an employee by using the tips above to attract, evaluate and onboard talented professionals who will be an asset to your organization.