Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

The 14 Best Ways to Speed Up Your Recruitment Process

By Charles Trivett | Jun 13, 2016 | Attracting Staff

Piggy Bank and Coins on Calendar with Grey Background - speed up your recruitment

When it comes to recruiting; time is absolutely of the essence.

The longer it takes to find someone, the more it costs and the more frustrating the whole process becomes…

And that’s when people make bad hiring decisions (that waste thousands of pounds).

So how can we speed things up a little bit? Without sacrificing the best candidates your role?

First things first…

Is there a bottleneck?

Try and work out exactly what’s holding things up…

  • Are you struggling to get any applications through?
  • Does CV assessment take ages because you receive too many and/or irrelevant CVs?
  • Do your interviews hold everything up?

Once you’ve decided exactly what the bottleneck is, you should be able to speed up your process.

Here are some of the key strategies you should have a think about…

1. Choose job boards wisely.

You simply cannot just post a job advert online, cross your fingers and hope for the best.

You need a plan of action!

  • You could decide to use generic sites like Monster; they’re certainly popular and we’ve always gotten pretty good results, but your application rate will be pretty high.
  • You could decide to use niche sites like Simply Sales Jobs or Community Care Jobs if you want to attract appropriate candidates with specific skills and experience.
  • You could decide to use a mixture of both – to cover more of the market.

It’s really important to track your success on these sites (using the right recruitment metrics) and if one clearly isn’t working, move on and try something else.

2. Create a great job advert.

This may seem pretty obvious, but it’s mind-blowing to see how many companies and recruitment agencies are still getting this wrong.

You need your advert to be written in a way that…

a) Ensures it’s actually seen by more, appropriate candidates (click here for advice on this).

b) Appeals to those candidates and compels them to apply (click here for advice on this).

Don’t make the mistake of writing a slapdash job advert, popping it online and just waiting for the applications to come rolling in – they probably won’t.

3. Optimise your advert for mobile.

Mobile browsing accounts for over 50% of Indeed’s traffic – so you’d better make sure that your job advert looks good and is easy to navigate via mobile phone and tablet.

Most job boards now have responsive websites, which basically just means that adverts are easier to read when accessed via mobile; font size is decreased, images removed and the page is reorganised so it looks less squished and cluttered.

This, of course, means that you have a lot less space to play with and fewer visible words so you should try and be clever with your wording to make sure you’re grabbing attention straight away.

Bullet points and lists will help.

If your job ad is too difficult to read and/or apply for via mobile, your candidates may be completely put off or they might save the ad, intending to “apply later” and then completely forget all about it!

It’s not worth the risk. Click here for more tips.

4. Use social media.

A lot of recruiters are a little bit apprehensive about social recruiting – because it ‘takes too long…’

It’s true, if you’re starting from scratch – AKA setting up a profile, building a following, engaging and impressing everyone – then yes, it’s going to take some time.

But if you already have some kind of social media presence, you should absolutely utilise it.

Get your job advert out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram etc. As long as you’re not using PPC advertising, there’s no cost to you, so why not?

Recruiter Pro Tip

Social recruiting is a great way to attract passive candidates (those who don’t currently want a new job) to your business.

And passive candidates are often more…

  • Exclusive.
  • Relevant.
  • Committed.

However, they will need more persuasion to leave their current workplace and so, on average it will take a little bit longer to attract and convince them (and when you do, they’ll have all the power)!

Click here to find out how to get them on side.

93% of recruiters (including us) use social media to recruit – so why aren’t you? Click here to find out more.

5. Hire from within.

You should always encourage your current staff members to apply for the new position.

The advantages are numerous and compelling…

  • Less expense. If you consider the additional costs of advertising, training and inducting a new member of staff, it’s clear that hiring from within costs less.
  • Less risk. You already know how well your current employee fits into your business, as well as their skills, knowledge, loyalty and work ethic.
  • An easier transition. Welcoming a new member of staff takes time and effort (if you do it right) whereas a current staff member is probably already very settled.
  • Employee engagement. If employees feel rewarded and as though there are genuine opportunities for progression, they will be more engaged and productive.

It’s also worth remembering that you could be amazing staff members who are looking for a change of career path – you don’t want to lose them because they don’t feel the opportunity is open to them.

Make it really obvious that you welcome any and all internal applications.

6. Ask your staff to help out.

We recently published this blog about the pros and cons of employee referral schemes.

And it is definitely something worth considering for your business. Think about it:

  • Who better to source great, hard-working, skilled staff than your current great, hardworking, skilled staff? And they’re more likely to fit in too.
  • Including employees in big-picture decisions will make them feel like a valued part of your company, increasing their engagement, loyalty and improving productivity.
  • Nobody’s going to recommend someone that they don’t think could or would do the job well. That would just reflect badly on them.

Make sure you reward your staff for any successful referrals they come up with!

7. Be a little more ruthless.

Interviewing is the most time-consuming part of the recruitment process so it’s really important that you limit the number of people you agree to see.

Be ruthless when you work your way through CVs and never interview someone on the off chance that they might ‘be better face-to-face’ – follow your gut instincts.

Click here to check out our CV Assessment checklist, which should help you to structure your screening a little better – limiting yourself to 2 minutes per CV (in the initial screening stage).

Then, decide how many candidates (max.) you are willing to see and choose your top “scorers.”

NB: if you’re struggling to find any applications that you really like, go back to your job advert (using the tips above) as this is clearly the bottleneck – never interview people out of desperation.

8. Consider flexible interviews.

Do you have the resources and staff to offer more flexible interviews? For example:

  • Could you meet with candidates on a Saturday? Or during the evening?
  • Could you travel to see them, rather than vice versa?
  • Or meet half way; somewhere easy for both of you to travel to?

Doing this will allow you to see candidates quicker – most people have to give at least a week’s notice before taking annual leave – with less interference with your day-to-day tasks.

It also shows your commitment to consider hiring that person – which will make them feel loved.

Yes, you may have to use some personal time – but is it worth it in the long run? You decide.

9. Take advantage of telephone/video interviews.

A great way to judge general suitability, check that there’s nothing suspicious going on and to make a quick assessment of a candidate’s overall personality is to host a telephone/ video interview before meeting face-to-face.

You can have a chat, check some of the facts (like do they have a driving license?) and delve a little bit deeper into why they’re looking for a new job.

These initial interviews should usually last about half an hour. Click here to find out more.

10. Take advantage of group interviews.

Another great way to cut some time is to host a group interview, prior to an individual one.

Invite a few candidates to interview at the same time and you’ll be able to assess multiple people at once (and cull the weaker ones earlier).

You could organise an assessment-based group interview, where you ask candidates to complete group and individual tasks, tests and activities or you could simply bring them together for a chat.

It’s completely up to you, but either way, this technique is also great for finding out who has a strong personality and can cope well under pressure.

Check out our blog – The 6 Different Types of Interview – to find out more about the different ways you could be interviewing.

11. Don’t delay your offer.

So you’ve found the perfect recruit and you’re absolutely sure they’re the right person for your business… Make that offer, quick.

Leaving candidates in the lurch, waiting for a response, is a sure-fire way to put them off your company and/ or to ensure that they get snapped up by someone else.

According to Spark Hire, a great candidate will wait roughly two weeks before giving up on you – but to be honest, that still seems too long to me.

I know you probably have processes that need to be followed, but if you’re really sure about a candidate, it’s your job to hurry things along so you can make that offer.

Once you do, they can hand their notice in and you can start planning to get them on board ASAP.

NB: If you’re delaying because you’re just not sure, then perhaps you need to go back to the drawing board and start again?

12. Try to negotiate starting dates.

A lot of managers are flexible when it comes to cutting notice periods short. It’s not really in their interests to keep someone around against their will.

Unless the staff member is essential to the smooth running of that company, of course (in which case, you’ll just have to wait, I’m afraid).

There’s nothing wrong with you giving your new employee a little nudge to ask the question, but of course, you shouldn’t pressurise them in any way (not exactly a great impression to give…)

If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

13. Get a recruitment agency involved.

I know, I would say that – right?

The truth is; recruitment agencies aren’t for everyone – but for many companies they can work wonders.

Like any kind of consultant, they have the knowledge, experience and resources to speed up the entire process, find the best, rarest people and work out cheaper in the long run.

For more on why you should consider a recruitment agency – click here.

I know agencies, in general, get a bad rap – but we’re not all the same!

14. Build a talent pipeline (long term).

Building your own talent pipeline is a long term solution but means that every time you do come to hiring new staff, it will be easier, quicker and less expensive.

By networking and building relationships with candidates, past, present and (possibly) future you can ensure that every time you need to fill a role, you already have a vast network of potentials to choose from – as a first port of call.

It’s all to do with building an employer brand that attracts relevant people and makes them want to be a part of your company.

Here are some ideas of things you could do:

  • Social media.
  • Blog posts.
  • Email communications.
  • Newsletters

Click here to find out more.

Then, just watch the applications come rolling in!

Don’t rush!

I understand that sometimes it’s necessary to hire someone as quickly as you can, but try not to rush the recruitment process.

Hiring the wrong person will waste more time and money in the long run.

You could always consider hiring temporary support if a role needs urgently filling and/or asking other staff members to step up on a provisional basis (if they don’t want to take the role full time).

For more advice and guidance on recruitment and HR, feel free to sign up to this blog and receive a quick weekly update on the latest industry news!

Good luck recruiting.

- Charles Trivett
Charles - blog author

Charles Trivett

Charles heads up Coburg Banks’ IT Division, and has worked in recruitment for nearly 20 years.  His knowledge of how to optimise and get the most from a recruitment campaign is second to none, and he now works with a select handful of clients in maximising their recruitment ROI.

> More blog posts by Charles Trivett

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