Two years ago there were more candidates available than positions available. It was fun! Hiring managers and HR recruiters were able to do all sorts of things to people applying for jobs. You could make candidates go through multiple steps, take online assessments, and go through round after round of interviews. And the best part was, candidates HAD to put up with it. They had no choice. If they wanted a job they had to go through whatever you threw at them.
Guess what? The market has shifted and is no longer employer-centric. Today there are more positions available than candidates to fill them. So if you still have an overly complicated hiring process you’re probably noticing a high attrition rate. Candidates simply are not willing to go through multiple steps to get to an interview or get the job.
The challenge is, how can you streamline your hiring process without compromising its integrity? If you use best practices such as Topgrading or our Sales Talent Acquisition Routine (STAR hiring system) you know how valuable it is to implement a rigorous selection process. Is your hiring process as efficient as it can be?
We recommend taking a critical look at every step of your hiring process and looking for opportunities to streamline it. Review every single thing that you ask a candidate to do, from the candidate's point of view, and ask yourselves, "What value do I get from this step? Can I remove it without detracting from the rigor of our hiring process?" It's a balancing act. You don't want to take away from having a rigorous selection process, but you also want to restructure it to make it more candidate friendly.
In our practice, we help our clients hire sales people all the time. For years, we would have candidates fill out an application, and then ask them some basic questions. After they took the application, we'd have them take an online sales assessment. After that, if they were recommended, we would schedule a series of interviews. We found this process was no longer getting us the candidates we needed, so something needed to change. We decide to eliminate the initial application because with their resume and assessment we would get all the information we needed. We didn’t compromise our rigor, we just made it more streamlined and candidate-centric. What steps can you review, modify or simply eliminate from your selection process to do the same?
Once you’ve streamlined your selection process the next step is to make sure you have your hiring team fully engaged. When you have a quality candidate who's interested and engaged in the process, have everyone on the hiring team on high alert and ready to go. Nothing on their calendar is more important than engaging the candidate in an interview. Do your best to accommodate the candidate, not the other way around. After speaking with candidates, come to a consensus quickly, and decide what you want to do. Quality candidates are not going to wait around. I've seen too many companies lose great candidates because they can't get their hiring team to engage in a timely fashion.
Eliminating steps in your selection process and keeping everyone on your hiring team focused and engaged will help you win the war on talent. The companies who are able to maintain a rigorous, candidate-centric process, are going to attract better talent and hire better people. The faster you can get someone onboard, the faster they can get through the learning curve and begin producing results for your company.