The hiring process takes longer than ever. A Glassdoor research report suggests that the average interview process alone takes approximately 23 days, up from 13 days just four years ago. What’s behind this trend? Background screenings, including reference checks, are a key contributor to these rising hiring timelines.
Time is money, so anything you can do to speed up this process and save your HR department valuable hours will have major cost-cutting benefits. The following are just a few things you can do to save at least an hour per candidate.
Create a Clear Candidate Profile
Before you even begin advertising a position and interviewing candidates, it is important to start with a strong competency profile. What skills and abilities should an individual in this position have? Are you looking for a specific educational background, experience and skill set? In some cases, this might involve interviewing people already in similar positions to determine which elements to focus on in your job search.
As you create a persona describing your ideal job applicant, ask yourself some of the following questions:
- What previous experience should he or she have?
- What kind of education and training should this person possess?
- What are his or her goals?
- What are this person’s strongest skills?
- What is this individual’s attitude?
- Who would not be a good fit for the role?
- How will this person fit in with company culture?
The more thorough your job description is, the more likely you are to receive applications from candidates who are truly qualified for the job. It also allows Human Resources to better identify candidates who are the most suited to the roles during the first round of application reviews.
Prescreen Your Candidates
Once you start receiving applications, now is the time to begin pre-screening candidates. You don’t want to waste time interviewing 15 applicants when only five of them are qualified for the job. Utilize a rigorous screening process to weed out candidates who don’t meet the requirements, who don’t have the necessary experience or who don’t seem like they would be a good fit for the corporate culture.
You might opt to use a variety of pre-screening strategies such as application reviews, phone screenings and automated reference checks. The automated reference check process allows hiring managers to quickly collect a great deal of information on job applicants early on the in the hiring process. This can make it easier to narrow your pool of candidates down to a select few who are the most qualified for the job.
Use Technology to Speed Up Your Process
If you have a small hiring staff or work for a large company with many open positions, streamlining your hiring is a top priority. One of the most effective ways to quickly save valuable time is to utilize available technology to make faster hiring decisions. Automating your reference checking process, for example, is one of the easiest and most effective ways to save at least one hour per candidate. Instead of spending hours on the phone chasing down interviews with people listed as references, you can simply email each reference a link to an online survey. Respondents can then provide their honest feedback at their own time and convenience.
Finding highly talented and high-performing people is critical to any company’s success. By speeding up your hiring process, you can ensure that you are getting highly qualified employees and putting them to work as quickly as you can.
Schedule a demo of Harver Reference to see how your organization can speed up reference checking by an hour per candidate.