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Timing is Everything
 Here’s How to Speed Up Your Hiring

There are few things I enjoy more than Thai food.

And there is no one I’d rather enjoy it with than my friend Susan.

So when Susan (name changed to protect the innocent) invited me to lunch at Taste of Thaiyai in Apple Valley recently, I jumped at her invitation.

Over pad thai, mini spring rolls, and fried rice with pineapple and chicken, Susan, manager of new business development at a privately owned company, told me an interesting story about hir-ing practices where she works.

The company, she said, expected to hire a new director of sales. Meanwhile, she was named as interim director, and although she was being considered for this position, company policy dictat-ed an external posting, as well.

She lamented the time it takes this company to fill positions and how this vacancy, already open for several months, was impacting productivity and company revenues.

It was also affecting her group’s goals. While she was juggling the director’s job with many tasks of her former position, her direct reports were being asked to take on duties they weren’t prepared to do. They were overworked.

Clearly frustrated, she waggled her fork in the air and groaned. “It’s just that all my reviews have been positive,” she said, apologizing for her manners. “I’ve proven I can do the job and yet we have to go outside to look. And not only once, but likely twice, because if after this search they do promote me to director, they’ll have to launch a second search for the managerial position. We’ll be limping along shorthanded for a half year or more.

“And any new person we hire doesn’t come with guarantees. It seems hiring is always a crap shoot for us. Sometimes these people work out, but often they don’t. Sometimes I think I should just move on and find a job elsewhere myself.”

I empathized, of course.

But what could I say to help?

The fact is, her company is just one of many that are painfully slow to fill positions. Worse, few of these organizations truly understand the many serious negative business and recruiting ramifications slow hiring causes.

If your organization is one of these, here are a few consequences you could encounter:

  • You likely will lose most top-performing candidates who are in high demand, espe-cially those candidates who are currently employed. These candidates, the ones you really want for your company, hire fast. If you are slow, the competition will take this top talent off the market before you make your hiring decision.
  • You will lose productivity, innovation and revenue if positions remain vacant for too long. A vacant, revenue-generating position, like sales, can have a particularly signifi-cant dollar impact.
  • You may gain a reputation for being a slow decision-maker causing you to lose many top prospects. Candidates may think slow hiring is emblematic of your corporate culture and decision making in your firm and lose interest in working for you.
  • Your image may suffer and eventually application numbers and quality will fall. Social media comments will reveal your slow hiring process. Take glassdoor.com, for example. Entries on that site review a company’s hiring process, including how long it takes in days to hire someone.
  • Your customers will notice slower, poor service. At the same time, employees will balk at being asked to work double duty or overtime. Morale and retention rates will drop.

Skeptical? Do you think candidates perceive slow hiring as “careful deliberation” and that it’s not a problem for them?

Then take a look at Robert Half's recent "Time to Hire" survey, which explored worker sentiment about the job search process. The survey showed that

  • almost six in 10 workers (57%) indicated the most frustrating part of the job search is the long wait after an interview to hear if they got a job
  • nearly 40% lose interest in a job and pursue other openings when faced with a lengthy hiring process
  • nearly a quarter (23%) lose interest in a company if they don’t hear back within a week after the initial interview; another 46% lose interest if there’s no status updated from 1-2 weeks after the interview

10 Ways to Speed Up Your Hiring Process

The ramifications I list above are valid across all kinds of businesses. Which is why for me the answer is simple: Find ways to speed up your hiring process. Here are 10 ideas for doing that:

  1. Identify where you have time-consuming bottlenecks in your hiring process and fix them.
  2. Limit the number of resumes you gather for review by using more niche job boards and social networking sites.
  3. Set a timeline and stick to it.
  4. Limit the number of people who meet with a candidate. Require them to make hiring a priority. Block calendars for interviews.
  5. Create a contingency plan for scheduling snafus; determine who has the final
    sign off.
  6. Interview by Skype or FaceTime; consolidate in-person interviews to one day.
  7. If you like a candidate, whisk him to the next step in the hiring process within two
    or three days.
  8. Streamline testing by choosing only those tests a candidate really needs to take.
  9. Keep communication lines open; call candidates with updated timelines if need be.
  10. Create a long-term talent plan so you are prepared for vacancies and can fill
      them quickly.

Bottom line: One reason companies get tied up in knots over hiring decisions is fear of making mistakes. This means it can take weeks for a final decision. But consider this: According to the “Time to Hire” survey,  the largest percentage of workers  39 percent — say a process lasting 7-14 days is too long. Another 24 percent felt 15-21 days was too lengthy.

Hiring is among the most important decisions your company makes. Shouldn’t it be done quickly as well as carefully? Speed up your hiring. That’s when you’ll start hiring those top candidates you had at one time only hoped to attract.


Your Solution Toolbox: Use This Tool for Screening Early in Candidate Selection Process

Streamline your testing. That’s one of the 10 ideas I give above for speeding up your hiring pro-cess.

Now here’s a tip for doing that: Use employee assessments such as ProfileXT® and Profiles Sales Assessment™ to help with employee selection.

Both are quick and simple to use and either can be customized and tailored to fit your company’s particular needs.
By measuring job-related qualities that make people productive, the ProfileXT® (PXT) will help you determine whether an employee fits a particular job.
 
The PXT measures thinking and reasoning style, behavioral traits, and occupational interests. You can also use the PXT to assess top performers in a given position to establish benchmarks for other candidates for that position.

Profiles Sales Assessment™ (PSA) measures how well a person fits a specific sales job in your organization.

It draws upon data based on the top-performing sales people in specific sales jobs in your organi-zation, and will help you predict on-the-job performance in seven critical sales behaviors:

 prospecting
 call reluctance
 closing the sale
 self-starting
 working with a team
 building and maintaining relationships
 compensation preference

You also can use the PSA for selecting and motivating your sales people in order to maximize sales performance.

If you would like more information about ProfileXT® and Profiles Sales Assessment™ or any of Profiles International’s assessments, call me today at 952-322-3330 or send an email to mgorski@mgassessments.com.

HR Consulting
Call me, too, if you are looking for professional assistance with your personnel questions. We’ll help you learn how to:

  • understand your workers’ strengths, weaknesses and interests
  • match people to job demands
  • increase employee performance throughout your organization

Let's Talk! We offer a no-obligation consultation to informally assess your current policies, pro-cedures and practices. This may help determine what's missing in your current programs. Again, call 952-322-3330 or send an email to mgorski@mgassessments.com.