One of the challenges that companies may face is attrition of candidates in the hiring process. Candidates may withdraw from the application process for multiple reasons, including disinterest in the company, another job offer, and feeling like the hiring process is unfair. All of these reasons can be a result of a lengthy hiring process. Candidates who are put in a “holding pattern” in certain stages of the hiring process may get the impression that the company is not valuing them as a candidate, and, as a result, withdraw from the process. Additionally, it’s a reality that candidates are seeking other job alternatives and interviewing with several companies. Other companies that are able to process candidates faster have the upper hand because they can make an offer to the candidate before other companies. Overall, it makes sense to shorten time for the hiring process. Or, said another way, it’s important to maximize the efficiency of the hiring process.
One of the indicators we tend to focus on first is effectiveness. This is very important because it can make the difference between a good and bad hire. However, efficiency is also an important factor to consider in the selection process. Usually there is a give-and-take between factors such as effectiveness and efficiency. It’s like speed and accuracy. If you increase your speed, your accuracy tends to decrease. However, this does not always have to be the case for effectiveness and efficiency in a hiring process. Below are a few tips to find the sweet spot that will maximize both effectiveness and efficiency.
- Structure the process to minimize the resources needed during the first stages of the process. The ultimate goal of any hiring system is to reduce a large pool of candidates to one or a few. Essentially, the system should be set up like a funnel with each step removing unqualified candidates. In the beginning stages when you have the most candidates with more variable skill levels, it’s best to use tools that are easy and cost effective to administer. For example, you may start out with an application that asks about the basic qualifications for the job. These are simple and cost effective solutions which can eliminate those not qualified for the position. Additionally, you can include a short screen-out assessment that will identify your most risky candidates. Having these candidates eliminated in the early stages will allow you to spend more time on the candidates who are better qualified. This results in a lot of time and cost savings. The later stages is when it’s better to have your more in-depth and resource-intensive tools (e.g., behavior-based interviews, in-depth assessments).
- Automate the process. One of the best ways that you can make your hiring system more efficient is to move towards electronic applications and tools. When you’re using an electronic platform, scoring can be built into the system so you automatically know whether the candidate passed or failed that step. This creates more standardization, eliminates guesswork from the hiring team, and streamlines the process. Automating the process reduces the resources needed, especially at the beginning stages. For example, candidates could enter themselves into the system, fill out an initial electronic application, and then be invited to take a screen-out assessment automatically if they passed all the previous stages.
- Use tools that are predictive of success for your target position. The final thing to mention is that you should never sacrifice quality over speed in the hiring process. Make sure that you go through all the necessary steps in a job analysis to identify the most critical knowledge, skills, and abilities for the target position. Then, select your tools that can accurately and reliably measure these competencies. The shortest and cheapest assessment may not always be the best tool for your position and therefore you should be very critical when selecting tools to use. By spending a little more time on the front-end, you can make sure that you are creating a system that is both effective and efficient.