By Dr. John Sullivan
The Top Causes of Unnecessarily Slow Hiring
Whenever you are focusing on hiring high-demand top performers and innovators in a highly competitive market, there may literally be no factor that damages your recruiting results more than slow hiring. Intuitively, most organizations and individuals think that taking your time to gather information to make such an important decision would result in an increased quality of hire, but they would be wrong. Unfortunately, slow hiring does not improve the quality of those that you hire. Instead, it has the opposite effect.
The primary reason for a drop off in hire quality is that with a delayed hiring process, all of the top candidates will likely drop out. In this highly competitive marketplace, the most desirable candidates quickly receive and accept other offers, or they decide to stay with their current employer. If revenue-generating or revenue-impact jobs are involved, having positions open for longer than the average of 43 days will also cost your firm significant lost revenue. Obviously prolonged delays in hiring will also strain your employees and lower team productivity and innovation.
Of course, most recruiting leaders are looking for a quick fix that will dramatically reduce time to fill. There are eight major “speedbumps” responsible for most of the avoidable lost time. Simply addressing these eight delaying factors directly may reduce your time to fill by up to 50%.
As the “father of hiring speed,” I have been studying the causes and the solutions for unnecessarily slow hiring for decades. And as part of my research, I have identified the top eight weak practices that have that had the most dramatic impact on reducing time to fill. Focus your efforts on these high-impact speedbumps. They are listed below with the factors with the highest negative impact listed first. Most of the delays occur during the interview process, which on average takes 23.8 days to complete (55% of the entire hiring process).
If you have the time and the resources, there are some additional harder-to-implement actions that can significantly improve your speed of hire. Start by measuring and reporting to hiring managers and recruiters the steps in hiring funnel that are not meeting the time deadlines. Next, focus on speeding up the reference-checking process by using a vendor with an electronic system, so that you don’t lose finalists while top candidates impatiently wait. Also, educate recruiters and hiring managers about the negative connection between a long time to fill and the resulting quality of hire. Rewarding recruiters and hiring managers for their quality of hire will also have a significant impact.
And finally, if you’re really bold in this highly competitive marketplace, set up a one-day hiring process because most of the exceptional candidates may be gone within 10 days. By following the lead of numerous firms like Intuit that have gone to the extreme by using one-day hiring models in order to avoid losing top candidates in the areas of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. And of course, hospitals have used accelerated one-day hiring processes for years to capture the most desirable nurses that have so many other options.
Rather than cutting complete hiring process steps randomly, adopt a data-driven approach that is routinely used as part of process re-engineering. Start by developing a process map that identifies the average time required at each step. Then you focus on each of the steps in the hiring funnel that take the longest amount of time. Next explore already proven solutions that have had a dramatic impact on shortening the time at benchmark firms. And as technology evolves, look for more automated solutions that cut administration time. Fortunately for each of the top right roadblocks listed above, there are already relatively inexpensive workarounds that can cut the time required to complete the hiring process in half.
Meet the author: Dr. John Sullivan
Dr. John Sullivan, professor, author, corporate speaker, and advisor, is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high-business-impact talent management solutions.
He’s a prolific author with over 900 articles and 10 books covering all areas of talent management. He has written over a dozen white papers, conducted over 50 webinars, dozens of workshops, and he has been featured in over 35 videos. He is an engaging corporate speaker who has excited audiences at over 300 corporations/ organizations in 30 countries on all six continents. His ideas have appeared in every major business source including the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, CFO, Inc., NY Times, SmartMoney, USA Today, HBR, and the Financial Times. In addition, he writes for the WSJ Experts column. He has been interviewed on CNN and the CBS and ABC nightly news, NPR, as well many local TV and radio outlets. Fast Company called him the “Michael Jordan of Hiring,” Staffing.org called him “the father of HR metrics,” and SHRM called him “One of the industry’s most respected strategists.” He was selected among HR’s “Top 10 Leading Thinkers” and he was ranked No. 8 among the top 25 online influencers in talent management. He served as the Chief Talent Officer of Agilent Technologies, the HP spinoff with 43,000 employees, and he was the CEO of the Business Development Center, a minority business consulting firm in Bakersfield, California. He is currently a Professor of Management at San Francisco State (1982 – present). His articles can be found all over the Internet and on his popular website www.drjohnsullivan.com and on www.ERE.Net. He lives in Pacifica, California.
Article originally published on ere.net