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Former Member
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In many countries that I visit, I find on average between three and five stakeholders typically have touch points in the recruitment process, usually; the Hiring Manager, Recruiter, someone to do the sourcing, perhaps a panel (for High Volume or Operational), and a One Up Manager (for Pivotal possibly Critical) and depending on the specific role type these will fluctuate. Of course some Pivotal roles are going to require a much more lengthy process, often an external Executive Search Firm, a Board Interview / Presentation and or many rounds of various assessments. This doesn't however apply to every role in your business and absolutely shouldn't, so why do some companies make it so very difficult to get hired. Do the people who hold up this process actually understand the cost to the business for every hour you don't have an employee in an open position

We all know, recruitment isn't one dimensional, so depending on the role brief overall, a Recruiter will then contemplate a number of different strategies, including; who is required to be involved, at what stage and for what outcome (it can't be stressed enough to ask this last question).

When I provide advice to any business on process design, I like to utilise the graphic below as a starting point for any workshop.

The question is always, why don't we actually determine and validate the right approach to the recruitment process by fully understanding where each type of job should fit?

Dr. Steve Hunt PhD who also wrote “BizX for Dummies” found here (for free), it’s a great reference tool.

So why am I talking about this topic, (not that it is not very important overall particularly in the current 'War for Talent' particularly in Asia)?

I was recently asked by a company if a recruitment process could support having eleven people involved as this is how they currently did it. My immediate thought was 'why the hell would you, that’s just ridiculous', however ‘Consulting Hat On’, I repeat the question in my mind, ‘is having eleven people too many people’?

I wanted to discuss the questions so I didn't give an unqualified answer, so I thought it through and proposed this. Every time an additional person has to touch a recruitment process it of course takes more time. Time in recruitment is the biggest factor to success considering these metrics:

  1. You can and most likely will lose the best candidates with a cumbersome process that takes forever.
  2. Your company can look process driven and antiquated and this is a turn off for younger generations of Talent who want the ability to evolve in a modern organisation.
  3. Every time you add a step you add time and every hour you add to the process means your new hire isn’t on board which means you are losing money, unsettling customers with longer wait times, not being able to run your organisation effectively or any one of a number of issues that will mean you are not meeting your business objectives.

That said, the next time you think you need another approver or someone asks to be “included” in the process, perhaps ask yourself or them

If either of us have to explain to the CEO why the ‘Time to Fill’ is 70 days and what each and every day is costing the business, would the decision be different. In fact do you actually know what your time to fill cost is and what you would save the company by reducing it by 10, 20 or 30 days?

Why is Hiring taking longer?

New insights from Glassdoor data suggests that globally, the time required for hiring processes has grown dramatically in recent years . Based on a sample of 344,250 interview reviews spanning six countries, key findings from their survey indicate that “Hiring policies of employers can have a large effect on the length of the interview process. Choosing to require group panel interviews, candidate presentations, background checks, skills tests and more each have a positive and statistically significant effect on hiring times.”

Reducing Time to Hire

Planning an efficient recruitment process is important not just to ensure you find the right person for your job opening, but to also avoid wasting time and money over a drawn-out process. The HR department and hiring managers need to come up with an organised and well planned employee recruitment process to hire a suitable candidate inside the appropriate timeframe without having to resort to short-cuts to shorten time to hire.

Here are some steps to speed up the recruitment process to make sure your company is not wasting precious time and resources when hiring:

  • Consolidate Interviews - Consider interviewing all the candidates that have applied for a particular position in your first round of interviews in a group settling or as part of an assessment centre. This approach allows you to screen all your prospective employees for organizational fit and see firsthand how they interact in a group situation. After you shortlist the candidates that you are seriously considering for the position, try and finish the second round of individual interviews on the same day, as rescheduling could be difficult for both the candidates and the company. This way, instead of stretching out the interviewing process by a month or more, you can wrap up the process quickly and have your candidate settled in his/her position that much sooner
  • Panel interview - It’s not uncommon for a candidate to spend over 5 hours during the recruitment process, in order to meet different departmental heads across the organization/company in separate interviews. A better idea would be to have a panel interview, where several key people can interview the candidate together. This will help streamline the interview process and save the candidate from having to attend multiple rounds of interviews. Another advantage of a panel interview is that you get different viewpoints to an applicant's response to a particular question, which can help you choose the candidate who’s the best fit for your job opening.

That said, you need to decide who needs to be involved in the interview to help with the candidate selection process. The greater the number of people involved, the higher the chance of turning away great talent because you can’t reach a 100% consensus.

  • Plan the interview questions in advance
    It is important to plan in advance what the role of each member in the recruitment team will be. Who is going to interview the candidate and what specific questions will be asked by each of the panelists based on the job opening and what is required from the candidate to fulfill the role. Determine a rating system for feedback from the panel members at the end of the interview, based on the candidate’s response to the questions asked. Make sure that the questions are consistent for all shortlisted candidate interviews, so that there is a certain degree of control in the selection process and manipulation of any kind can be avoided.

  • Wrap up the Recruitment Interview Process with a quick decision
    The vetting process is not easy as it’s crucial to select the right candidate, but don’t let it drag on for weeks or months. The longer you put off making a decision, the tougher it’s going to be on both the candidate as well as your company. Most candidates have bills to pay and may not be able to wait endlessly for your job offer, and you will still be left with a gap in your workforce. You could not only lose a great employee who’s a perfect fit for the role, but also the loss of recruitment dollars wasted in time and energy spent screening and attempting to hire the right candidate.

  • Talk to your prospects, your shortlist and most certainly your preferred candidate
    Keep in touch with your shortlisted candidates to ensure that they do not lose interest in your company and start looking elsewhere. Whilst it’s important to make your final choice quickly, do not be hasty and choose the wrong person as this may prove costly to your company in the long run.

Ideally, whomever is involved in the recruitment process, Hiring Manager, the One Up, Recruiter, Panel Members, they need to submit their candidate scores/ratings within a day of concluding the interviews, better still use an ATS that allows for this to be done instantly whilst the interview is taking place so as not to slow down the time and not to miss any critical feedback.

From there, MAKE A DECISION, come to a mutual agreement on which candidate is the best fit for the job opening, if you need to apply more testing then commence that immediately, preferably in the first 24 hours, don’t wait to see every candidate if you think you have one that meets the brief. Start to progress that person to the next round as you maintain your follow up interviews, that way you can be most efficient in your process and of course, once the decision is reached you can go ahead and make the offer to the chosen candidate.