How can you hire better, faster?

By: Kathryn Tremblay, Co-Founder and CEO Altis Recruitment, an affiliate of excelHR

How to Hire Faster Woman at Laptop
Ten tips to reduce the time from search to start

Ever tried landing a new home in today’s hot housing market? There’s no time to ponder and reflect. You need to pony up your best offer immediately, and even then, you’ll probably see multiple offers eclipse your own and… miss out.

It seems this “hunger games” scenario is also playing out in Canada’s labour market, where there are currently record-high job vacancies and not enough candidates to fill them. The result: It’s a job-seeker’s market and if you’re not fast, get used to missing out on that great hire.

I looked up our recent permanent placements and saw that it’s taking on average 59 days for a candidate to go through the hiring process and start the job, a number that grows to 95 days or more for more specialized roles. Employers, let’s move faster together.

Here are ten tips to reduce the time from search to start:

  1. Know the role: Get the role straight the first time. Refining a job description and starting a new search adds on average 18 days, not to mention stressing out the manager and the team who are picking up the slack while you’re staffing.

  2. Be realistic: Appeal to the broadest candidate audience by focusing only on what you truly need (the must-haves) rather than the nice-to-haves.

  3. Be ready: Make sure the entire hiring team is ready to act immediately—knows what to look for, what to ask, and what to offer—so you can all act promptly when you find a candidate you want.

  4. Divide and hire: Don’t wait for the closing date to arrive before looking at resumes and get all preliminary work done right away, so it doesn’t extend to a six-week process. The minute you receive a resume, assess it, schedule a first interview and be ready for a second interview, along with testing or case scenarios and background checks. Candidates are not waiting around. We have many positions that take one week from resume to first interview. In that time, that star candidate has already moved on to interview elsewhere while you get your scheduling in order.

  5. Forget extensive choice: Consider advancing with only one or two candidates, rather than waiting to see a shortlist of six perfect possibilities. If the second candidate has 80% of the skills you need, can you upskill the remaining 20%? If so, hire that person rather than waiting for the 100% dream hire you may not find.

  6. Remember your values: This is where you don’t sacrifice. You can speed up your hiring process and increase your offer, but your values should remain true. So, for example, if the candidate doesn’t honour diversity, move on. You’ll regret making room for bad behaviour or values that don’t align with yours.
    Another tip: Watch for biases that can creep into the hiring process. Don’t be dazzled by a candidate just because they went to your university or like hockey as much as you do.

  7. Offer your best right from the start: Low-balling to save a bit of money isn’t worth it. If you think you can offer an additional $5k, benefits from day one or an extra week of vacation, go for it. Don’t overthink your perks because they might just be the edge you need to seal the deal.

  8. Be ready to negotiate: Know what you can offer, and have your decision-makers ready, so you can negotiate fast. We often lose a week or two to contract discussions because the team isn’t ready. If the candidate asks for an extra week of vacation, it shouldn’t take a week to decide. Yes or no, and then move to the next step.

  9. Help the candidate resign: Once your offer is accepted, your job is not over:
    • Help the candidate resign by offering them a templated letter of resignation.
    • Ask the candidate to take their resume out of the hiring pool.
    • Be ready to help the candidate through any counteroffers—which are rampant right now—signaling that you are ready to go to bat for them.
    • Keep the notice period as short as possible. The longer the time from offer acceptance to start, the higher the odds that something comes up. Keep it tight if you can – and stay in touch with the new hire until they start.

  10. Track your time: Make note of your time from search to hire, so you can see where you’re lagging and up your game!

For more great tips on hiring the best in today’s competitive market, contact us today.

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