We all know that there is a labor shortage and that good talent is hard to get these days. You can’t change the economy, but there are things you can do to improve the odds that you get the best talent to fill your openings.

In a candidate-driven market, your ability to respond quickly during the hiring process is your best guarantee of getting the best talent. Speed of hire is critical! 

  • A slow and inefficient process is a negative reflection on your company and will cause many candidates to lose interest in working for you. Most people want to work for a well-run company and also know that the position they will be taking is important enough that management devotes time to filling it.
  • Top candidates will gravitate to companies who move quickly. If your process is slow and inefficient, the best candidates will likely get another offer and be long gone. 
  • Lengthening the recruiting process increases the chances that your new hire won’t be hired in time to be trained by the person they are replacing. Not having someone to train and explain the job also can create a tough environment for the new hire

Here’s what you need to do to speed up the hiring process: 


  1. Make sure you have spent time communicating the hard and soft skills required for the role to your recruiter(s). If this information is good, your recruiter can intelligently source qualified candidates. 
  1. When a recruiter sends you resumes, get back to them quickly and tell them which candidates you want to interview and why you do not want to see others. Be prepared to move quickly to set up an interview if the first resume is a great one. If you wait too long the candidate will have accepted offers elsewhere.
  1. Quickly set up the interviews by giving the recruiter available times and then confirming them quickly. 
  1. After interviews take place, give feedback quickly and give your recruiter specific feedback as to why a candidate is not a fit.
  1. If the job description has changed somewhere along the interviewing process, make sure to communicate this immediately to the recruiter.
  1. When you have identified the right candidate, move quickly to make the offer. Having your recruiter verbally vet an offer with the candidate before the formal offer is sent can save you negotiating time by making sure what you are offering is reasonably attractive to the candidate and likely to be accepted. A good recruiter will keep expectations on track all along the process, but in this market be prepared to be surprised. Candidates may have recently received other offers that have upped expectations unexpectedly. Getting started on the right foot with an offer avoids protracted conversations. And, if you are far apart on terms, you and your recruiter will know to keep proactively sourcing while the negotiations continue. You will then have good candidates already in the pipeline if negotiations fall apart. 

Hiring is hard and time consuming. Working quickly doesn’t mean you cut corners. It just means that you give the recruiting process the attention it deserves. By working quickly and efficiently instead of dragging out the process with slow and incomplete feedback, you increase your chances of winning the battle for talent in today’s market.
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