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Why your recruitment process is too slow

Posted on 18/02/2019 by Bita Heffernan

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Did you know that the average length of the recruitment process in the UK is 27.5 days but the best candidates are off the market in only 10 days? With unemployment figures decreasing while vacancies rise, competition for the top candidates is only likely to get fiercer. This is particularly true for temporary employees, who tend to be on the market for even shorter periods of time. If you are taking too long to recruit, you could miss out on your ideal new employee.

Why organisations take too long to hire

Ten years ago, the UK recruitment market was client-driven, with plenty of candidates competing for the same roles, and organisations could afford to take as long as they liked while hiring. In recent years things have shifted much more in favour of the candidate but some charities have failed to keep up and speed up their recruitment processes.

We know it can be difficult to get everyone involved in a hire together to review CVs, conduct interviews and select candidates but if you really want the best candidate, you need to move quickly.

Why slow hiring damages your organisation

If your organisation traditionally takes a month or more to fill a vacancy, it can have a significant impact on both your ability to recruit the right people but also on your organisation’s effectiveness.

These are the most common effects of slow hiring:

  • You end up with lower quality candidates, as these are the only ones still left on the market. The best candidates will go to your faster-moving competitors instead.
  • You may have to pay higher salaries as candidates may have multiple offers on the table and you may need to increase your offer to secure your favourite.
  • Your organisation could suffer from a lack of diversity as you have fewer candidates to choose from.
  • A slow recruitment process generally means a negative experience for the candidate. It’s easy for them to share that experience on social media and employee review websites, which could damage your employer brand and make it harder to recruit in the future.
  • The productivity of your organisation will suffer the longer a position is vacant.
  • The rest of the team are put under pressure as they have to cover the role. In the worst-case scenario, this can lead to a cascade of resignations.

How you can speed up the process

Here are TPP’s top tips for making a speedy hire:

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the best way to faster recruitment is to spend time preparing before you start. Make sure you have a proper, up to date job description and salary range and you know who is going to be involved in the recruitment process before you begin. Fail to do this and you could waste time interviewing unsuitable people and delay making an offer while you sort out the details.

When you’re busy, it can be tempting to hold all interviews on the same day but this can mean keeping candidates waiting for weeks. If you’re interested in a candidate, try and meet them as soon as possible, even if you’re still reviewing other CVs.

Streamline the interview process as much as possible – do you really need 3 stages to fill an administrator role? Get multiple people to interview at the same time, instead of scheduling repeat meetings. You may even by able to use technology to shorten the process, by holding Skype or video interviews for the first stage round.

In today’s competitive market, sticking to set recruitment targets can have a negative impact on your ability to hire. For example, waiting until you have a minimum number of suitable candidates could mean you lose the best ones. Similarly, waiting for a ‘purple squirrel’, or a perfect candidate with all the right skills and experience, could mean you fail to hire anyone suitable.

Finally, even if you are finding it hard to recruit more quickly, communicating with candidates more effectively can help to keep them interested in your role. Manage their expectations and let them know the timeline you are working to. If they’ve done well at a first stage interview and you’d like to invite them back, let them know straight away, even if you don’t necessarily have a set time yet.

Use a recruitment consultant

Using a specialist recruitment consultancy like TPP Recruitment can definitely help you speed up your recruitment processes. Our consultants aren’t trying to juggle recruitment with managing a full-time job, so can handle the initial search and selection and first stage interviews in a very timely fashion.

However, even we can’t keep in-demand candidates interested in a role if the employer takes too long to make a decision, so it’s worth keeping your hiring procedures as fast and efficient as you possibly can.