Time to fill is at the highest level in 14 years, and BountyJobs research suggests that it may be because the time it takes to find the winning candidate has increased by by 14%.
While a good headhunter can help you reduce time to fill, the power is ultimately in your hands to make it happen.
For instance, if your headhunter submits an incredible candidate on the first day but you wait two weeks to interview, your candidate may accept another offer and leave you back at square one – adding two weeks to your time to fill. Alternatively, you could have filled the position with your first round of candidates within a week if you had been quicker to move.
With 2015 gearing up to be the year candidates gain the upper hand over employers, it will be more important than ever to reduce your time to fill – or risk losing out on the most qualified candidates.
Check out these 8 tips to see what you can do to keep a hiring advantage:
- Write a great job description. A great job description not only provides your headhunter with a written description of what you’re looking for in a candidate, it also helps candidates decide if the position and company are the right fit for them. So, if you want to see the right candidates right off the bat, make sure your job descriptions do an adequate job of explaining the role, the must-have qualifications, and the company.
- Block off time to review applications. Actually set aside time on your calendar to go through applications within 1-3 days after beginning your search, and every 1-3 days thereafter. It’s good to review applications in batches so you can thoroughly vet each candidate against the job description and against each other, but you don’t want to wait too long and risk losing the candidate’s interest.
- Schedule phone interviews. Each time you review applications, reach out to the best candidates (and/or their headhunters) to schedule a phone interview. Again, actually set aside time on your calendar to complete these phone screens in bulk so you have a clear idea of how each candidate stacks up, and who you want to invite for an in-person interview.
- Schedule in-person interviews. Once you have candidates you’re interested in, don’t delay on getting them in for an in-person interview. Even if they, or their headhunter, said they aren’t currently in the final stages with any other companies, this can change very quickly – so get them in your door to meet key players as soon as possible. Rather than spreading interviews with different people out over weeks, try to get all of the interviews done on a single day so you don’t risk losing the candidate.
- Make an offer. Once you have a great candidate, don’t twiddle your thumbs and wait to see if you can find someone even better – you may end up with nobody at all! If you found a candidate with all of the qualifications, make them an offer – and make sure it will be accepted. If you’re working with a headhunter, they will usually tell you what the candidate’s motivations are so you can go in with the strongest offer possible. Otherwise, make sure you are collecting this information throughout the interview process.
- Follow up on offers. If you haven’t heard back from your candidate with a decision within a day or two, follow up with them or their headhunter to see what the hold up is. Whether they’re deciding between multiple offers or deciding if the “grass is greener,” a quick call from the hiring manager can help to provide them with enough information to accept.
- Prepare for a counter offer. Due to skilled talent shortages, don’t expect your top candidates to be given up without a fight. If you do come across a counter offer, make sure you know your candidate’s motivations to be able to argue your case, and be prepared to offer some extras.
- Keep on interviewing. Until you have a signed offer, it’s a good idea to keep this process going so you have backup candidates in the event your offer is declined. This will save you from needing to start from scratch weeks into the hiring process.
Bonus tip: If you’re working with headhunters, make sure you communicate with them early and often so they can continually refine their process and help you hire that great candidate faster. Whether you’re at the application review stage, or at the offer stage, keeping your headhunter in the loop can ensure a smooth process for you and your candidates so you can reduce time to fill.
Do you have any other tips for reducing time to fill? If so, let us know with a comment!