It all started out pretty normally: I submitted my resume, received an email a week later to schedule a phone interview with HR, received another email a week after that to schedule a phone interview with the hiring manager, and received a call a week after that to come for an in-person interview.
Since each meeting was scheduled in advance, it took me a little over a month before I actually met anyone from the company face-to-face.
During my in-person interview, I met with the HR contact, the hiring manager, the person leaving the role (she was being promoted), and another marketing employee. Since the person leaving the role was essentially doing two jobs while they looked for her replacement, they appeared eager to fill the role quickly. The interviews went well and I was asked to complete a marketing assignment within 2 days. I have to say, I rocked it.
A week later, I heard back from the HR contact who wanted to schedule an interview with a member of the executive team. The problem was, this person traveled quite a bit and had the usual, busy executive schedule – so it took nearly two weeks to find a time for her to meet with me. After this meeting, however, I did not hear back.
That is, I didn’t hear back for several weeks until the HR contact emailed me to see when I could interview with yet another member of their executive team. At this point, I politely declined the invitation (although I really wanted to tell them how ridiculous their hiring process was), because I had already accepted another role.
This scenario happens all the time: the hiring organization draws out their hiring process because they’re busy, and/or because they want to make sure they find the perfect candidate, and candidates drop out of the hiring process because it takes too long. While this is already frustrating for the employer and candidate, it’s probably not even close to the frustration your direct hire agency feels.
Why Agencies Wish You’d Speed Up Your Hiring Process
Successful placements make them happy: When we asked direct hire recruiters what they liked most about their job, 53% said they liked playing matchmaker. While it seems that some recruiters just “throw spaghetti at the wall,” the majority of recruiters take great pride in the candidates they submit to you and want nothing more than to find a great match between a candidate and an employer.
So, when you throw away a perfectly good candidate just because your hiring process is too long, you not only cheat yourself and the candidate – you take away the best part of your recruiter’s job. Plus, you probably also prevented them from making a successful match elsewhere.
They don’t get paid if their candidate drops out: The second most popular thing recruiters love about their job is cold, hard cash – which you also rob them of when you let a great candidate pass you by.
Contingent recruiters only get paid once a successful placement is made, so a long recruitment process usually spells out a lot of extra work without any pay. While this is obviously a part of the job, it can be frustrating to know that the candidate could have been a successful hire, if not for your lengthy hiring process.
Candidate experience affects their ability to recruit: If candidates become frustrated with your company’s long hiring process, they may share their experiences, which may dissuade future candidates from interviewing.
This, in turn, makes it more difficult for recruiters to find candidates for you in the future – particularly top candidates who can be more picky about where they interview. This will decrease your candidate quality and make it even more difficult for your direct hire agency to make a successful placement.
Why You Should Care
While you may think that a long hiring process ensures you get the perfect fit, you’ll end up losing your best candidates along the way – as well as your recruiter’s confidence. If your direct hire agency sees you wasting their best candidates, they will stop submitting top tier talent to your company in favor of their other clients with a higher chance of successful placement.
They are, after all, in business to place candidates – not just submit them.
So, take a look at your hiring process and see how you may be able to improve it. Could you shorten the amount of time it takes to screen candidates, and schedule in-person interviews faster?
Could you schedule all in-person interviews on the same day? Does your candidate really need to meet each person they would normally interview with? Could you collect feedback from in-person interviews the same day, so you could make an offer on a great candidate faster?
In my story above, the hiring company certainly had room for improvement. First, they could have sped up their decision to move me onto the next phase much faster than they did, at every stage. If you don’t know if you want a candidate to proceed after you meet them, will you know next week?
Second, they probably didn’t need an entry-level hire to meet two executives, especially after the candidate was signed off by 4 other team members. If your hiring process is held up by someone who would interact very little with the hire, it’s probably best that they trust in their teammates to choose their peer wisely. Third, they could have checked in with me more often, even if they knew their hiring process was slow, to let me know they were still interested and see where I was in my job search. Transparency can go a long way.
What does your company’s hiring process look like? How have you been able to speed it up?