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The Need For Speed, Pt 2

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Slow hiring can be damaging to your business on a number of fronts. Here are our five top reasons you need to speed up your recruitment process to remain competitive in today’s market.

1.   Talent

A ponderous recruitment process, whether through methodology, internal decision-making or poor communication is only going to result in one thing: missing out on the top talent. When the very best individuals come onto the market, there is fierce competition and organisations that are agile enough to respond to these market movements will be best placed to offer and secure their services. 

Even if you get in early, a lengthy process will often lose them to another offer partway through. If you allow time for a counter offer from their employer or end up going head-to-head with another employer who can move quickly, you will lose again. Targeting ‘passive’ candidates only is a dangerous game if your processes are not up to speed and you will only end up hiring ‘active’ job seekers in the end.

2.    Cost

While you may have a vacancy with its associated salary staying in the business, the longer that position remains unfilled, the more it will actually cost your organisation. The knock-on effect on productivity, output, revenue and ultimately profit should not be underestimated. Furthermore, if your recruitment processes mean you lose a potential high-quality hire to a competitor, the impact can be greater still. Don’t forget that there are hidden additional costs in an overlong hiring process too – too many interview stages, too many personnel involved or too much unnecessary associated admin all means that employees are away from their regular, possibly fee-generating roles.

Long term, there are cost savings to a faster recruitment process. Faster decisions mean earlier acceptances of offers. The longer it takes to lock down a candidate, the more chance there will be a bidding war for them. Once this happens, the starting salary will only increase, so being slow will cost you.

3.    Reputation

Many candidates’ first impressions of a company will be during the recruitment process. When the top performers decide to move, they want to see fast, innovative processes and assured decision making. Slow processes and a poor candidate experience will be seen as an indicator of your corporate culture and what the day-to-day experience of working there might be like.

Furthermore, thanks to review sites and social media, this first impression will be public knowledge in no time, damaging your external employer brand image and resulting in a lower quality of applicants in the future.

4.    Impact

Slow recruitment has an impact both internally, among employees and hiring managers, and externally with clients and customers. Internally, hiring managers can become jaded with a long timescale – there is a lot of effort for no short-term, tangible result (when their hire starts months later). Worst-case scenario, the business climate can change in the waiting period and if budgets cuts come around, a vacant position will be the first to go. Better processes speed up the timeframe and can keep hiring managers engaged in the journey. 

Similarly, employees who are picking up the slack with overtime or additional duties can get demoralised over a long period of time, leading to retention issues, especially if they have come from another company that acts faster. Externally, customers may notice extended vacancies if there are less experienced temps holding positions, or if service suffers by employees being short-staffed and overstretched – a negative impact you cannot afford.

5.   Results

As you may have guessed from the first four points, slow hiring doesn’t work. Taking your time to make sure you have the right person is admirable, but it will not ultimately improve the quality of the hire. As we have seen above, the top candidates have already moved on, meaning you are choosing from a talent pool of average rather than best-in-class. Without a change in the speed of recruitment processes, over time this will result in a second-rate workforce compared to faster competitors, which could also cost more in training and development.

Most companies monitor the number of days it takes them to fill positions, but this is a meaningless statistic if the process isn’t flexible enough to act faster when it comes to securing the top talent in the market. The important metric to measure is how much reducing the recruitment process days increases the quality of hire. Businesses that have grasped this concept will always come out on top!