One would think it’s a simple enough question to answer. What has your experience been? How long does it take your employer?
Opinions differ greatly when answering this question, even when the number of days a ‘fast-hiring’ organization takes to hire may be the same amount of time that it takes for a self-confessed ‘slow-to-hire’ organization. How does this occur? There’s a wealth of factors that are taken into account before compiling your one word answer, be it a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’.
During the last two and a half years, the United States has been powerfully pulling itself out of the ‘Great Recession’. During that time it has gone from an employer market – where they can take their time and pick and choose the best of the best – to a candidate market, where the opportunities are plentiful and the candidate receives multiple job offers at the same time. With the shift in markets, it still makes results from a recent study quite surprising.
Why does it take so long for companies to hire? In 2010 it took 12 days to hire as the candidate pool was bountiful. Today, it’s taking 23.9 days. If you think the lone reason for the market delay is the economic landscape, think again. What Eliassen Group is seeing in the 36 states we conduct business in – in many instances – is lack of a streamlined hiring process. In turn, we help to coach organizations ranging from Fortune 500 to start-ups through the various phases including phone screens, multiple in-person interviews, background and/or drug testing and reference checks; these are all obstacles that get in the way of a timely hire.
As a result of a bogged down hiring process it’s very common for an organization to experience various roadblocks. For example, let’s say a Project Manager is in need of a QA lead and not having one stalls the entire project. What effects does that have on the team and organization? Morale can sink, backlog can produce organizational drops in production which in turn, will effect revenue and then perhaps even stock prices. The consequences can go from minor to dire depending on the size of the initiative, affecting the overall productivity of an organization.
How about from the candidate’s side? When someone feels like “just a number” within their current organization, they’re more likely to feel a stronger loyalty to those companies they interview with who make them feel important right off the bat. If I’m a candidate and the company says they are interested in me, yet take a week for a phone interview then another 3-4 days for my in-person interview to be scheduled, do I feel valued? No. Truth be told, I’m not very impressed. Companies must make the strong candidates they want to hire feel valued. Therefore it’s pertinent they display a sense of urgency to the candidate throughout the entire process.
So how can a company improve their processes in order to streamline hiring and save time? Compliance should not be the answer, it exists for a reason. The answer is simple; decrease the number of steps and decrease the number of days to hire. Let your recruiting team – either your internal team or a staffing and consulting firm like Eliassen Group – be the ones to do the heavy lifting. Our job, and the job of your internal team, is to identify the best quality candidates, vet their technical skills, get a feel for their professionalism, and often conduct their references proactively. This way, when the resume comes through your inbox for an interview, you can skip the phone screen all together. We all need extra hours in the day, right? Truth be told, this can reduce the time to hire by a reported 6-8 days, which according to the report, is the #1 reason the hiring process gets bogged down.
So, how long is too long? Yes, it can be a matter of opinion; however, with the right expertise it can be more properly defined. In over 26 years of working with clients and candidates Eliassen Group knows that it takes time to identify the best candidate. Empower your recruiters or recruiting partner to eliminate the first step that delays the process. The first domino that has to fall for your organization to succeed in the game of success is often-times the hiring process. Button it up and reap the rewards of improved candidate quality and better time to hire.