At the heart of most great companies is an incredibly strong emphasis on the hiring process. During recession periods companies could afford to use long hiring processes to find the absolute best candidate for their open positions. Not so in today’s world. Growing competition for skilled candidates penalizes companies with longer time-to-hire cycles.

The lengthening hiring process is the result of a tightening job market that favors well qualified job seekers rather than the companies seeking them. Waiting for the candidate who is the perfect match for a job opening can result in not finding anyone close to what is needed.

Streamline the Hiring Process
Streamline the Hiring Process

Many companies are reporting a lack of quality candidates in the candidate pool. This in itself lengthens the hiring process as companies continue searching even after identifying suitable, albeit not perfect, candidates.

What are some ways to staff up in a shorter period than currently in use without making costly hiring mistakes?

Review and Reduce Your Company Hiring Cycle

The first thing to review is the company approach to hiring. It should take a formalized approach including requiring that any requests to hire include a clear definition of the position and the position’s requirements. Clearly defining a job and position in terms of education, experience, knowledge, skills, behaviors and attitudes necessary to be successful makes the interview process easier, faster and more effective.
During the initial interview focus on evaluating a candidate based on the road map clearly defining what is required. Choose several candidates then test them in whatever manner is appropriate to the job in question.

Test Potential Candidates

To ensure someone has the skills they say they do, test them. These can be written tests, role-plays, or simulations such as asking a PR candidate to write a press release for a make-believe product or asking a marketing candidate to explain the key components in a marketing plan. These tests don’t need to be elaborate, but they do need to be able to differentiate the candidates who have the necessary skills from those who don’t.

Before Making an Offer Check References and Perform Background Checks

Due diligence should be a standard procedure in most companies, yet it is often done poorly or not at all. It is important to verify what a person is saying about past employment to the extent allowed by law. It is also important to do background checks to ensure that critical information about a person’s character has not been left out.

Use An Applicant Tracking System

Avoid costly hiring mistakes by hiring mindfully and using a system that allows you to manage the hiring process. Large companies in particular need a way to track the process of hiring and checking references and onboarding. The best candidates will rise to the top during the process especially when you are able to effectively track them through the interview and evaluation process. The more often you exercise mindful hiring, the better and faster you’ll be able to find the best candidates to fill any open positions.