By Michele Obyc
Hiring managers continue to navigate turbulent hiring cycles and employee turnover. While still fulfilling the expectations of their full-time positions, hiring managers are expected to help find the right people for their job openings, and quickly. Considering not all hiring managers have access to or require the full support of an outsourced recruiting partner, it is imperative to adopt an impactful hiring process that can yield results fast.
Finding the right hire is not likely to occur simply by posting the job and sharing it across professional networks—although when that does happen, it’s always a nice surprise. Hiring requires an investment of both time and energy throughout the entire process to yield the best results and people. Below are seven critical hiring steps to implement to quickly and effectively fill a job opening:
1. Leverage Internal Resources to Identify Candidates
Hiring managers can often feel burdened to source candidates for open positions themselves. Not only can this compete other obligations, but it can become very time-consuming. Identifying qualified candidates can be expedited by seeking out internal resources that can help supplement efforts. This can range from someone on an internal recruiting team (if there is one), human resources or could be a colleague that assists in screening resumes.
When sourcing candidates, it is critical to simplify the process by determining three “must have” qualifications or experiences that are easily identifiable on the resume. This will quickly narrow down the talent pool and create a consistent profile of preferred candidates to move forward with.
2. Delegate Responsibilities
In the absence of internal recruiting resources, an effective approach can include delegating a portion of the responsibility to a reporting team member. This will provide them with valuable growth opportunities and develop impactful professional skills around interviewing techniques and effectively assessing resumes.
It is important to remember that effective hiring goes beyond just posting the job and requires a hands-on approach. Engaging team members provides an organic opportunity for professional development and often leads to an improved hiring process and experience for all involved.
3. Calendar Your Hiring Process
Establishing a consistent daily and weekly schedule to review resumes and conduct interviews will significantly improve the efficiency of the hiring process. Time is one of our most valuable resources and dedicating specific time blocks for hiring-related tasks will ensure that the process doesn’t take a backseat to other meetings and regular work tasks.
This kind of proactive approach creates consistent behaviors that will generate momentum in the hiring process. Externally, candidates will feel that their time is being respected, which positively influences the organization’s employer brand; internally, it demonstrates a commitment—and the necessary behaviors—to acquire top talent.
4. Streamline the Interview Process
When preparing for interviews, it is important that the entire interview team understands the organizational needs of the position and that it is aligned on the overall approach. For example, if the interview team is solely focused on one trait, but the hiring manager is evaluating something completely different, this can lead to a disjointed experience and can cause confusion for candidates. Simplifying the interview process, while also understanding the intricacies of the current talent market, will lead to a more unified interview experience.
Depending on who candidates interview with determines the focus of the conversation. Some interviews, for example, may lean more into product knowledge rather than experience. Ensuring the interview team is on the same page about what is being assessed and by whom will create a deliberate interview process and eliminate any premature or unjustified disqualifications. When the priorities of the group and the organization align, the hiring decision becomes clearer.
5. Sell the Company During the Interview
A recent LinkedIn study found that 35% of candidates consider career growth as a top priority when looking for a new job, highlighting the importance of focusing on the opportunity for growth during the interview process from the job seeker’s perspective – not just the company’s.
An impactful way to begin the interview is by asking the candidate about their interests and career aspirations. Though you are interviewing the job seeker about their qualifications and experience, it is important to focus on their priorities too. This can create an opportunity to highlight how the position and organization can provide those opportunities while also creating time and space to give specific examples.
6. Be Decisive
A 2022 study from the Harvard Business Review found that the average time-to-hire includes multiple interviews and can last up to 43 days. However, 62% of working professionals lose interest in the position within two weeks of the initial interview if they do not hear back from the interviewer or hiring manager.
If you find the right candidate, do not hesitate to make the hire. Being decisive does not mean being hasty or desperate. Hiring managers can feel the need to compare candidates throughout the process rather than evaluating people on an individual basis and assessing the value they can deliver. This often leads to uncertainty around the final decision of who to hire and can cause delays in the process, which can ultimately cost organizations the talent they need and want.
7. Understand the Talent Market
To make informed and expedited decisions, hiring managers need to understand the current labor market, the time of year and how those factors could impact the candidate response to the opening. Understanding the timeline associated with finding talent for the open position by researching labor market trends or engaging with recruiters can provide important guidance on how to approach the opening.
As an example, in January, February and March the candidate pool is slim for public accounting professionals as it’s “busy season” for audit professionals. By this time, most qualified talent has committed to deliverables for their clients through March. This type of knowledge can inform the hiring manager that interviewing numerous candidates from public accounting during this time of year might not be a viable option. The job should either be reallocated to a different time of year, requirements and expectations should be lessened or hiring managers may need to engage with temporary professionals until the public accounting talent pool wraps up with their tax season obligations, or around the middle of March.
A recruiting partner can provide hiring managers with critical feedback on the current talent market, as well as advise on appropriate compensation relevant to the position. They can also be instrumental in orchestrating the interview process and keeping candidates interested and engaged until a final decision is made. When, however, conducting an interview process internally, the seven best practices highlighted above can help keep the interview team on task, while streamlining important steps in process to land the best available talent.
To engage Vaco for your next job opening, go to www.vaco.com/talent-solutions.
About Michele Obyc
A co-founding partner of BVOH Search & Consulting, now Vaco, Michele loves providing consultative advice to clients on building out their organizations and hiring top talent. She also really enjoys working with candidates and advising them on achieving their career goals.