Hiring Fast: The Key to Winning Great Candidates

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Hiring Faster - Why and How

In developed markets, the average time it takes to fill a role has been increasing since 2001.

This is a problem.

Hiring shouldn’t take this long. An average hiring process of 62 days indicates that something is seriously wrong with the system, especially as that time is rising.

The old adage “hire slow, fire fast” appears to be firmly implanted in the psyche of the modern crop of hiring managers. However, it doesn’t have to be. There are huge advantages to hiring fast. It’s time to reconsider your hiring process and take a look at how you can improve.

So, why hire faster?

You get a far higher acceptance rate.

Reducing the time between interviews and an offer will start your relationship with candidates on the right foot. In addition, you’ll also give super star candidates less time to be inundated with competing offers.

When you’ve got your eye on a candidate, you don’t want to take the risk that their existing organisation will come forward with a counter offer or that their eyes will wander elsewhere. Get the ball rolling quickly, and keep it moving – especially for tech roles where strong candidates can easily have five offers on the table.

Your candidates won’t hate the experience.

By having an “eyes forward”, constantly moving approach to the hiring process, you’ll differentiate your organisation from competitors and send a clear signal that you’re serious about getting things done. The candidate experience is the first exposure that potential hires will have into how your company operates, so show them how you can respond quickly.

You’ll get higher quality hires.

Great candidates want to make smart decisions quickly and get down to business. Nothing sends a poorer signal than taking a week to organise a simple interview. Move fast and lock down your first choice before they’re snapped up by another business.

It keeps recruiters on their toes.

Most quality recruiters will be extremely happy with a rapid onboarding process. They know that hot candidates will have a lot of interest from other employers and recruiters so keeping the ball moving helps them in that regard.

Most hiring processes will chew up a lot of recruiter time, so if they’re able to get interviews organised as soon as they’ve submitted a shortlist, they’re going to be happier than waiting a week for you to respond with feedback.

Hiring managers love it.

Placing an expectation for a short hiring process on your hiring managers can help them understand where flaws exist in their procedures and further improve things.

Additionally, hiring managers want to get talent in the door as quickly as possible, especially if their performance is tied to overall organisational effectiveness. Filling talent gaps quickly is absolutely in their best interest.

How to Hire Faster.


Nothing great ever came off perfectly without an adequate plan. If you’re working under someone else, you’re going to need a business case. Pitch your changes, and focus on the above points. It saves time, provides a greater ROI on hiring spend, and brings in higher quality talent.

Plan the process from the outset and stick to it. How long does the recruiter have to shortlist candidates, how long will you take to check them out, and when do they get the first phone call?

Think inside the box.

Start your hiring search from within. A significant body of research indicates that internal hires perform better and are more likely to stick around than new hires.

There is immense value in knowing your way around the place. Internal hires understand the organisation, often far more intimately than a new hire ever will. If you can’t identify any potential within your organisation, then that’s a problem. Consider implementing an internal development program.

Test, then test again.

If you can’t fit the role internally, then naturally you’ll need to look outside the organisation. Take your acceleration plan and apply it to a small number of positions (unless you only hire for a few positions a year, in which case you should roll it out straight away).

See how things go for the first hire or two. Refine your approach based on feedback from hiring managers, recruiters and candidates. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback – it’s the only way to improve.

Every time you run a recruitment campaign, break it down into its different stages and see where you could improve next time. Testing should be a large part of the way you work anyway, but it’s especially important if you want to continue to reduce how long your hiring process takes.

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