You may have heard the saying “hire slow, fire fast” used before, but is a long time to hire really the way to go? Of course, a slower hiring approach allows you to more thoroughly evaluate all candidates. The downsides, however, can be damning.
Like everything, there are pros and cons, and ultimately the decision will fall to you. We have, however, listed the benefits for each, so you can evaluate both options and decide which direction is best for your organisation.
The benefits of a quick and efficient hiring process
First Mover Advantage
To get the top talent through your door, you need to move fast. Otherwise, you could be left with only the average candidates by the time you’re ready to hire. High-demand candidates will be receiving multiple offers, so if you delay yours, you could miss the opportunity altogether.
Reducing Empty Chair Time
The more time your company spends with a vacant position, the more potential revenue your company is missing out on. For example, if an unfilled role is causing the organisation to miss out on $4,000 a day and it’s likely to take 40 days to make this hire internally, paying a $12,000 recruitment fee to speed up the process by two weeks is marginal compared to what the organisation stands to benefit from making the earlier hire.
A More Productive Team
It costs the organisation if other employees have to take on the duties of the yet-to-be-hired candidate. The hiring manager additionally spends more time and effort during the process, reviewing and interviewing candidates. Long, drawn-out recruitment processes can also cause duplication of efforts. When candidates start to drop out and take offers elsewhere, your hiring team can find themselves having to start their processes from scratch again.
The benefits of a slow and thorough hiring process
Better Evaluate Organisational Fit
Having more time to assess and interview candidates allows you to better understand who they are, as an individual and how they will fit into the team. This allows you to invite and include other decision makers into the process too. With this information, you will be in a better position to decide whether they’ll be a good fit for your organisation. If this is the approach you need to take then let the candidates know at the start of the process how long they should expect the process to take and what steps will be involved.
Avoid Potentially Bad Hires
The true cost of recruitment is dealing with bad hires. Having to undo the bad code, dealing with the fallout from a toxic employee and all the time that’s been invested into training the wrong hire can be catastrophic to an organisation. Your team is your most valuable resource, and hiring the wrong person can be a waste of both time and money. Hiring slow can help save you the trouble of ‘unhiring’ a candidate later.
So, which approach is better?
As you can see, there are pros and cons for both hiring slowly and hiring quickly. The critical thing to remember is that for many companies, ‘time to fill’ is just as important as the quality of the hire.
The truth is, in a candidate-driven market like the one we are currently faced with, hiring slow simply is not an option. While you want to be selective and ensure you aren’t hiring the wrong person, time is of the essence in this candidate-short market. Every day that a candidate has to wait is a day they could be attracted to another organisation, and the top talent will be the first to go, leaving you with only average-at-best options.
How to Recruit More Efficiently
Utilise an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
An ATS enables you to track applicants throughout the entire recruitment process and automates key communications. Most importantly, it ensures that no candidates slip through the cracks, and can provide you with solid data to drive future improvements.
Work on the job listing
The purpose of a job description is to filter out unsuitable candidates and attract the ones you want. Investing the time to write a quality job posting will save you in the long run, with a smaller, more relevant pool of CVs to read through.
Keep in touch with top candidates
While you want to keep open communication with each and every candidate, sometimes this isn’t possible. You should, however, make the effort to keep in contact with your top choices and be as transparent as possible with them. Let them know where you are in the process, and what the next steps are. The last thing you want is for them to feel left in the dark, and go looking for opportunities elsewhere.
Recognise that the perfect candidate may not exist
Don’t withhold offers from highly-skilled, suitable candidates while holding out for a unicorn that may not exist. Particularly in this talent-short market, it’s important not to fall into the trap of only considering candidates who tick every box. Recognise that you may not be able to find that perfect candidate, and you may have to develop them yourselves with investment and training.
Get expert assistance
Well connected recruiters will often have a large network of qualified candidates. Utilising these can help you to speed up the hiring process and free up vital resources for other business activities. They are also able to tap into candidate pools that some employers would be unable to access through their own current relationships.
In the current market, a slow hiring process can be one of the costliest mistakes to make. While you may have more time to evaluate fit and avoid bad hires, the tradeoff is losing the top candidates, spending more money and lowering productivity.
We’ve provided some tips on how you can expedite the hiring process, such as by utilising an ATS, improving the job listing, communicating with candidates, adjusting expectations and working with a recruiter.
TalentVine allows you to easily find and connect with the top specialist recruiters around. Compare their rates, reviews, recently placed roles and more to find the best choice for your organisation.