Working within any competitive market, the balance of power always comes down to supply and demand. Right now, quality candidates often have multiple job offers on the table to choose from, and organisations that are too slow to make a decision following the interview are at risk of missing out on the best talent.
However, the current market also presents an opportunity for employers. You can rise to the top of the pile by fostering a streamlined hiring process that shows candidates how much you value their time as well as their experience.
Here are some top tips for how to make faster hiring decisions so you can lock down your dream hire.
Have a Clear Criteria
One of the biggest roadblocks that can cause the hiring process to stall after the interview stage is confusion about what exactly you’re looking for, particularly if you have several promising candidates to choose from or multiple parties involved in decision making. You can prevent this by establishing clear and well-thought-out criteria upon which to base your evaluation, before you even start the journey. How would you characterise your ideal candidate? If you’ve identified solid but realistic requirements from the outset, you’re much more likely to stay on course.
One idea is to develop a candidate profile that covers a broad range of components including ideal experience, skillset and cultural fit. If you’re having a tough time making your final decision, you can refer back to this candidate profile and compare and contrast candidates who fit the bill.
Even if you haven’t found someone who fits the profile 100%, it will help you prioritise which characteristics you consider to be essential and which are “nice to have”. Bear in mind that this profile might change slightly during the process (and sometimes the best thing you can do is go with your gut), but it’s a good grounding tool to refer back to.
Streamline Your Process
Are you finding that candidates lose interest or move on to other opportunities before you get to the final stages? By investing time upfront in refining your recruitment process, you can save yourself plenty of time and make it easier to reach a consensus, quickly.
Decision by committee will often lead to headaches, so think carefully about who needs to be involved in the process and what their role should be. Are they a core decision-maker who needs to participate in the interview stage, or could they be a “meet and greet” once you’ve reached your final round?
Also, try to be realistic about how many stages are required and what you expect to learn about the candidate during each step. Do you need multiple rounds of interviews, or can you find out what you need to in just one? If you feel that more than one interview is required, you may want to cast a wider net during the initial meeting, then focus on specialist capabilities and cultural fit for the second round. This can also help to define who should be in the room at each stage – for example, a line manager participating in the first round and a member of senior management observing the final presentation.
Once you’ve made your decision, it’s best to stick with it and start the offer process immediately. You might be tempted to do a final sweep of the market just in case, but you risk losing your top candidate. Instead, line up all of your approvals in advance and be ready to make a final offer as soon as you’ve found the right person, before they can consider other roles.
If you haven’t had a chance to complete the reference checks, you can always extend an offer that is conditional on receiving positive references. That way, you can lock in your first choice candidate sooner and start focusing on how you will onboard your new hire!
Don’t risk being the hiring manager who is left pining after the one who got away. Instead, be proactive, organised and ready to go when you start recruiting, and you’ll be positioned to get ahead of the competition and nab those top performers.
Need more recruitment advice or ideas for ways to speed up your hiring process and make faster (and better) hiring decisions? Our team of Sydney recruitment specialists are here to help. When you work with us, you will have a trusted partner with your best interests at the forefront, who will take care of all the legwork to ensure you can secure your next star hire as soon as possible.
Reach out to us today to learn more.