Unsurprisingly, the talent shortage is causing headaches for businesses worldwide. ManpowerGroup reported earlier this year that 75% of employers globally have struggled to fill open roles across most industries and sizes. With a continuously low unemployment rate, employers should do everything possible to position themselves for success, including restructuring and investing in efficient recruitment practices. A positive and efficient candidate experience can make a significant impact in this volatile market.

When organizations have poor and inefficient hiring processes, more is at risk than being understaffed. Here are some of the risks businesses face when inefficient recruitment practices are in place:

    1. Losing top talent
    2. Negative candidate experience
    3. Increased costs
    4. Low productivity
    5. Missed market opportunities
    6. Strained resources

Hiring processes are not what they used to be. Just as the modern workplace has had to evolve, so must antiquated hiring practices. So, what makes hiring processes inefficient? Job descriptions with too many requirements, cumbersome applications, lengthy interview processes, and inconsistent communication greatly contribute to inefficient hiring processes and create a negative candidate experience.

Job Descriptions
Before posting an open job requisition, reevaluate and audit your job descriptions. Engage all parties involved to ensure the description accurately reflects the role’s responsibilities and the skills and experience required to perform the job. Many skills can be learned and developed on the job so only require what is absolutely necessary. The more requirements you list, the more qualified candidates you are already screening out and the longer it will take you to fill the role. Also, ensure the title, responsibilities, and requirements are written clearly and concisely, and the language is inclusive, non-discriminatory, and gender-neutral.

Application Ease
Have you submitted a test application for a job on your own website? If not, you should. This exercise is the only way to experience and enhance the candidate application process. Countless website career pages have cumbersome application forms that can be so frustrating that applicants give up halfway through their application. Who wants to upload their resume and cover letter and then have to go through pages of forms filling out all of the same information that’s already on their resume? Applying for a job on your website should be quick and seamless, not only on desktop devices but also on mobile devices. Most modern job seekers apply on their phones and on the go, so your website should facilitate ease and quickness.

Interview Process
On average, how long is your organization’s interview process from application to offer? Weeks, months? Recent research revealed that companies take, on average, 44 days to hire an employee, an all-time high. Aside from highly specialized roles, interview processes should take no more than 30 days from application to offer acceptance. The longer your interview process takes, the higher the chance your top candidates will accept offers elsewhere. In this competitive market, urgency is everything. Here are some tips to enhance your interview processes:

    1. Contact viable applicants immediately upon receiving their resumes to schedule a screening call. Candidates often don’t hear back about initial interviews until a week or two after applying. At that point, they can be off the market, in the final stages elsewhere, or not interested in your company because of how long it took you to respond.
    2. Be mindful of how many rounds of interviews you conduct. Candidates must take time off from their current jobs and/or rearrange schedules to conduct interviews. Forcing several rounds of interviews is stressful and unnecessary. Instead, schedule panel interviews to keep the process more streamlined. Three rounds of interviews are more than enough to determine if the candidate is a good fit, especially if you’re grouping interviewers.
    3. Quick turnaround time is key! Once an interview is complete, collect feedback from the interviewers immediately. If the candidate is advancing, reach out to schedule the next round as soon as possible.

Consistent Communication
Interviewing for a new job is incredibly stressful, regardless of whether it’s someone’s first time interviewing or hundredth. Lack of communication throughout the interview process increases stress tenfold. It’s important for hiring managers to remember to keep the hiring process human. If a candidate’s background does not align with the current opening at your organization, let them know and keep their resume on file for future opportunities. If there’s a hold on scheduling interviews because an interviewer is out of the office on vacation, be transparent. Tell the candidate you’re still very interested in their candidacy and are just working around schedules. Keep potential candidates in the loop and always provide feedback.

Filling open positions is not easy right now, but there is power in positive, fast, and efficient hiring processes. Creating engaging job descriptions, streamlining application and interview processes, and open communication are easy steps your organization can start taking today that will immediately impact your ability to fill essential positions with qualified talent.

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