Manage an efficient hiring process in the hottest market in decades

Last week, a colleague of mine in our Atlanta office had a candidate going on their seventh interview – yes, I said seventh – for a contract position. That’s just too many, especially in this competitive job market where you need to act fast.

 

In this scenario, the company offered the candidate the job and they accepted. But what I’ve seen more often than not is: a drawn-out hiring process = missing out on talent. It’s like that saying, you end up being a day late and a dollar short.

 

Unfortunately, that’s the reality of hiring right now. A Yello study shows that 60% of recruiters say they regularly lose candidates before they’re even able to schedule an interview. And I’m not surprised by that.

 

Every time my clients have extended an offer to a candidate, that candidate always has another offer on the table. And I hate to see the dread on my client’s faces when they lose a candidate to another company. The thought of starting over is grueling.

 

In response, I’ve come up with some methods I think will speed up the hiring process to make sure you land the candidates you want.

 

Acknowledge hiring contingent labor is different than FTEs.

Hiring a full-time employee is much different than hiring a contract worker. It takes time to hire an FTE because you’re making a big investment. But you should shift your mindset and approach to contract hiring. In essence, your contingent labor needs are up against full-time job offerings. And that’s difficult to compete with. So, speed is going to be your best friend.

 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average interview process for a single job takes 27.5 days in the United States. The interview process time clock starts with submitting an application and includes being selected for an interview, completing pre-employment screenings and then receiving a job offer. But that’s for a full-time role. At Synergis, we’ve managed a successful one-week submit-to-offer for a client for a contract role.

 

Now, that’s super-fast, even for a contract role, but you get the point. To help speed up your process, try to address questions about the contract, what the project is and if there could be a long-term opportunity early in the process. Reiterate these important details of the role to help pre-close the candidate quickly.

 

Limit the number of interviews.

There’s no hard and fast rule to how many job interviews it takes to hire someone. An entry-level job sometimes only takes one interview. With most of the roles we work on, I would try to limit it to two interviews.

 

And that doesn’t count the screening call that our recruiters handle on your behalf. We are doing our due diligence to qualify the candidate for the position, so trust us to handle those details. That way, you don’t have to use your valuable time to do this part of the process. Respondents from the Yello survey say screening candidates take up 60% of the hiring process.

 

Use alternative interviewing practices.

If your interview process is taking too long, you might want to consider other options at your disposal. Or just get more intentional with your efforts.

 

Maybe you can interview a candidate with multiple people at once versus a one-at-a-time approach? If you go the panel method route, make sure everyone involved is on the same page and the same timeline. All parties should be clear – and in agreement – on the requirements for the position including hard and soft skills. A 2021 Jobvite survey of recruiters reports a growing challenge in the hiring process is misalignment between recruiters, hiring managers and/or interview panelists.

 

As far as scheduling goes, try not to interview a candidate the day before you go on vacation. It only delays the process even more as it pretty much stops until you get back.

 

One more option is a longer interview where you can get granular with your questions in fewer interviews. And there are always video interviews. In-person is typically preferred but virtual interviews are gaining in popularity as an effective way to interview.

 

Be less choosy with your requirements.

Companies like Google, Amazon and Salesforce have decided to broaden their search for candidates by no longer requiring a four-year degree for certain positions. Instead, they look for high-potential, trainable employees. And you could do the same to widen your pool of talent. There are many self-taught developers out there without a degree who are highly skilled.

 

Another way to bend your requirements is to think of it like buying a house. You’re never going to get everything on your “must-have” list. I’m not saying you should settle, but maybe take out a required skill that has the possibility of being learned on the job. The same goes for certifications. If it’s absolutely necessary, maybe they can earn it later. Those candidates with an obvious desire to learn new skills most likely have the drive to continue to learn and become even better employees.

 

Stay up-to-date on the market.

Make sure you know what you’re up against with salary, number of available candidates, what they’re looking for in an employer, etc. Two common roles right now are front-end and back-end developers.

 

According to LinkedIn Talent Insights, this talent is very hard to hire. There are currently about 19,000 front-end developers on LinkedIn and the number has actually decreased in the last year. Making it even more difficult to hire this skillset, 4,232 of them changed jobs over the past year and the average tenure is only 1.3 years.

 

Now, let’s look at back-end developers. The market looks even bleaker for these professionals as there are nearly 6,000 jobs posted and only 4,373 back-end developers on LinkedIn. On top of that, the average tenure is a measly 0.8 years.

 

Those are just two examples of what the market is like right now. It’s changing so rapidly, that it can be difficult to keep up with. Industry organizations, such as Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) and the American Staffing Association (ASA), can help provide that information to you with their daily email newsletters.

 

Lean on your workforce solutions partner.

We’re here for this very purpose! As I stated before, we can handle the screening calls to pre-qualify a candidate before you even need to talk to them. Keep the lines of communication open with your contacts at Synergis, provide us with as much information on the role as possible and give feedback on candidates quickly.

 

All of these tactics combined will speed up the process. And you can always leverage our industry information as well to stay on top of the job market. We’re happy to share it with you as your partner in the hiring process. Reach out to me or my colleagues if you need assistance.

 

About the author

Anna Geyer serves as an Account Delivery Manager for Synergis in our San Francisco office. She has been recruiting and managing accounts in the staffing industry for more than four years. She loves connecting with people in the industry to learn more about what is changing within the industry standards, and how people are adapting to these changes. She was born and raised in Florida and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida, Go Knights! When she’s not partnering with clients, Anna enjoys spending time with friends, hiking, camping and being outdoors with her Huskies on the weekends.

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