Why It’s Never Been More Important To Speed Up Hiring [How Small Businesses Can Prosper During a Labor Shortage]

speed up hiring
Avatar photo

Liz Strikwerda

Content strategist and corporate blogger (2000+ posts). Her work has been featured on G2's Learning Hub, Human Resources Today, Better Buys and over 500 business websites. She plays bluegrass mandolin and enjoys sailing her catamaran and hiking in the red rock wilderness of southern Utah. Connect with me on LinkedIn

8 minute read

Business owners can improve their recruiting process to speed up hiring.

How Long Should it Take to Fill a Position?

Let’s look at the latest hiring statistics.

The average position advertised solicits 250 resumes. (Glassdoor)

2% of the total number of candidates are contacted for an interview. (Glassdoor)

The interview process takes an average of 22.9 days. (Glassdoor)

Companies take from five to six weeks on average to offer the position to an applicant. (MRINetwork)

It takes 42 days, on average, to fill a position. (SHRM)

How Can I Speed Up Hiring?

If it takes you six weeks to fill a position, there are probably few candidates left. If you could speed it up to four weeks, you would be faster than most of your competitors. A 30% decrease is a tall order. How can you cut your hiring time by a third?

You tackle this problem with process and strategy. 1) Improve efficiency in your current hiring process. 2) Expand your hiring methods.

Let’s start with the basics.

Create a Hiring Process

Regardless of how small your business is, if you have employees, you have a process. If it’s never been documented, write it down. Think back to your last five hires. What did you do? Did you duplicate your efforts? What worked? What didn’t?

A basic hiring process looks like this:

Write a highly-detailed job description

  • Job duties/responsibilities
  • Expectations for performance
  • Skills required
  • Education/experience required

Advertise position

  • Company website career page
  • Online job boards (Monster, Indeed)
  • Social media sites
  • LinkedIn

Proactive sourcing

  • Search LinkedIn
  • Request employee referrals
  • Host or attend a career event
  • Search resume databases
  • Explore niche online forums (Reddit, Quora)

Applicant tracking/interviewing

  • Collect applications
  • Review applications/resumes
  • Select candidates to interview
  • Contact applicants to schedule interview
  • Conduct background checks
  • Make offer to chosen applicant
  • If offer is rejected, repeat
  • Applicant accepts offer

Employee-centric Hiring

Once you have a process, you can look for areas you can improve. Most employers can make the process easier for applicants.

Evaluate your process from the candidate’s perspective. Do you keep them informed every step of the way? Is the application too long? Do you accommodate them when scheduling interviews? (It speaks to an applicant’s character if they don’t want to skip out on their current job to come in for an interview.) When they come in for an interview, do they have to wait? Is the interviewer prepared? Does it take forever for your company to make a decision?

Optimize For Mobile

When adjusting your process to appeal to job candidates, don’t forget the ubiquity of smartphones. Online recruiting pages that aren’t optimized for mobile are at a significant disadvantage. This is another area where you can get a leg up on your competition. Many small businesses have not updated their websites for mobile.

Use Applicant Tracking Software

Manual hiring processes can’t compete with recruiting software. 98% of Fortune 500 companies use an applicant tracking system (ATS). For companies of all sizes, that number drops to about 40%. You can use this disparity to your favor. Depending on your industry, up to half of the companies you are competing with may not use an ATS. If you find a capable system, you can speed up every step of the hiring process. You are not going to get a yes from every candidate you make an offer to. But you will have time to make more offers for every position you advertise. This will not only shorten the time it takes to fill positions, you will have a shot at the most qualified applicants.

Another thing to keep in mind: 75% of hiring and talent managers use ATS.(Capterra) If you are competing with companies who use recruiters, it’s even tougher if you don’t use ATS.

Use ATS Analytics

If you already have an ATS, make sure you are using the analytics. KPIs include things that are easy to quantify—time to hire or turnover for example. They also include subjective measurements like quality of hire

Let’s look at three metrics that can reveal problems:

Time-to-Fill (or Time-to-Hire)

This is the total time it takes from job posting to when the candidate accepts the offer.

Time in Recruiting Workflow Step

This drills down into the time-to-fill number. It measures how long each step of the process takes. This includes posting the position, processing applications, screening resumes, setting up interviews, conducting interviews, and background checks. Some systems track the onboarding process as well.

This KPI shows you where to focus your efforts. Delays could be due to a number of factors. The software may have glitches. The hiring team may be overwhelmed, poorly trained, or unmotivated. The hiring manager may take several days to make a decision on a candidate.

Shortening the time-to-hire by even a couple of days can make a big difference in a competitive market.

Offer Acceptance Rate

This is the percentage of applicants offered the position who accept the offer. If your offer acceptance rate is low, it could mean several things. Your salary and benefits package may be lacking. If that’s not the case, there is something else about your company that is turning off jobseekers.

Use Your Company Social Media Pages To Speed Up Hiring

Are your social pages used only for pictures of the company picnic? Are they languishing because no one has time to post updates? Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are fantastic recruiting tools. They work the best when your employees post job openings. An authentic pitch from a team member can be more persuasive than a formal by-the-books job posting. (Make sure you link to the comprehensive posting so interested candidates can find all the information they need.)

Use Your Network

Reach out to your business and personal network. There is power in numbers. Your circle of influence is probably wider than you think. Employers who find passive candidates this way report that they are some of their best hires.

Build A Talent Pipeline

Create a database of potential hires. Track all qualified people who apply to your company, even if you don’t hire them on this round. This will speed up hiring going forward.

How To Speed Up Hiring

Let’s recap the concrete steps you can take to decrease the time it takes you to hire.

1. Create an employee-centric process

  • Make online recruiting mobile-friendly
  • Streamline interviewing
  • Stay in constant communication with applicants

2. Expand hiring techniques

  • Use employee referrals
  • Target passive candidates
  • Leverage social media sites
  • Improve job descriptions and interviews
  • Tap your business network
  • Build a talent pipeline

3. Improve hiring efficiency

  • Document informal processes
  • Eliminate redundancies
  • Use applicant tracking software

Find Qualified Candidates in a Shrinking Labor Pool

The low unemployment rate has created a labor shortage. Employers are finding it difficult to fill positions. If you’re a small business owner, this isn’t news to you. It’s affecting most industries and U.S. job markets. The balance of power has shifted from the employer to the job candidate. Jobseekers can be picky because they have more options.

Businesses with a slow hiring process are at a disadvantage. Companies who can’t find qualified people can’t implement their business strategy. This is unfortunate because the economy is humming. Growth opportunities abound.

2019 Business Opportunities and Challenges

This dynamic also creates a Catch-22. As your company grows, you need more specialization. You create new positions. This puts additional stress on your hiring team. If you are a small business, the ‘hiring team’ may only be you. If you spend more time acquiring talent, you may shortchange your existing customers.

Let WorkforceHub Help You Speed Up Hiring

WorkforceHub has tools that help business owners speed up hiring. Visit WorkforceHub Applicant Tracking for more information.

By Liz Strikwerda

Simplify HR management today.

Simplify HR management today.

5 Hints for Crafting a Candidate Pitch to Use in Hiring

June 7, 2024
Posted in

Finding the right person to fill an open role in your company can be challenging. Once you identify them, you might still need to sell them on your organization. The latest generation of workers wants to feel that the company they work for aligns with their values and allows them to make an impact. Therefore,…

Read More

All About Pay Transparency (With a Roundup of State Laws)

May 17, 2024
Posted in ,

Pay transparency laws are becoming more prevalent across various states and cities in the U.S., leading employers to reevaluate their job listings. Here’s an overview of what you need to know about pay transparency. We outline the definition, objectives, and compliance with laws, as well as define how WorkforceHub can support these requirements. What is…

Read More

WorkforceHub takes care of business.

We’ll show you how.

Request a Demo - Footer Form

Looking for help? Please click here.

brand - dots