Recruiting candidates to fill vacant roles is one of your most important responsibilities as an HR professional. Your company simply can’t thrive without the right people. It’s your job to find them.
That’s why it’s important to take your time with this task. You don’t want to overlook the ideal candidate because you were rushing to fill a position too quickly. At the same time, recruitment and hiring are expensive, and any team’s productivity and morale can suffer if a position is left open for too long. Your goal should be to attract the best candidates and then screen, interview, and complete background checks as efficiently as possible, without sacrificing quality.
The following ideas can help you achieve this balance. Again, while your most crucial goal is to hire the right people, regardless of how long that takes, you can fill jobs more quickly by keeping the following suggestions in mind.
Maintain an Applicant Database
Even if you ultimately decide not to hire a candidate, he or she may still possess skills and experience that could benefit you company later. Smart HR professionals know this and keep databases of past applications. You should do the same.
An applicant database gives you instant access to a pool of qualified candidates the next time you need to hire. You can quickly reach out to them to find out if they are still interested in a job at your company. Granted, they may now be working elsewhere, but it’s still worth checking on past applicants when they have the requisite skills for a vacant position. Doing so can help you save a lot of time.
Remember that having a database of potential candidates at your fingertips only goes so far. That’s why you also must work to turn rejected candidates into allies—you want to have a database of people who would be willing to work for you, even after you’ve rejected them. You can establish this positive relationship during recruitment by treating candidates with respect: delivering bad news with compassion, offering honest feedback, and asking for their feedback about the process. Above all, never leave anyone hanging or wondering when they’ll hear back from you.
Be Specific with Job Descriptions
Taking the time to draft a good job description will save you lots of time in the long run. Above all, job descriptions must be specific. When writing them, make sure you not only clearly define what duties are associated with a role, but what strengths an applicant must have to be considered.
Will this scare off some applicants? Potentially, but that can be a good thing. HR professionals often waste time sorting through applications from candidates who are obviously unqualified. Sometimes, these candidates may even reach the interview stage, which only wastes more time. Avoid this by ensuring job descriptions are detailed enough that only genuinely qualified people will want to apply.
Consider an Employee Referral Program
There’s a good chance your company’s employees know other people looking for jobs in your industry. They can therefore be a very useful asset when you’re filling open positions.
Discuss the idea of an employee referral program with managers and executives. When a position needs to be filled, alert your current workforce, encouraging them to suggest colleagues if they know anyone with the right qualifications and experience. You may wish to offer employees a bonus or some other reward if the candidates they refer are ultimately hired.
However, be aware that it’s not always wise to broadcast the fact that you are filling a job vacancy. There may be situations where employees become upset that you’re looking for people outside the organization to fill a particular role. Discussing this potential issue with executive leadership and department leads and managers to avoid an unwanted conflict.
Analyze Your Hiring Process
It’s worth noting that your hiring process in general may not be as efficient as it could be. For example, maybe your process includes too many steps between the time you receive a candidate’s application and the time you offer them a job. If this is the case, by the time you are ready to make an offer, a candidate may have accepted a position elsewhere, forcing you to spend even more time on recruitment.
Analyze your current hiring process with the help of qualified colleagues to identify steps that can be removed, combined, or shortened. Don’t make the mistake of assuming there are no inefficiencies to be addressed.
Focus on Retention
One of the smartest ways to save time on hiring is to prioritize retention. Quite simply, when people don’t quit often, you’ll have fewer vacant roles to fill.
There are many ways to reduce turnover. The specific tactics that will work best for your organization depend on your staff’s needs and expectations. That said, there are some general ways to boost retention that tend to work at all companies.
One is to make sure employees know that they have opportunities for growth and advancement. When people join companies, they want to know they will be able to take on new responsibilities in the future. It’s also important to ensure your compensation package is fair and competitive with that of other organizations in your industry. You don’t want to lose strong employees because you weren’t paying them enough.