Don’t cut corners to reduce time to hire

In hiring there is a big focus on time to hire; it should be as minimal as possible. This can be for financial reasons, speed to offer to secure the best talent or to make the path to hiring or on-boarding as quick and easy as possible. Whilst these are good reasons to reduce time to hire, is cutting corners to reduce this time actually resulting in a higher cost than if it had taken longer or been done more thoroughly?

Hiring can be a numbers game, the more people that are seen the more likely it is that the ideal candidate can be found. However, understandably, companies do not have the time to see hundreds of candidates for one job, but in the quest to reduce time, the focus is being put on reducing the number of candidates actually being seen.

CV and candidate sifting, using technology or not, can be a valuable tool when used correctly as it will ensure good candidates coming through the pipeline. However, if it is not used with great care or thought then this becomes a time saving exercise at the expense of a robust assessment or engaging with candidates. This can lead to a system that favours those who can write a good CV, or those that are confident in front of a camera when using video interviews, which may be suitable for some roles, but not for all roles in a company. The worst case scenario is that this favours certain candidate demographics over others, which obviously should never be the point of sifting candidates.

When the number of applicants per open role is very high, there has to be some element of sifting which should produce a list of great candidates. But the focus should not be on having the smallest list possible, instead it should be the most valuable list. However, this creates another problem, how to see as many candidates as possible without overloading the hiring team.

The quality of assessment can fade if the hiring team has too much to do during the hiring process or when interviewing candidates, especially if there are multiple interviews are on one day. This leads to corners being cut and the assessment, scoring and feedback process not being done as thoroughly as possible.

The outcome of this is that these might not be the best candidates for the job and these hires are more likely to end up leaving soon after being hired, the cost of which is difficult to determine. Not only is it the wasted year of hiring, firing and hiring again, but also the employee will not have added any value to the company. Part of the cost can be estimated however, using statistics from graduate hires in 2017, the cost of hiring the wrong candidates was £144m for graduate employers*. Surely these costs are much greater than ensuring a proper and robust interview and hiring process is in place.

Time should, and can, be saved in the administrative tasks within the hiring process, allowing more time to be spent on the most important part of the hiring process, engaging with candidates and assessing them accurately.

Manual and repeated processes such as assessment material creation and collation, scheduling, note taking, writing thorough feedback and wash up are all areas that can be automated or sped up through the use of technology.

Through this technology hiring managers can reduce time to hire without affecting the actual assessment process. This will ensure time and money saving and a higher quality of candidate being hired, that will add value quicker.

Time should not be wasted when it comes to recruitment, instead time should be spent wisely and on the parts of the process that are most important and add the most value. Steps can be taken to minimise the amount of admin involved, candidates can be sifted properly and technology can be used to speed up the process in order to reduce time to hire. This will help hiring teams to spend more time assessing candidates and finding the best hires.

At Equitas we are helping companies to make better hiring decisions with our interview app. It can be challenging to hire the right people for key roles, ensure a diverse workforce and find the time to deliver a consistent and engaging candidate experience. Our app makes your interviews more accurate, efficient and fair, empowering you to make better hiring decisions.

*A CEB report that showed that 25% of 20,614 graduate hires in the UK in 2017 left in the first year of employment. The average salary for a graduate is £28k, based on statistics from ISE. Therefore, the cost to graduate employers last year of hiring the wrong candidates was £144m.