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How to Build a Faster Job Application Review Process

How long does it take your company to find the right new employee? Taking too long to hire will cost your company in many ways. In terms of dollars, the more time you take to hire, the more expensive the process is. In terms of quality, you will lose talented candidates to your competition. And slow hiring processes also affect your brand, giving candidates a bad impression of your company’s efficiency.

It’s important to be thorough, but it is also essential that you hire quickly. The amount of time employers take to fill jobs depends on the type of work, location and size of the company, but the national average job vacancy duration in the United States is 25 working days.

Here’s how to do a faster job application review without sacrificing quality.

Centralize Candidate Management

The foundation to an efficient job application review is a centralized database to manage your company’s recruitment efforts. An applicant tracking system will make hiring easier by electronically handling your job postings, candidates, resumés and interviews.

A central database lets you collect information from candidates and makes their applications searchable by keywords, skills, level of education, years of experience and more. You can then focus on the most promising candidates. A centralized applicant tracking system can also serve as an important sourcing tool. Before launching a new hiring process, you can first look through your own database of past job applicants.

Clearly Define Job Descriptions

Next, you need to make sure that you have the right information coming in. In order to run your job application review most effectively, you need to know exactly what you are looking for. Be as specific as possible when writing the job description and use the right keywords to make your job posting searchable. This helps on two fronts by attracting candidates with those particular skills and providing the screening criteria for your job application review. Here are some best practices to follow when writing a job description.

Boost Your Job Application Review Process

Now that you have an applicant repository in place and have clear selection criteria, what you need is the ability to quickly review all the new/incoming applications with the help of your applicant tracking system. This critical “fast review” capability is an essential part of your daily hiring routine. It helps you analyze and tag all job applicants so you can optimize the time you spend on sifting through incoming applications, while filtering out those that don’t fit the job criteria. To facilitate this fast process, you need the ability to quickly decide if a new applicant is a “go” or a “no-go”. As a result, you are passing only the pre-screened and qualified applications to your hiring team, which now has just the right list of candidates to work with.

Leverage Modern Technology

Modern and up-to-date technology brings greater power and ease to your job application review. There are also more functions. You can import information directly from job boards or use questionnaires to pull out the detailed information you need to rank applicants. You can set up workflows and alerts to keep your job application review on track and on time. Modern applicant tracking systems are also more readily accessible to your team, wherever they are. With cloud-based technology, your staff can even connect to the system with tablets or smartphones.

If you are still using an old applicant tracking system, it’s time to leverage modern human resources technology. “Your HR software should ‘recommend’ people, experts, programs and management changes, rather than just give you lots of reports to run.” (Josh Bersin, HR Magazine)

Work Collaboratively

Hiring is a team activity so a speedy job application review depends on team members being able to quickly share information and make decisions. An effective and modern applicant tracking system is the key to keeping your team connected, engaged and on track to making the right hire.

Set up clear work flows and use team notifications to let staff know actions when are needed and milestones are reached. You can also create alerts to let you know when a hiring process is taking too long. Choose a system that facilitates back-and-forth communication and automatically records the decision making process. This speeds up the process by ensuring your team has at hand the information needed to compare candidates and decide on a hire.

Make Faster and Better Decisions

The final step to a timely job application review is the ability to make fast and good decisions. Ultimately, this depends on your team being able to work together and act, but if you’ve followed the above steps your team already has everything it needs to make a smart, data-driven hiring decision. And the alerts to make sure they don’t delay!

Image: Courtesy SME Blog

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