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Top 5 Reasons You Have a Slow Hiring Process

Are you on the hunt for your next great employee? If you’re like many other professionals, you’ve probably noticed a peculiar new development in the job hunting world: a tremendous s-l-o-w-d-o-w-n in the progress of finding a great applicant and offering him/her a job. What’s going on here?

Below, we’ve outlined the top 5 reasons behind this slow hiring process for candidate selection.

Check out the reasons why – and potential workarounds to the problems.

1. Narrowly Defined Needs

In many ways it’s good for your team to be picky with your new hire. A well-defined job description helps in getting the best people for the positions they’re hired to do. However, sometimes the way selective criteria is applied can take things a bit too far and contribute to a slow hiring process. In this age of digital recruiting, the nuts-and-bolts of hiring now include many more steps.

The employee screening procedure will often include some or all of these steps (and sometimes more):

  • Background Check
  • A Search on the Applicant’s Name
  • Past Employment Reference Checks
  • Social Media Analysis
  • Personal Reference Verification
  • Multiple Interview Stages (with 3 or more in some instances)

As this list shows, finding your ideal employee isn’t as simple as reviewing resumes and interviewing anymore.

What to Do: From an employer perspective, the best way to manage the entire applicant review process is to streamline it. Parse your applicant list into the primary candidates for interview. Then, batch together verification processes (like background checks). When you batch these processes together, you’ll save time, make it easier on your HR team and eliminate processes that contribute to the slow hiring process.

2. Larger Candidate Pools

The main reason many firms are pickier about who they bring on is because there are just so many more people applying. While the intent, in many cases, is to increase efficiency – the process followed often leads to a slow hiring process.

The truth is that despite the logistics, a larger applicant pool is generally a good thing. This means that you can really focus on finding the right person for the job. You just have to wade through a slightly bigger pool to find him or her. As long as your screening process is efficient, you should be able to avoid the slow hiring process syndrome.

What to Do: With more applicants, you need to tier your review process and eliminate applicants along the way – fast. Start with the basics such as experience and position requirements to shave off those who are unqualified. From there, slowly filter out based on other factors such as industry relevance or cover letter quality until you have a solid candidate lineup for interviews. While it may seem lofty at first, you can quickly wade through the mud toward the best person for the job.

3. Inefficient Interviewing

Slow hiring processes aren’t always about a huge number of applicants or highly selective criteria. Sometimes, the issue comes down to good old fashioned corporate inefficiency. In many cases, your company may not have the time or resources to devote to a new hire recruitment. This may lead to a poor job posting and a mismanaged interviewing procedure.

What to Do: Pre-planning is your friend when it comes to efficiency in interviewing. Don’t let the task of planning out the process get away from you. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed (and significantly delayed) trying to choose the right interviewees.

By taking care of this ahead of time, you’ll save a lot of stress for everyone within the hiring committee. Qualified applicants will appreciate timeliness – and you won’t miss out on securing the best choice due to wasted time.

4. Improper Position Breakdown by HR

If your hiring process is crawling and not really getting anywhere, it might be time to take a critical look at the job description being used for this position. Have you overblown the requirements to scare off potential interviewees? When qualified resumes are only trickling in, the culprit often comes down to an ineffective post by your HR team.

What to Do: Immediate revision of the position information will be your key to solving this problem in your slow hiring process. Make sure the description is clear, straightforward and not overbearing. Don’t confound the job with a whole laundry list of other jobs that don’t technically relate to the position. This type of position development will occur naturally – once you’ve actually found someone to hire.

Clear, concise definitions are what you need to attract directly qualified people. Devote some time to getting the position description up to par and see how it will improve your applicant pool.

5. Lack of Decision-Making

While this reason may seem a bit ridiculous to job hunters, sometimes a slow hiring process boils down to employers dragging their feet. Many hiring managers or executive teams have a false conception that they will find a true “ideal” candidate matching up perfectly with some mental conception of the best person for the job. In fact, some companies will refuse to pull the trigger on a new hire until they meet that dynamo who will impress them on every level.

Does this type of thinking sound like you or your hiring team? If so, it’s time to get over the idealism and implement a checklist that does not contribute to a slow hiring process. Holding on to unrealistic expectations means that it takes even longer to find and secure top talent. From a prospective employee’s point of view, this just looks like a firm that takes forever to make a decision.

What to Do: Keep your feet on the ground when it comes to the best person for the job. Obviously you want to find someone who will excel in this position. Instead of focusing on unrealistic expectations that will result in a delayed and slow hiring process, create a breakdown of all the ‘dream-team’ qualities you’re seeking. Match up potential interviewees based on this list while also keeping track of potential. Sometimes the potential an employee carries will inevitably transform into every tangible quality you’re seeking.

Most importantly, you need to pull the trigger and offer the job to the most qualified person you interview (as long as he/she has all the necessary requirements). If you drag your feet for too long, your slow hiring process will certaily increase the risk of losing out on someone who could have been a key contributor to your company’s growth.

Keep on Hunting

These tips will help eliminate some of the time wasted on a lethargic and slow hiring process while trying to find a qualified professional. While it still takes time to find the right person for the job, you certainly want to spend your recruiting resources and valuable time as efficiently as possible to bring the right people on board for your company’s continued success. While there are many critical areas to cover during talent acquisition, one thing is certain – you don’t need a slow hiring process.

Image: Courtesy Virtualization The Future

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