Why Businesses Need to Hurry Up and Hire Faster

Source: Mark Ralston/Getty Images

Source: Mark Ralston/Getty Images

Companies can take an eternity to hire the right candidate. As a job-seeker, there’s nothing more frustrating than enduring the glacial pace at which businesses choose to move, and there is mounting evidence that it may be actually be causing damage to companies.

It’s completely understandable as to why businesses take awhile to onboard a new employee. After all, they’re investing in someone who they will need to trust and cultivate, and ultimately pour considerable resources into. But they might need to invest in finding ways to speed up that process. According to recruiting blog Talent Puzzle, it takes companies an average of 12 weeks to hire a new employee. Though it fluctuates from industry to industry, that’s still an average of around three months — painfully slow for applicants who may be desperate to earn a paycheck.

The Wall Street Journal says that employers have become very picky about who they are choosing to bring into the fold, which is one of the reasons behind the slowdown. It’s also one of the reasons that wages have stagnated. Companies have instituted more stringent job requirements, and finding applicants who clear them is yet another problem. These hiring hurdles are self-inflicted, and end up eating into company resources that could otherwise be used producing goods and services.

In other words, slow hiring practices are hurting business.

Research shows that the top 10% of candidates — those who companies are truly trying to dig up — are gone within 10 days from the labor market. So, by stretching hiring processes out, businesses are wasting resources, and missing the individuals they want to find. And that is something that human resources professionals are becoming painfully aware of. “If your candidate sits in the pile for days instead of hours, you run the risk of losing good people,” Tom Wimer, CEO of Axeo Human Capital Consulting told The Society For Human Resource Management.

With all of this in mind, what can businesses do to free up additional resources, fill their empty positions, and give the economy a jolt? Simply put: Pull the trigger.

Of course, it’s not as simple as just taking on the first applicant, or the job-seeker who best fits the description. Hiring is in itself an art, and if a company brings in a bunch of rotten apples, it will soon find itself suffering as a result.

RecruitiFi, a recruiting and hiring research firm, has outlined a few suggestions to help streamline hiring systems in order to reclaim what is being lost during the hunt for the perfect applicant. Utilizing internal referrals, creating clear, concise job descriptions, and only bringing in candidates the company are seriously considering are the most effective ways to do that, RecruitiFi says.

These three items may be obvious to the casual observer, but the numbers really do reveal an advantage. Applicants who come from internal referrals are actually up to 30% less likely to quit. Not only that, but the bodies and hours needed to interview potential hires is also substantial. RecruitiFi says that the average number of applicants per job posting comes in at 118, and 20% of those are typically interviewed. While it can vary from company to company, the number of hours and amount of time coordinating those interviews, as well as pulling managers and employees off the job in order to meet with applicants, can rack up to immense amounts of money. Again, by bringing in only the best of the best, businesses potentially save a lot of money.

Obviously, there are other methods that can be put to work to help streamline and make the hiring process more efficient. But the important thing to take away is just how much businesses may be putting toward a system of hiring that is more harmful than beneficial. From a job-seeker’s perspective, waiting nearly three months to be offered a position can be stressful and infuriating, breeding resentment toward the company before they even start working there.

Though there are lots of ways to improve a business’s performance and efficiency, the hiring process is often ignored. But it’s an area where resources are being spent without much gained in return. Streamlining the system helps everyone: Applicants, companies, and the economy at large. With that in mind, it’s time to scale back the system, and make faster, more informed decisions.

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