How to Lower Your Time to Hire to 1 Day With a Collaborative Hiring Process

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May 27, 2016
This article is part of a series called Opinion.

Can you recruit someone in under 24 hours? So when I say recruit, I mean from when you first make contact with them, all the way through to a job offer not just sent, but signed. If you can, they you are quite clearly a recruiting Jedi.

“Oh don’t be ridiculous, it just can’t be done.”

Oh really? I beg to differ. If you really, really wanted to blow candidates away with a phenomenally quick hiring process you can do it. The best candidates don’t hang around for too long so why every company doesn’t implement the following seems odd to me. If you’re company’s future success is a direct product of the quality of people that make up the company, shouldn’t finding the best people and snapping them up before the competition does be the company’s No. 1 non-revenue-based priority? If it isn’t, then it should be.

I digress so here’s how you create a one-day hiring turnaround:

  1. Agree with the line manager and everyone else involved in the hiring process, right at the start, that every day for the next three weeks, they need to block out a one-hour slot in their diary. Those doing the first interview would block out, for example, 12-1 p.m. Those likely to be involved at the second interview or whatever is the next stage would block out 2 -3 p.m., and if there’s a third stage, 3-4 p.m. and so on, for however many stages you have. But the key here is the diaries must be blocked out and nothing allowed to be booked into those slots.
  2. Explain to the candidate in the job description and on your corporate careers pages that you have a fast-track hiring process and it’s essential that they try to keep their afternoons free as much as possible in case they are called for interview. Send out an automated acknowledgement message upon application confirming both receipt of the application but also explaining that all interviewing/testing will be done in one (admittedly very tough) afternoon so the candidate is left in no doubt as to how quickly they could be called in for an interview and what form the extended hiring process will take.
  3. The HR team/recruiter in charge of the hiring process reviews the application as soon as it comes in (perhaps including a video introduction from the candidate so you can actually see and hear them via a video based cover letter) and forwards them immediately for review to all interviewers simultaneously warning the candidate via an email that they are on the hotlist. This message should tell them that they’ve got past the first stage and they are now being reviewed by the line manager/interviewer, and because there is a reasonable chance that the applicant will be invited for an interview and they should aim to keep their diary free for the next few days in the afternoon.
  4. All interviewers (regardless of what stage they are involved) review the application and video and (assuming) they give the green light to invite the candidate in for interview once the last one approves the candidate, and the candidate gets an email inviting them to book themselves in to complete the hiring process. The candidate clicks through to an online portal and simply books the afternoon slot they can do. The interviewer is informed about who they will be interviewing and when. There will be no timetable clash as the interviewer has kept that slot free as requested by HR at the start of the process.
  5. They turn up and each candidate then goes through the hiring process from start to finish … first interview, into second interview, into third interview, etc and the successful one is then made an offer that night. It’s signed digitally.

So from first contact to offer signed …. maybe a day, maybe two or three, but still pretty darn fast.

Simple, right?

Ok, I know what you’re thinking. “What if the first interviewer thinks they’re a complete turkey?” Well that one-hour gap from 1-2 p.m. is a chance for the candidate to go and relax, take a breather, and get some lunch. It also gives interviewer No. 1 a chance to mull over whether they should be progressed to stage 2. If the first interviewer is adamant that the person is not suitable, they can feed back to the HR person immediately, who can contact the candidate in that one-hour gap and inform them that they didn’t make it to the second stage or better still the interviewer should just be honest enough to tell them face to face. You’d be surprised how people will respect your honesty and the feedback you give them.

What better way to give yourself a competitive hiring advantage than by hiring in under 24 hours? For those applicants who don’t get the job, at the very least they’ll be blown away by how fast you can move, and for the one who does, you’ve got them snapped up before your competitors can.

This article is part of a series called Opinion.
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