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Mar 23, 2016
This article is part of a series called Opinion.

The rights of people around the world have been a hot topic for centuries. Most people in the modern world agree that certain rights should be inalienable, such as freedom of speech, religion, liberty, security, and personal privacy. The concept of individual rights has also found its way into commerce, including a patient’s bill of rights in healthcare and list of passenger rights for air and rail travel.

The naming of rights in commerce creates a framework of expectations for consumers, which means companies have to create sets of required practices to fulfill these expectations. As long as these rights are thought through carefully and the practices executed consistently, basic rights create a positive outcome for the consumers covered by those rights.

Everybody wins.

That’s why I believe it’s high time that fast and accurate hiring becomes a basic right. Not a consumer expectation, but a right shared by people on both sides of the hiring dance. An honest-to-goodness human right. By no means am I suggesting that hiring is as important as the aforementioned inalienable rights. What I’m saying is that by reducing time to fill, or even better, cutting it to zero, everyone involved in filling jobs benefits.

Because the hiring dance has gotten a little bit out of hand.

Think about it. When a job opens, the clock begins to tick. With every passing minute, that open seat is an expensive distraction. The department manager has to manage or delegate the extra workload. HR has to add one more task to its already overflowing plate. The talent acquisition team has to scramble to fill one more open job. Overtime pay builds up. Expenses increase across the board. Interviews consume too much time — round one, round two, round three. Then come the references, the background checks, and the offer. Then offer is rejected (the gall!) and the second choice candidate has already moved on. So, you start again. More expense, more overtime, more interviews.

Now think about the candidate’s experience. Like a three-ring circus and obstacle course combined, the path to a new job is often fraught with frustration and peril. You submit your resume and wait. You apply online and wait some more. If you’re lucky, it only takes weeks to get “the call.” After the call you get your hopes up, but then you hear nothing for days or even weeks. If you’re lucky, you land a face-to-face interview, during which you learn the process requires two more rounds. If you make it that far, you find yourself jumping through hoop after hoop, answering question after question, often the same ones again and again. After round three, you’re hopeful, even gushing with optimism, only to have your hope dashed on the rocks: you find out you’re only one of several finalists being called back for an unplanned round four.

Sure, not every hiring or interview experience goes this way. However, I suspect you’ll agree that even when hiring goes relatively well, it still takes way too long and involves far too much effort. It should be no surprise that top talent and hiring managers are pushing back. Talented people know they have choices, and more and more are choosing to work in companies that engage in sane and efficient hiring practices.

That’s why I’m proposing — at least in the employment world — that fast and accurate hiring be considered a basic human right. It’s time to stop the madness.

Fast and accurate hiring as a basic human right isn’t about settling or compromising. It’s about creating a better outcome for everyone. Just like free speech protects the unique perspectives of individuals and freedom of religion allows people to develop personal connections to something bigger than themselves in the way they choose, the freedom of a fast and accurate hiring process makes sense for everyone. Managers can focus on leading and nurturing their teams. HR has a few less things on its plate. Talent acquisition can build better pipelines of top talent. Candidates can get jobs now, not months from now.

To adopt a fast and accurate approach to making quality hires, I suggest taking the following steps:

Declare It

Take a stand. Be the leader who declares that your company will implement faster, more efficient process and make it a basic right for everyone in the organization.

Be Determined

Stay the course. Be intrepid. Navigate through any obstacles. Expect the biggest ones to be colleagues who say it can’t be done (for ideas on how to implement a faster process, watch the video entitled “From Long Time-to-Fill to Zero-to-Fill in Just 30 Days” in my blog).

Demonstrate Improvements

Share your success when seats are filled quickly. Use these examples to enroll others in the initiative.

Protecting rights, especially those that safeguard the health, safety, and freedom of people, will always be one of the most important things to fight for in life. When you take a stand and demand the basic human right of fast and accurate hiring, you’re also taking a stand for the sanity and well-being of everyone involved. These rights, once secured, serve as a foundation for more rights. Fast and accurate hiring means everyone gets a good job and there’s always enough candidates to fill an open spot.

Now those are rights worth fighting for.

This article is part of a series called Opinion.
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