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How to get your ducks in a row to ensure a swift hire

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

While it pays to be thorough, a swift interview process will help ensure that you secure the most talented person on your shortlist. UK employment figures are at a record high, resulting in a Candidate driven market where the competition to attract the best Employees is fierce. Your favoured interviewee could receive multiple job offers, which makes it important to come to a quick decision. Moving fast means you’ll minimise the risk of losing out and will result in a better Candidate experience. According to Glassdoor, the average time to hire is 27.5 days, so how do you cut this down? Find out here:

Make sure everyone is on the same page

Before you start hiring, you need to know what you’re looking for. Creating an accurate job description will make this clear for you and your team, as well as Candidates applying for the position. There are numerous benefits. Ironing out differences in opinion internally will make your final decision easier, and for potential Employees, you’ll be setting out your expectations from the start avoiding a situation where they decline an offer because the role isn’t what they expected. Create a structure to make sure everyone is interviewing in the same way - looking for the same skillsets - and consider your screening process. Bear in mind that the more interview stages you introduce, the longer you spend without closing the deal, so check that every meeting you have with a Candidate is effective and necessary for the end result.

Agree on a timescale

When you’re interviewing it’s important to make sure your key decision makers are in the office. Choose a time when everyone is available, so that you don’t have to wait for a manager to give you the thumbs up once you’ve found your perfect Employee. In a survey from Robert Half, nearly 23 per cent of workers said they lose interest in a company if they don’t hear back from them within a week of their interview. This percentage increases as time goes on. Therefore, try to pin down an agreed time frame with your hiring team. The same applies to Candidates. A simple trick is to include an interview date in your job advert, so that everyone is informed ahead of time, and for a final interview you should let people know when you’ll be calling back to give feedback or make an offer. This avoids a situation where the Candidate think you’ve lost interest.

Keep in touch with Candidates

Perhaps you’ve had a really successful hiring process and interviewed a number of people who could have been a good fit. Although, most times, you can only choose one Candidate, don’t underestimate the value of keeping in touch with others who made the shortlist – having an existing talent pool, to draw on can help you to shorten your hire time the next time round. To do this successfully, you’ll need to provide a good interview experience, taking the opportunity to sell your business as a brilliant place to work so that people leave feeling impressed. If you you’ve spoken to a Candidate who didn’t make the final cut, but is clearly progressing in their career, why not invite them to connect with you? For example, by sending them an invite on LinkedIn. Remember, the way you communicate with people will not only affect their attitude towards you in the future, it will have a bearing on how they speak about you to their wider network.

Test your hiring process and make improvements

At the end of the day, it’s all about securing the best person for the role. Candidates who are satisfied with their interview experience are 38 per cent more likely to accept a job offer, so if you’re losing people through the hiring process it’s important to reflect and reassess. After all, a declined job offer can be costly. Have you thought about asking Candidates about the areas where you can improve? Again, this can be another way of demonstrating that you’re a committed Employer who cares about what people think. The rise of review sites like Glassdoor is already changing how companies engage with potential Employees, now that Candidates can publicly post their opinions online. So, why not embrace this and ask for direct feedback?

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 we opened our first London office, to service Clients and Candidates in the capital.

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